Cash cattle trade volume picked in the afternoon today. Demand in Texas was light to moderate, and limited on light demand in Kansas. Nebraska and the western Corn Belt experienced light to moderate demand. A total of 27,929 head sold between $106-112, and averaged $110.26. Dressed purchases moved from $172-174. A total of 11,100 formula cattle sold, averaging 895 lbs. and $176.93.
The Fed Cattle Exchange hosted their weekly online auction today and listed 1,025 head, of which 488 sold between $110.50-110.75.
Live cattle futures were up slightly today. The December contract was up 8 cents to $110.70 and the February contract was up 75 cents to $113.93.
Boxed beef prices continue their slow trend downward: On 123 loads, the Choice cutout was down $2.51 to $240.89 and the Select cutout was down 13 cents to $222.95.
Slaughter for the day is projected at 120,000 head, a few thousand head above last week and last year.
“The fact that traders had cold feed early Wednesday morning and that the fact that the corn market is seeing a slight rally isn’t bothering the feeder cattle market one bit,” reported ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday livestock comments.
Feeder cattle futures were up slightly today. The January contract was up 15 cents to $141.80 and the March contract was up 33 cents to $140.98. The December corn contract gained back almost what it lost yesterday, rising a little over 4 cents to $4.19. Today’s CME Feeder Cattle Index was at $139.87, down 43 cents from yesterday.
Winter Livestock in La Junta, CO, sold 3,500 head yesterday. Calves sold uneven; steer calves under 650 lbs. sold $3-5 higher except for 400-450 lbs.; and 500-550 lbs. sold $2-3 lower. Heifer calves 300-400 lbs. sold steady; 400-500 lbs. sold $3-5 lower; over 500 lbs. sold $1-2 higher. Yearling feeder steers over 700 lbs. sold $2-3 higher and yearling feeder heifers over 700 lbs. sold steady to $3, with the higher advance on 800-850 lbs. Benchmark steers averaging 769 lbs. sold between $138-142.50, averaging $141.16.
Bassett Livestock Auction in Bassett, NE, sold 2,035 head today. Compared with last week’s auction, 500-550-lb. steers traded $5 higher and 500-lb. heifers traded $2 higher. Demand was good with an active internet bidding. Benchmark steers averaging 758 lbs. sold for $148.50. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor