Many auctions were shuttered in observance of Independence Day, but a firmer undertone was noted for steers and heifers at the ones that did take place, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Likewise, Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle closed higher week to week, amid lighter overall trade due to the holiday.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.31 higher week to week on Friday.
That was with Corn futures closing an average of 11¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday, recovering about half of the previous week’s decline.
Fed Cattle Prices Steady to Higher
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade provided overall support.
Live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $109/cwt. on a live basis, but $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $113.00-$113.50 and at $112-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $180.
Through Thursday, the weighted average 5-Area Direct price for steers was 59¢ higher than the prior week at $111.17/cwt. on a live basis. The dressed price was 74¢ higher at $180.10.
Carcass weights continue lighter year over year. Average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 22 was 854 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspections report. That was 4 lbs. lighter than the same week a year earlier. Average dressed heifer weight of 790 lbs. was 3 lbs. lighter. Fed slaughter of 537,433 head was 3,875 head more than last year. Total slaughter of 668,269 head was 9,773 head more. Beef production of 533.2 million lbs. was 4.3 million lbs. more.
Live Cattle futures were an average of $2.46 higher week to week on Friday.
“With feed costs destined to be somewhat higher in the second half of the year, feedlots will have some incentive to trim back days on feed suggesting lighter finished and, thus, carcass weights,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock Marketing Specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “However, feedlots do this largely by placing heavier feeder cattle, which need fewer days to finish. Heavier placement weights imply heavier finish weights. Feedlot data shows that every one pound increase in placement weight results in about one-half pound increase in finished weight. Thus, the impact of higher feed prices on carcass weights is unclear but is unlikely to have a major impact.”
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.99 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $217.67/cwt. Select was 76¢ lower at $194.80.
“As long as beef demand does not weaken appreciably in the reminder of the year, fed cattle prices are expected to average about equal to 2018 levels for an annual average,” Peel says. “Fed prices are expected to be slightly lower year over year in the third quarter before strengthening in the fourth quarter. Feeder prices are generally expected to average 3-5% below 2018 levels for the remainder of the year and for an annual average.”
Friday to Friday Change*
Weekly Auction Receipts
CME Feeder Index
|CME Feeder Index*||July 4||Change|
*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index
Cash Stocker and Feeder
(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)
Wholesale Beef Value
|Boxed Beef (p.m.)||July 5 ($/cwt)||Change|
|Ch-Se Spread||$22.87||– $1.23|
|Feeder Cattle||July 5||Change|
|Jan ’20||$137.950||+ $2.875|
|Live Cattle||July 5||Change|
|Feb ’20||$116.225||+ $2.100|
|Corn futures||July 5||Change|
|Mar ’20||$4.490||+ $0.096|
|Oil CME-WTI||July 5||Change|
|Jan ’20||$57.17||– $0.54|
|Equity Indexes||July 5||Change|
|Dow Industrial Average||26922.12||+ 322.16|
|S&P 500||2990.41||+ 48.65|
|Dollar (DXY)||97.17||+ 1.04|