Cattle futures markets burst out of the gate early this week, setting record highs for both Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle. But the bears picked themselves off the mat and scored their own beat-down on Thursday and Friday. Cash traders that were firm on fed cattle early in the week let go at steady to lower money. USDA called cash fed cattle $1 to $2 lower at $161 to $162 per cwt. Cattle sold on a dressed basis in the North at $248 to $252, which is $2 to $3 lower.
Yearling feeder cattle? Neither volatile futures markets nor weakening cash fed prices seem to faze their relentless march to the sky. Compared to last week’s holiday-shortened market, yearling feeder cattle traded $3 to $8 higher, while calves were called steady to $5 per cwt. higher. Many of the markets that closed on the Labor Day holiday opened this week at $5 to $15 per cwt. higher prices in an effort to catch the rally.
USDA Market reporters noted the best demand was in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. For instance, the Torrington (WY) Livestock Commission Company sold 373 head of steers averaging 960 pounds at $216.05 per cwt. The Valentine (NE) Livestock Auction sold 257 head of steers averaging 794 pounds at $242.27, and 129 head of value added heifers averaging 872 pounds at $221.11. North Central Regional averages this week for 800-900- pound steers are $226.52, compared to last week’s last week $223.05.
Boxed beef prices Friday morning averaged $243.03 that is $0.57 higher than last Friday. The Choice/Select spread is $15.00.
Slaughter cows and bulls mostly steady. USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was $235.53 up $0.70 from last Friday.