“Livestock futures are keeping to their own pace and trajectory as the lean hog and live cattle contracts are met with ample support, while feeder cattle contracts dip lower from the pressure building in the rallying corn market,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments.
The cash cattle market was quiet, but will likely follow last week’s trend of picking up in the latter part of the week. Last week, 102,508 head traded on the negotiated cash market, with much of the trade taking place Thursday and Friday. Live steers averaged $113.64 and dressed steers averaged $179.23.
A total of 28,800 head sold on formula, averaging 900 lbs. and bringing $180.24.
Live cattle contracts were mixed, with the February contract down 15 cents to $116.57 and the April contract up 17 cents to $123.95.
Boxed beef prices were also mixed, with the Choice cutout up $1.62 to $236.20 and the Select cutout down 18 cents to $220.61 on 114 loads.
Slaughter for the day is projected at 114,000 head, several thousand head below last week and last year. Last week’s slaughter is estimated at 653,000 head, on trend with the week prior even though a Cargill plant was down for maintenance.
“Early this week sale barns could see lighter runs thanks to the large snow accumulation and slick roads,” Stewart commented. “With corn prices continuing to scale higher, feeders will most likely be met with minimal demand this upcoming week, while grass calves seem more appealing to buyers.”
The feeder cattle contracts were down due to a spike of 15 cents to the March corn contract, bringing the price of corn to $5.63. The March feeder cattle contract was down 82 cents to $137.45 and the April contract was down 72 cents to $141.47. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported down 18 cents to $135.47.
Missouri: Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage sold 3,000 head Monday. Compared to the last sale, steers and heifers under 700 lbs. traded $2-5 lower, and over 700 lbs. traded steady. Benchmark steers averaging 730 lbs. sold between $132-140.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City sold 7,500 head Monday. Compared to the week prior, feeder steers sold steady to $2 lower where tested. Steer calves sold mostly $4-8 lower. Feeder heifers and heifer calves sold unevenly steady. Benchmark steers averaging 730 lbs. sold between $133-138. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor