“Movements in outside markets continue to spark active trade in the livestock futures through the first half of Friday's trading session, although the direction of trade has generally pointed downward,” remarked Elain Kub, DTN contributing analyst, in her midday livestock comments.
There was more strength in the cash cattle market today, but not enough to pull the futures contracts higher. A total of 19,316 cash cattle traded between $109-112, averaging $110.31. Dressed steers sold between $174-176, averaging $175.46. A total of 14,000 formula cattle weighing 884 lbs. were priced at $180.34.
Live cattle futures were in the red today. The February contract was down 50 cents to $114.47 and the April contract was down 20 cents to $119.30.
Boxed beef prices were slightly higher on both cutouts: The Choice cutout was up 99 cents to $206.80 and the Select cutout was up 10 cents to $196.69 on 138 loads.
The day’s slaughter is projected at 117,000 head, a few thousand head below the same time last year. Tomorrow’s slaughter is estimated at 68,000 head, double the volume at the same time last year.
“The trading range has remained tight so far during this session, with no one appearing interested in testing more of a recovery while the rest of the livestock sector is stuck in mostly bearish trade, and consolidation looks to be the most likely path forward for feeder cattle futures,” Kub said.
The corn contract is up higher today by two cents, bringing the March contract on the edge of $5 at $4.96. Feeder cattle contracts were down: The January contract was 87 cents lower to $135.82 and the March contract was 75 cents lower at $136.82. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Contract was reported 28 cents higher to $135.63.
Nebraska: Ogallala Livestock Auction in Ogallala sold 8,100 head yesterday. There was no comparison to last week, but demand was good with crowd and internet activity. Benchmark steers averaging 775 lbs. sold between $138-146, and averaged $143.21.
Oklahoma: Woodward Livestock Auction sold 5,578 head yesterday. Compared to the last sale held Dec. 17, feeder steers sold mostly steady, except 600-650 lbs. sold up to $10 higher. Feeder heifers sold steady. Steer calves sold steady to $3 higher. Heifer calves sold $2-6 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 778 lbs. sold between $132-141, and averaged $137.65. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor