Cattle markets are beginning to have more of a spring in their step.
Cash cattle trade but picked up momentum Thursday afternoon with 35,800 cash cattle trading. Live cattle were priced $107-111, averaging $109.50. Dressed purchases moved at $171.99.
The live cattle December contract settled at $111.98 and the February contract at $114.80.
Boxed beef prices have started their seasonal incline, and were trading steadily higher through the week. The Choice cutout saw gains of over $12 from the week prior to $226.50 and the Select cutout was up almost $10 to $208.24.
After a bullish grain report was released last week, the corn contract jumped 15-and-a-half cents to settle at $4.23 on Tuesday. The contract came down over the following days and settled at $4.08 Thursday, but the feeder cattle contracts lost some ground mid-week. As of Thursday afternoon, feeder cattle contracts were several dollars higher than the week prior, with the November contract at $140.08 and the January contract at $140.73.
As of Nov. 11, the CME Feeder Cattle Index was at $135.97.
Bassett Livestock Auction in Bassett, NE, sold 2,890 head Wednesday. There were a limited number of comparable offerings from the week prior, but 600-lb. steers traded steady. Demand was good with active internet bidding. Benchmark steers averaging 707 lbs. sold for $146.50.
Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, SD, sold 4,846 head last Wednesday. Compared to the week prior, the best test was on yearling steers 950-1,000 lbs., which sold steady. Steer calves 450-550 lbs. sold mostly steady; 551-650 lbs. sold $2-5 higher. Heifer calves 450-500 lbs. sold $3-4 lower; 501-600 lbs. sold mostly steady. Benchmark steers averaging 778 lbs. sold between $140.50-149.25 and averaged $147.59.
Torrington Livestock in Torrington, WY, sold 5,657 head Wednesday. Compared to the week prior, lighter steer and heifer calves sold steady to $4 higher, and heavier steer and heifer calves traded $4-7 higher with a few instances of $9 higher. Yearling steers and heifers also traded higher to comparable trades from the week before. Benchmark steers averaging 777 lbs. sold between $139-145 and averaged $140.82. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor