Cattle markets are continuing to find support as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.
Cash cattle trade has been quiet, but volume should pick up tomorrow, hopefully in part by the online Fed Cattle Exchange auction. Cash trade in the Southern Plains and Nebraska has been at a standstill, and limited on very light demand in the western Corn Belt. A total of 3,478 head traded today, selling between $109-110. Dressed purchases moved at $172. About 14,800 head of formula cattle sold today, averaging 880 lbs. and $179.47.
Live cattle futures gained a little over a dollar today, with the December contract up $1.18 to $111.18 and the February contract up $1.05 to $113.95.
Boxed beef prices were up: The Choice cutout was up $2.70 to $244.30 and the Select cutout was up $2.23 to $219.71 on 161 loads. Today’s slaughter is projected at 122,000 head, to make up for lost numbers during the holiday week. To date for the week, slaughter has totaled 242,000 head.
“With cash cattle itching to trade higher and the futures market fully supporting both cattle markets, feeder cattle are selling well early this week despite last week’s softness seen Thursday and Friday,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her midday comments.
Feeder cattle futures were up a little under a dollar, with the January contract up 78 cents to $138.60 and the March contract up 85 cents to $138.13. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 18 cents to $137.12. The corn contract has mostly held its own, down a little under a penny to $4.26.
Tri-State Livestock Auction in McCook, NE, sold 1,485 head yesterday. Compared to last week, steers were $1-7 higher, and heifers were $4-7 lower. Demand was moderate to good. Benchmark steers averaging 780 lbs. sold for $140.
Roswell Livestock Auction in Roswell, NM, sold 2,535 head yesterday. Compared to last week: steer calves under 600 lbs. sold $1-5 higher; over 600 lbs. sold steady on comparable quotes with not enough yearlings to establish a trend. Heifer calves under 600 lbs. sold steady to $1 higher, and over 600 lbs. sold steady. Value-added steers averaging 628 lbs. sold between $131-138.75, averaging $138.01.
Sioux Falls Regional Cattle Auction in Worthing, SD, sold 1,615 head yesterday. Compared to last week there was a light offering of steer and heifer calves, many small packages, and too few comparable sales to make a definitive comparison. There were also too few comparable sales of yearling feeder steers and heifers to allow a full comparison, but higher undertones were evident. Benchmark steers averaging 773 lbs. sold between $142.50-143, averaging $142.73. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor