Cattle markets roared into March with a rally many believe was long overdue.
Cash fed cattle traded $2 to as much as $4 per cwt. higher with the live trade at $160 to $162 per cwt. Dressed sales in the North were $3 per cwt. higher at $257 to $258.
Futures markets joined the party, too, as April Live Cattle gained $3.25 for the week and March Feeder Cattle jumped $7.70.
Boxed beef prices Friday afternoon averaged $2.46.44, which is 16 cents per cwt. lower than the previous Friday. The Choice/Select spread is $4.09 per cwt.
Yearling feeder cattle sold mostly firm to $5 per cwt. higher, with instances of $6 to $8 higher at auctions in the Northern Plains and Midwest. Trading was called most active on feeders 550 to 850 pounds.
The market test on lightweight calves was called sparse, but sales in the Southeast saw prices steady to $5 per cwt. higher. Late-winter storms held receipts down at many auctions, but buyers are already showing signs of grass fever. Warming temperatures across most of the nation in the coming week will likely bring both cattle and buyers to town.
Slaughter cows and bulls sold $1 to $4 higher. USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday afternoon was $229.77 per cwt., up $1.33 from last Friday.
Corn traded 5 to 7 cents lower for the week after starting and ending the week softer.