Cash cattle trade was very limited on light demand today. Live steers sold between $107-108 and dressed purchases sold for $167. A total of 14,400 head of formula cattle weighing 884 lbs. sold for $172.91.
Live cattle futures were up across the board: The December contract was up $1.13 to $110.48 and the February contract was up 40 cents to $114.85.
“The market has had an impressive week and with an anticipated bullish Cattle on Feed report, the market is starting to align for a strong market leading into 2021,” remarked DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart.
Cattle on feed numbers were slightly up this November compared to the same time last year. Placements were 9 percent below last year and marketings were 2 percent below last year. Other disappearance was 9 percent below 2019.
Boxed beef prices were mixed. The Choice cutout was down 88 cents to $208.63 and the Select cutout was up 57 cents to $194.27 on 115 loads.
Today’s slaughter is projected at 117,000 head and tomorrow’s totals are estimated at 69,000 head. To date this week, 590,000 head have been slaughtered.
Feeder cattle contracts lost their moderate gains today. The January contract lost 53 cents to $140.45 and the March contract lost 30 cents to $142.30. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 55 cents to $137.19.
“Largely the pressure in the feeder cattle market stems from exhausted traders and leeriness of the corn market’s rally,” Stewart said.
The corn contract gained another 5 cents today, bringing the March contract to $4.38.
Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady to $3 higher. Receipts this week are typical for the last full marketing week of a year when some producers want to sell before winter weather really gets here.
Denison Livestock in Denison, IA, sold 2,199 head yesterday in their special calf and yearling sale. There was no recent sale for comparison. Benchmark steers averaging 773 lbs. sold between $136-151, and average $141.09.
Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. in Salina, KS, sold $3,491 head yesterday. Compared to last week, steers under 450 lbs. were $9 lower. Steers and heifers weighing 500-800 lbs. were $2-9 higher, and steers and heifers over 800 lbs. were steady to $3 higher. For heifers under 450 lbs., there was not enough volume last week to compare, however a higher undertone was noted. Benchmark steers 778 lbs. sold between $137-145, and averaged $142.08. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor