Live cattle were unable to recover any losses today while feeder cattle scaled higher.
Live cattle contracts were down across the board: The February contract was down $1.32 to $116.12 and the April contract was down $1.12 to $122.70.
A total of 7,111 cattle sold on the cash cattle market, exponentially more than we’ve seen on Wednesday in recent weeks. Live steers traded between $111-114 and dressed steers sold for $180. On the formula side, a total of 12,500 head averaging 898 lbs. sold for $184.28.
The Fed Cattle Exchange held their weekly Wednesday online sale and listed 1,251 head for sale. A total of 518 head actually sold. Opening prices started at $113; Texas sold all 518 head at $114.
Boxed beef prices were mixed: The Choice cutout was down $1.27 to $233.02 and the Select cutout was up 23 cents to $220. 96.
Today’s slaughter is projected at 116,000 head, a few thousand head below the same time last week and last year.
“As corn continues to trade lower following Tuesday’s bearish WASDE report, feeder cattle contracts have found some relief and are actively working to trade higher,” reported DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart in her midday comments.
The March corn contract was down almost 22 cents to $5.34. The March feeder cattle contract was up 85 cents to $139.50 and the April contract was up 32 cents to $143. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported up 2 cents to $135. 65.
“Seeing the feeder cattle contracts have been under immense pressure from the corn market for quite some time, the market has plenty of technical upside potential if fundamental support will develop and if traders will back the rally. However, before feeder cattle contracts can grow too confident the market needs to see a lower trend develop in corn,” Stewart noted.
Colorado: Winter Livestock in La Junta, CO sold 3,344 head Tuesday. Compared to the previous sale, feeder steers under 550 lbs. sold steady to $2 lower; 550-700 lbs. sold $3-5 higher; over 700 lbs. sold steady to $1 higher. Feeder heifers under 550 lbs. sold mostly steady, with instances of $5 higher on thin-fleshed fancy lots; 550-700 lbs. sold $1-3 higher; over 700 lbs. sold steady. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor