Cattle futures closed higher Friday with likely positioning, helped along by stronger cash fed cattle prices as the week wore on.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ higher, except for 32¢ lower in newly minted away Oct. However, they were an average of $9.06 lower week to week.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher on Friday (35¢ to $2.92 higher). They were an average of $3.84 lower week to week.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were moderate in the Southern Plains on Friday, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. FOB live prices were $185/cwt., which was steady in the Texas Panhandle and steady to $1 higher in Kansas.
Elsewhere, trade was slow on moderate demand. Although too few to trend, there were some FOB live trades in Nebraska at $186 and a few in the beef at $290-$292.
Established FOB live prices for the week in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were $2-$3 lower at $183-$185. Dressed delivered prices were $4 lower at $290.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 72¢ higher Friday afternoon at $307.57/cwt. Select was 43¢ higher at $280.12/cwt.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 636,000 head was 2,000 head fewer than the previous week and 31,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 26.8 million head was 1.3 million head fewer (-4.6%) than the same time last year. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 21.9 billion pounds was 1.2 billion pounds less (-5.2%).
Net U.S. beef export sales of 17,400 metric tons (2023) for the week ending Oct. 19 were up noticeably from the previous week and up 72% from the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s weekly Export Sales report. Increases primarily were for South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Turning to row crops, Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher. KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 2¢ to 6¢ lower. Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 19¢ higher.