Cattle markets turned higher after a three-week decline. Cattle in the South traded from $103 to $104 per cwt., mostly $1 to $2 higher. Trade in the North was $103 to $105 per cwt., with cattle on a dressed basis selling at $163 to $165 per cwt., $2 to $5 higher. Although Friday’s trade was small, prices were the highest of the week, especially in Kansas.
This week’s cash price action suggests steady-to-higher trade next week. Packers saw their profit margins decline for the week, but there’s plenty of margins left to encourage them to be willing buyers next week and keep cattle moving.
Estimated cattle slaughter was 645,000 head compared to 660,857 last year. Total year-to-date is estimated at 22,847,000 head, 4.5% below last year.
December live cattle futures closed the day up 52 ½ cents at $111.85 and near midrange. For the week December live cattle gained $1.95. November feeder cattle futures on Friday closed up 32 ½ cents at $142.525 and for the week rose $1.20.
Choice boxed beef closed at $215.64 on Friday, down $4.25 from the previous Friday. Select closed the week at $203.94 per cwt., down $3.16 from the previous week.
Yearling cattle weighing more than 750 pounds sold strong for the week at $5 higher to instances of $8 higher. Weaned and vaccinated calves sold steady to $5 higher. Unweaned calves were reported at $3 to $8 lower.