Cash trade managed to find some momentum today with 14,639 head sold. Live steers sold between $108-110 and there were not enough purchases for a dressed steer market trend. A total of 15,000 formula cattle sold today, averaging 914 lbs. and bringing $178.80.
The Fed Cattle Exchange listed 1,547 head today, of which 567 sold. A total of 299 head from Kansas sold on the grid for $110.75 and 268 head from Texas sold for $110.50-111.
“Feedlots have a tough job ahead of them as packers will fight tooth and nail to keep the cash market lower, but if the bulk of the week’s trade can hold out until later in the week then the market stands a chance to push prices $1 higher verses holding at steady,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments.
Live cattle contracts were mixed: The February contract was up 2 cents to $113.35 and the April contract was down 47 cents to $118.87.
Boxed beef prices were higher with the Choice cutout up $1.42 to $218.91 and the Select cutout up 84 cents to $207.28 on 136 loads.
Today’s slaughter is projected at 120,000 head, a couple thousand head higher than last week but lower than the same time last year.
Feeder cattle contracts saw some more gains today while the corn contract lost a few pennies. The January feeder cattle contract was up 90 cents to $135.30 and the March contract was up 72 cents to $137.52. The March corn contract dropped 4 cents to settle at $5.22. CME reported its latest Feeder Cattle Index down 51 cents to $132.90.
“The market has plenty of upside potential, and so long as support continues to encourage the market’s trade, higher positioning can easily be obtained,” Stewart said.
Colorado: Winter Livestock in La Junta sold 5,590 head Tuesday. Compared with the prior sale, steer calves under 450 lbs. sold $1-3 higher; 450-500 lbs. sold $3-5 lower; 500-550 lbs. sold $2-4 lower; over 550 lbs. sold steady to $2 lower. Heifer calves under 550 lbs. sold steady to $2 lower, except 350-400 lbs. sold $3-5 lower; 600-700 lbs. sold $1-3 lower. Feeder steers and heifers over 700 lbs. sold steady to $1 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 724 lbs. sold between $130-137.25, and averaged $134.57.
South Dakota: Philip Livestock Auction in Philip sold 5,774 head Tuesday. Compared to the sale prior, feeder steers 450-600 lbs. sold steady to $2 lower; 600-650 lbs. sold steady to $2 higher. Feeder heifers 400-450 lbs. sold $2 lower; 450-550 lbs. sold steady to $2 higher; 550-600 lbs. sold steady; 600-700 lbs. sold $2-4 lower. Benchmark steers averaging 765 lbs. sold between $135.50-141.50, and averaged $139.78. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor