It was a disappointing start for the markets today. Cash trade has continued its unmoving path from last week with only 627 head trading today—too little volume for a market trend. However, a total of 30,400 formula cattle averaging 892 lbs. averaged $178.51.
Live cattle contracts were lower across the board, with the February contract down $1.07 to $113.40 and the April contract down 95 cents to $118.35.
“Last week’s cash cattle trade was disappointing in the sense that before the political hiatus broke out feedlots were hoping for a solid $1 to $2 stronger, but given the emotional turmoil that follows events such as the ones of last week, it’s easy to see how the market’s momentum was shaken,” remarked DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart in her midday comments.
Boxed beef prices were mixed. The Choice cutout was up 89 cents to $207.69 and the Select cutout was down 95 cents to $195.74 on 123 loads.
Last week’s slaughter is projected at 651,000 head, ahead of slaughter numbers last week as well as last year. Today’s slaughter level is estimated at 119,000 head.
“Following last week’s trade throughout the countryside, feeder cattle prices and calf price were met with mixed support,” Stewart said.
“Lighter weighing calves that will make excellent prospects for next spring’s grass market were with excellent demand while feeders that were soft in their condition there sold with a discount as feeders don’t have as many options with that type and kind of animal.”
Feeder cattle contracts were higher, with the corn market staying below $5 and losing 4 cents to $4.92. The January feeder cattle contract was 17 cents higher to $136 and the March contract was 7 cents higher to $136.90.
Missouri: Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage sold 6,800 head Monday. Compared to the last sale, steers sold steady to $3 lower and heifers sold steady to firm. Benchmark steers averaging 723 lbs. sold between $133-140, and averaged $137.20.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City sold 11,000 head Monday. Compared to the sale prior, feeder steers and heifers sold steady to $2 higher, except 600-700-lb. steers sold $4-6 higher. Steer calves sold steady to $5 higher and heifer calves sold steady to $3 higher. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor