Through Thursday, the average five-area direct steer price was $107.11/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.08 higher than the previous week. The average price in the beef was $2.81 higher at $167.68.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was very limited on light demand in all cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, live sales in the Southern Plains were mostly $2 higher at $107/cwt., with a few up to $108 in the Texas Panhandle. Live prices were $2 higher in Nebraska at $107 and $2-$3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $107-$108. Dressed trade was $2-$3 higher at $167-$168.
According to Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, “Prices are still a long way from the fourth quarter target high of $115 to $120, but he says a $7 to $8 price improvement over the next two months is obtainable.
Moreover, in his weekly market comments, Griffith says “Reaching those fed cattle price levels will likely result in strong competition for feeder cattle moving forward.”