Futures contracts finished strong for the week.
“Futures continue to entice cattle feeders to move backlogged cattle into the hole left by the COVID-19 related big drop in spring placements, as the market does its work redistributing supplies,” wrote Market Analyst Cassie Fish in The Beef.
The futures contracts were green across both boards. The August live cattle contract gained $1.10 to $102.83, October was up $1.13 to $107.88, and December was up $1.10 to $111.55. Feeder cattle contracts traded similarly, with the August contract up $1.65 to $144.68, September up $1.80 to $146.23, and October up $2.13 to $146.65. The latest known CME Feeder Cattle Index was $139.24.
“Are there still some big cattle around, especially in the south? Absolutely. But the backlog has improved and adjustments in feeding practices had already moved cattle further out on the calendar,” Fish said.
Cash trading has remained quiet for the week, with not enough trades for a full market trend in all regions. A total of 3,189 cattle traded today on the cash market, and 23,500 head on formula. For the five-area weekly accumulated average slaughter cattle price, live steers weighing 1,441 lbs. traded at $98.49, live heifers weighing 1,290 lbs. traded at $97.49, and dressed purchases traded around $160 for both steers and heifers.
Today’s slaughter is estimated at 113,000 head, on trend with last week but slightly below last year. Tomorrow’s slaughter is estimated at 51,000 head, compared to last week’s 61,000 head and last year’s 35,000 head.
Boxed beef prices remain stable: the Choice cutout traded slightly up at $203.26 and the Select cutout dropped slightly to $189.89 on a load of 98.
Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage, MO, reported a total of 4,946 receipts. Compared to last week, steers traded steady to $2 higher except for steers 550-700 lbs.; heifers under 650 lbs. traded steady and heifers 650-800 lbs. traded steady to $2 higher. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor