Live and feeder cattle contracts saw gains today, while cash trade has been quiet. Trade will likely wait until the latter half of the week to develop.
“Friday's lower close and Monday's hesitant trade allowed for renewed buying throughout the livestock contracts as the market was able to correct some of its overbought position,” ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, remarked in her midday comments.
Live cattle contracts were up: The February contract was up $1.10 to $115.97 and the April contract was up 82 cents to $122.52.
“Monday's announcement of exactly how many cattle traded last week was extremely insightful as packers procured 86 percent of last week's purchases for two-week delivery. If they were sitting flush on their inventory, they would have been able to buy more cattle and deliver them within the 15- to 30-day delivery period,” Stewart said. She added that this week’s cash prices should be able to be $1-2 higher.
A total of 549 head of negotiated cash cattle sold today—not enough purchases for a market trend. On the formula cattle side, a total of 16,000 head averaging 891 lbs. were priced at $179.88.
Boxed beef prices were mixed: The Choice cutout was up $1.08 to $236.76 and the Select cutout was down 55 cents to $225.04.
Today’s slaughter is projected at 118,000 head, slightly up from last week and several thousand head below the same time last year.
Feeder cattle contracts found some momentum from corn’s small decline today. The March corn contract was down 6 cents to $5.43, and the March and April feeder cattle contracts were up $1.20 and $1.17 to $139.12 and $142.25, respectively. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported down 3 cents to $136.40.
“…if cash cattle are able to add another $1.00 to $2.00 to the market again this week, the feeder cattle market is then seeing ample support from both the technical and fundamental sides of the market,” Stewart said.
Iowa: Russell Livestock in Russell sold 3,736 head Monday. Compared to two weeks prior, steers under 650 lbs. sold $15-20 higher while the steers over 650 lbs. were mostly $6-11 higher. Heifers under 600 lbs. were mostly $5-6 higher and the heavier heifers were also mostly $5-6 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 720 lbs. sold between $139.75-150.75.
New Mexico: Roswell Livestock Auction in Roswell sold 1,081 head Monday. Compared to the week prior, steer calves under 600 lbs. sold $9-15 higher; over 600 lbs. sold $1-3 higher. Feeder heifers and calves sold $5-9 higher; and a few 350-400 lbs. sold $13 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 714 lbs. sold between $125-138.
South Dakota: Sioux Falls Regional Cattle Auction in Worthing sold 4,029 head Monday. Compared to the prior week’s sale, feeder steers under 600 lbs. sold $2-5 higher with instance of $6-9 higher on 500-550 lbs.; 6-weights sold $2-3 lower; and over 700 lbs. sold steady to $3 higher. Feeder heifers under 600 lbs. sold $4-7 lower; 6-weights sold $4-7 higher; and over 700 lbs. sold $1-4 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 774 lbs. sold between $134-147. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor