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Friday markets

Cash cattle trading was inactive with very light demand, and a total of 3,113 head brought between $107-110. Dressed steers sold from $166-173. On the formula side, a total of 21,100 head of cattle averaging 887 lbs. sold for $177.19.

Live cattle contracts rallied today, perhaps motivated by the latest Cattle on Feed report that was released this afternoon. The February contract was up $2.62 to $116.27 and the April contract was up $2.57 to $122.52.

Today’s Cattle on Feed report noted cattle on feed up slightly. Cattle on feed as of Jan. 1 were 100 percent of last year and placements were 1 percent above last year’s levels. Marketings of fed cattle were also 1 percent higher than last year and other disappearance totaled 10 percent below 2020.

“As the market shoots to either long-term highs or completely new contract highs, the live cattle market is being met with extraordinary demand from all sides of the market other than this week’s cash cattle trade,” reported ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments.

Boxed beef prices are higher with the Choice cutout up $1.62 to $222.82 and the Select cutout up $3.06 to $213.34 on 143 loads.

Today’s slaughter is projected at 119,000 head and tomorrow’s at 69,000 head. This is several thousand head above last week for both days.

Feeder cattle

Feeder cattle contracts surged today with the January contract up $1.37 to $137.25 and the March contract limit up $5 to $144.15. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported 80 cents higher to $133.99. The March corn contract lost 23 cents, bringing the contract back down to $5.

“Some of the market’s support is stemming from the correction in corn prices, but then again, the technical support the market has mustered up is nothing to overlook as contract highs are being made in all of the feeder cattle contracts from April 2021 through November 2021,” Stewart said.

“If Friday can keep this momentum through closing, the feeder cattle complex stands a great chance carrying this supportive trend into next week’s trade.”

Nebraska: Ogallala Livestock Auction in Ogallala sold 7,460 head yesterday. Compared to last week, steers were $3-7 higher and heifers were $2-14 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 774 lbs. sold between $138.50-144.50, and averaged $141.65.

South Dakota: Mitchell Livestock Auction in Mitchell sold 4,680 head yesterday. Compared to last week, a higher undertone was noted on steers up to 550 lbs. Steers 550-700 lbs. were steady to $3 higher; steers 700 lbs. plus were $1-4 higher. An unevenly steady undertone was noted on heifers up to 550 lbs.; heifers 550-900 lbs. were steady to $2 higher; heifers 900-950 lbs. were $6 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 776 lbs. sold between $130.50-136.75, and averaged $134.44. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor


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