Cash Cattle Remain Under Pressure

03:33PM Feb 14, 2020
Fed cattle traded lower, feeders mixed
( CAB )

Cash fed cattle prices traded in the South at $119 per cwt., $2 lower, while the North also traded at $119 live, which was $2 to $3 lower than the previous week.

CME cattle futures pulled back from session highs at the close on Friday, but still closed the week on a strong note. Live cattle posted gains of 92 1/2 cents to $1.80 through the December contract. Feeder cattle finished $2.15 to $2.425 higher through the November contract. For the week, April live cattle futures firmed 52 1/2 cents to $120.325 after earlier in the week dropping to the lowest level in nearly five months. April feeder cattle firmed $3.875 this week.

Boxed beef prices also posted losses for the week. Choice fell $4.48 lower to $2.08.09 per cwt., while Select traded $1.82 higher at $205.71. The Choice/Select spread was $2.38.

Steers and heifers sold uneven at auction, from $1 lower to $3 higher.

“Demand was good for light weight calves nationwide that were longtime weaned and suited for summer grass with moderate demand for feedlot placements,” AMS reporters said.

Early week futures markets put downward pressure on auctions.

“In Nebraska, sellers of top performing feeders felt the downward pressure as their 8-weight cattle only brought a little over $100 per head more than the 6-weights in the steer market,” AMS said.

Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 620,000 for the week, 11,000 less than last week and 12,000 more than a year ago.