Refreshing might be the most apt way to describe last week’s negotiated cash fed cattle trade. For the first time in what seems like forever, packers chased cattle to fill their pipelines. Cattle feeders passed early-week bids and carved mainly another $1-$3 from the market.
Live prices last week were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $132/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $133-$134 and $1-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $133-$134. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $210. Live prices in Colorado the previous week were at $132. There were a few sales reported at $135 in Nebraska through Friday afternoon, but too few to trend.
The five-area direct average fed steer price through Thursday was $1.66 higher than the previous week at $133.01/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.99 higher at $209.59.
Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending Nov. 20 of 677,000 head was 22,000 head more than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 29.59 million head is 857,000 head more (+2.98%) than a year earlier. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 24.47 billion lbs. is 605.8 million lbs. (+2.54%) than a year earlier.
Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, but rode the coattails of stronger cash prices to weekly gains.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ lower, except for unchanged to 12¢ higher in three contracts. They were an average of $2.83 higher week to week.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in Jun and unchanged at the back of the board. Week to week, they were an average of $1.15 higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.25 higher Friday afternoon at $278.41/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $263.85/cwt. Week to week, though, Choice was $5.89 lower and. Select was $5.70 lower.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 1¢ higher in four contracts mid-board.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher, except for fractionally lower to 2¢ lower in the front five contracts.