Live cattle markets have trended generally higher, while feeder cattle markets have slipped. Contracts have been easily swayed during the first full week back at trading.
The cash cattle market has remained quiet, with only 1,059 head trading hands today for $112. There were not enough trades for a dressed steer market trend. A total of 14,600 formula cattle averaging 889 lbs. were priced at $177.53. The Fed Cattle Exchange listed 1,142 head today, of which 42 head sold. Reserve prices ranged from $113-114.
Live cattle contracts were mixed today. The February contract was down 5 cents to $115 and the April contract was up 17 cents to $119.27.
Boxed beef prices were down on 204 loads. The Choice cutout was down 63 cents to $205.27 and the Select cutout was down 41 cents to $196.08. Slaughter for the day is projected at 117,000 head, on trend with last week but several thousand head down from last year.
Feeder cattle contracts were red down the board today. The January contract lost 90 cents to $135.77 and the March contract lost 85 cents to $136.57. The corn contract has jumped another 3 cents, landing just shy of $5 at $4.95. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was reported down 21 cents to $134.92.
“Thankfully buyers have still been aggressive throughout the countryside in buying calves even with the market's mixed jitters to the New Year's opening trade,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her afternoon market comments.
Colorado: Winter Livestock in La Junta, sold 3,744 head Tuesday. Compared with the last sale: Steer calves under 400 lbs. sold $2-3 higher; 400-600 lbs. sold $3-5 higher; 600-700 lbs. sold $1-3 higher. Feeder steers over 700 lbs. sold steady to $3.00 lower. Heifers calves sold uneven: 300-400 lbs. sold $3-5 lower; 400-550 lbs. sold $3-5 higher; and over 550 lbs. sold steady. Feeder heifers over 700 lbs. sold steady. Benchmark steers averaging 726 lbs. sold between $133-142, averaging $137.28.
Nebraska: Bassett Livestock Auction in Bassett sold 4,730 head Wednesday. Demand was very good with several buyers in the seats and out of state bidders. Benchmark steers averaging 718 lbs. sold between $140-150.50, averaging $148.67. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor