Negotiated cash fed cattle prices looked more promising through Friday afternoon, but remained mainly steady to lower than the previous week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
There were a few live trades in Nebraska at $106/cwt., but too few to trend. On Thursday, the market was established at $103, which was $2 less than the previous week. Dressed trade the prior week was at $162-$166.
In the western Corn Belt, live sales for the week were at $101-$103, which was steady to $4 lower than the previous week. Dressed prices the pervious week were at $162-$165.
Live trade in the Southern Plains was steady week to week at $106.
The average five-area direct steer price through Thursday was $104.16/cwt. on a live basis, which was 14¢ more than the previous week, but $7.75 less than the same week last year. The average dressed steer price of $159.70 was $4.27 less than the prior week and $17.89 less than the previous year.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 78¢ higher Friday afternoon at $208.10/cwt. Select was 1¢ higher at $191.24.
Total estimated cattle slaughter for the week of 638,000 head was 5,000 head fewer than the previous week and 21,000 head fewer (-3.2%) than the same time last year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 26.7 million head is 1.1 million head fewer (-3.8%) than a year earlier. Beef production of 537.3 million lbs. for the week was 4.1 million lbs. less than the previous week and 4.7 million lbs. less than a year earlier. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 22.2 billion pounds is 256.7 million lbs. less (-1.1%) than a year earlier.
Cattle futures continued higher Friday, especially Feeder Cattle with support from seasonal expectations for higher cash fed cattle prices and wholesale beef values.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher, from 2¢ higher to 70¢ higher, except for 30¢ lower in expiring spot Oct.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.08 higher, from $1.67 higher to $2.77 higher.
Corn futures closed unchanged to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher.