Today was the first day of the week the market was open due to the holiday yesterday.
Live cattle contracts traded slightly higher today. The February contract was up 55 cents to $113.32 and the April contract was up $1.15 to $119.35.
There was some cash trade today, although total volume was still small at 2,634 head. Live steers sold between $110.50-110.50. There were not enough dressed purchases for a market trend. A total of 16,300 formula cattle averaging 893 lbs. sold for $181.15.
“The cash cattle front will continue to be a struggle even with stronger boxed beef prices until the calendar nears the second quarter—but that’s not to say that with strategic marketing that higher prices can’t be achieved,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments.
Boxed beef prices were higher, with the Choice cutout up $2.45 to $217.49 and the Select cutout up 60 cents to $206.44 on 148 loads.
Feeder cattle contracts traded mixed as the corn contracts lost a few cents, but the March corn contract is still trading high at $5.26.
January feeder cattle lost 17 cents to $134.40 and the March contract gained 97 cents to $136.80.
“The last two weeks have been hit and miss for the feeders sold throughout the countryside,” Stewart said. “Some sales were able to avoid the board’s lower pressure and continue to sell cattle with excellent demand from buyers, but other sales were leery of the board’s sharp losses and neglected to have adequate buyers.
“Heading into this week’s trade, if the board can continue to push for higher prices and regain some of the positioning that the industry lost since the first of 2021, feeders may stand a chance to sell for more money.”
Iowa: Russell Livestock in Russell sold 4,759 head Monday. Compared to the last sale, steers under 650 lbs. were mostly $7-10 lower, while those over 650 lbs. were $2.50 higher. Heifers under 600 lbs. sold mostly $2-10 lower and those over 600 lbs. were steady to mostly $4 lower. Benchmark steers averaging 772 lbs. sold between $127.50-139 and averaged $132.50.
New Mexico: Roswell Livestock Auction in Roswell sold 2,486 head Monday. Compared to the prior sale, feeder steers and calves sold $4-5 higher. Heifer calves under 600 lbs. sold $4-5 higher, except 350-450 lbs. sold $1 lower and over 600 lbs. sold $2-5 lower. Benchmark steers averaging 659 lbs. sold between $126-133 and averaged $132.39. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor