Cash cattle trade volume was higher today, with live purchases trading mostly between $108-111 and averaging $110.68. Dressed purchases moved from $171-176, mostly at $173. The Fed Cattle Exchange sold a little over half of their offered cattle during their weekly online sale. Of 930 head offered, 543 head sold for $110.25.
The December live cattle contract was up at $111.26 and the February contract was up to $114.18.
Wholesale beef prices were at the second highest in history for the week. The Choice and Select cutouts were each up over to $245.06 and $220.90, respectively.
Processors rushed to get their kill numbers in during the short week and slaughter was at 360,000 head as of Wednesday afternoon.
Lower corn prices ($4.20, several cents down from yesterday) led to higher support from traders.
The January contract was over higher to $140.28 and the March contract was higher to $139.28. News of promising COVID-19 vaccines has helped boost the economy, and give traders more confidence in buying.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index made some slight gains throughout the week, closing at $137.30.
“It’s a touch-and-go week for feeder cattle sales as some barns cancelled their sales for the holiday, some barns are seeing phenomenal demand still, and some are noticing fewer buyers as many take the later part of the week off to spend time with family,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, in her Wednesday midday comments.
Colorado: Winter Livestock in La Junta sold 950 head last Tuesday. Compared with the week prior, steer and heifer calves and feeders sold mostly steady in a light test. Slaughter cows sold mostly steady and slaughter bulls sold $1-2 higher. Benchmark steers averaging 712 lbs. sold between $132-133, and averaged $132.68.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! — Anna Miller, WLJ editor