Live cattle were able to trade higher today, while feeder cattle were hit by another day of a skyrocketing corn price.
Live cattle contracts were up, with the February contract 47 cents higher to $117 and the April contract up 15 cents to $123.10.
“The live cattle contracts are enjoying another day of stronger boxed beef prices and flourishing energy that’s allowing the contracts to continue to trade higher,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments. “The strength that continues to build throughout the complex is music to feedlot’s ears as they are hopeful to add at least $2 to this week’s market.”
Snowfall Monday will likely slow the week’s trade and push business to the latter part of the week—which Stewart remarked is ideal for feedlots.
Cash cattle trade was stagnant today, with only 1,028 head trading hands for $110. A total of 16,100 formula cattle averaging 900 lbs. brought $180.92.
Boxed beef prices were higher, with the Choice cutout up $2.33 to $229.06 and the Select cutout up $1.12 to $217.33 on 131 loads.
Today’s slaughter is projected at 117,000 head, on pace with the same time last week and last year.
The corn contract rose another 20 cents to $5.32, bringing feeder cattle contracts down. The January contract was down 90 cents to $135.65 and the March contract was down $2.37 to $141.47. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported yesterday, down 49 cents to $134.48.
“Feeder cattle sales this week will be met with strong challenges—some sales have canceled due to the road conditions and others are hoping that by the end of the week buyers and trucks will be able to make it in without too much difficulty,” Stewart said.
New Mexico: Roswell Livestock Auction in Roswell sold 1,990 head Monday. Compared to the week prior, feeder steers and calves sold $1-4 higher. Feeder heifers and calves sold $3-6 higher. Benchmark steers weighing 661 lbs. sold between $127-139, and averaged $135.32. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor