Other than early live sales in the western Corn Belt Wednesday, which were $1-$2 higher than last week at $114-$116/cwt., negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon.
Cattle futures dipped, recovering some from the strongest early pressure. Other than, arguably, more interest flowing to Lean Hogs, there seemed no apparent fundamental reason for the decline. Given the current support of fed cattle prices, it was one of those sessions that left you wondering exactly what components comprise electronic-trading algorithms, and perhaps more important, how far ahead.
After 17¢ lower in spot Dec and 27¢ lower in near Feb, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 97¢ lower (52¢ to $1.30 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 lower.
Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 67¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $212.61/cwt. Select was 3¢ higher at $198.53.