“This week will mark the beginning of a delivery month and futures will play a larger role in cash prices,” according to the Cattle Report. “Processors will want to keep the plants humming with Texas sized margins driving the way.”
The report noted boxed beef prices can go either way and will likely not impact the need for a full slaughter volume.
“Most asking prices will be at $112 and higher.”
Last week’s high for cash cattle was $110.27, the highest since the week ending June 5. Total volume was light, at 89,000 head.
Cash cattle trade was light today, at 450 head. There were not enough trades for a market trend. A total of 24,100 formula cattle sold, weighing 890 lbs. and averaging $177.11.
Live cattle futures lost some support, with the December contract down 45 cents to $112.87 and the February contract down 37 cents to $112.87.
Boxed beef prices began to trend downward last week toward their seasonal decline, but saw some slight gains today. On 84 loads, the Choice cutout was up 83 cents to $243.68 and the Select cutout was up $1.75 to $222.43.
Last week’s slaughter is estimated at 564,000 head, about 100,000 head below usual numbers due to the holiday. Today’s slaughter is projected at 119,000 head, on trend with last year.
“Throughout most of Monday's morning trade, both cattle contracts were scaling lower but as the noon hour approaches the feeder cattle market has seen considerable support surface,” reported ShayLe Stewart in her midday livestock comments.
The January feeder cattle contract was up $1.22 to $141.05 and the March contract up 97 cents to $139.97. The latest CME Feeder Cattle Index was up $1.35 to $138.90. Corn prices have remained fairly constant, with the December contract down 6 cents to $4.20.
Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage, MO, sold 10,000 head today. Compared to last week, steer calves under 650 lbs. sold $2-5 higher; steers over 650 lbs. sold $1-4 lower; heifers under 500 lbs. and over 800 lbs. sold steady; and heifer 500-800 lbs. sold $2-4 lower. Benchmark steers weighing 721 lbs. sold between $135-142.50, averaging $140.09.
Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City, OK, sold 10,500 head today. Compared to last week: Feeder cattle and traded steady to $3 higher. Demand was moderate to good. Quality was mostly average, with a few attractive. Benchmark steers weighing 767 lbs. sold between $139.50-148, averaging $141.72. — Anna Miller, WLJ editor