Cash cattle trade trended mostly at $110 $172. Trade volume picked up, but was still slow on light demand.
“The week isn’t panning out as feedlots had hoped it would,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her Thursday midday livestock comments. “A weaker board and cash cattle prices that pan out to be $1 lower to $1 higher wasn’t in mind for the week, but nevertheless, here we are.”
Live cattle futures a drop Thursday afternoon. The December contract settled at $109.60, a dollar less than the previous week’s close. The February contract was down to $112.58, about 67 cents off from the week prior.
“Working against feedlot’s aspirations to move the market higher is a topping boxed beef market as well,” Stewart said.
The Choice cutout was down over three-and-a-half dollars and the Select cutout was down 75 cents. As of Thursday afternoon, estimated slaughter was at 481,000 head, a little over 100,000 head more from Thanksgiving week.
Feeder cattle futures took a hit Thursday, and lost the week’s gains, closing at about the same price as the previous Friday. The January contract settled at $139.80 and the March contract at $139.33.
“The market not only seems to have lost its recent gusto, but it also seems to be veering cautiously away from resistance levels,” Stewart remarked.
The December corn contract settled at $4.23 on Thursday, a few pennies off from the previous Friday. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was released Wednesday $139.87.
Winter Livestock in Dodge City, KS, sold 2,172 head last yesterday. Compared to the last sale, feeder steers 600-850 lbs. sold steady; feeder steers 850-1,000 lbs. sold $3-4 lower. Steer calves 450-600 lbs. sold $3 higher. Feeder heifers 725-900 lbs. sold $1 lower. Heifer calves 400-725 lbs. sold steady.
Torrington Livestock in Torrington sold 4,887 head yesterday. Compared the last sale, yearling steers and heifers traded unevenly steady on a limited test. Steer calves under 600 lbs. sold $2-4 higher. Steer calves over 600 lbs. traded $4-6 higher with a few instances of $8 higher. Heifer calves traded $3-7 higher. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor