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Monday markets

Although the price of corn lost a few pennies today, live and feeder cattle futures have been unable to pull themselves up and recover. 

Live cattle futures were lower yet again, with the June contract down $1.27 to $115.30 and the August contract down 27 cents to $118.35.

“If the market can summon traders, there’s plenty of room for higher trade as the contracts are far from any resistance,” remarked ShayLe Stewart, DTN livestock analyst, at the noon hour. “But the doggish nature of the cash cattle market in recent weeks hasn’t lent much support to futures.” 

Some cash trade took place today, with a total of 4,854 head trading hands. Live steers sold between $117-118. There were not enough dressed trade purchases for a market trend. Cash trade for last week was disappointing, with only 70,438 head sold. Live steers averaged $118.98 while dressed steers averaged $190.67.

On the formula side, a total of 42,300 head averaging 853 lbs. sold today at an average of $191.32.

Slaughter for the day is projected at 114,000 head, several thousand head short of the same time last week. Total slaughter for last week is estimated to hit 649,000 head. Actual slaughter data shows slaughter for the week ending April 17 totaled 640,583 head.

Boxed beef prices are higher yet again, with the Choice cutout just under $300 at $299.30 and the Select cutout at $283.79 on 77 loads.

Feeder cattle

Feeders were mixed today, with the May contract down 55 cents to $133.05 and the August contract up 5 cents to $146.80. The price of corn is still well over $7, with the May contract sitting at $7.32 and the July contract just under $7 at $6.79. CME’s Feeder Cattle Index was down $1.50 to $132.63.

“Corn futures have jumped all over the board Monday and, consequently, the feeder cattle contracts are unsure of where their nearby fate will lie.

“With corn prices as lofty as they are, the feeder cattle market is at the mercy of the corn market—if it’s going to be granted higher trade at all. As the noon hour rolls around, the corn market’s attitude is still undecided and so volatile behavior is expected to continue throughout the feeder complex,” Stewart commented.

Missouri: Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage sold 4,500 head Monday. Compared to the prior sale, feeder steers and heifers traded steady. Benchmark steers averaging 803 lbs. sold between $132.75-134.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City sold 6,500 head Monday. Compared to the last sale, feeder steers sold $2-3 lower and feeder heifers sold $2-4 lower. Benchmark steers averaging 771 lbs. sold between $129-144.50. — Anna Miller, WLJ managing editor

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