Cattle Markets Begin February Higher

Cattle markets trended higher, while the beef cutout declined the week of the coldest weather in a generation in the U.S. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Cash fed cattle traded Friday on the High Plains mostly at $124 live, which is $1 to $2 higher than the previous week. Cattle sold in Minnesota at $125. On a dressed basis, cattle traded at $199. The week’s estimated cattle slaughter was 593,000, or 20,000 head fewer than last year.

At auctions across the nation, steers and heifers sold $1 to $4 higher, with instances of $6 higher. Weather continued to play a significant role in the cattle markets as many auctions saw diminished receipts. The Agricultural Marketing Service reported auction receipts last week were 210,700, which is 71,500 head (15%) fewer than the same week a year ago.

Choice beef cutout prices on Friday were $214.26 per cwt., down $2.75 from the previous week. Select beef sold at $213.15 on Friday, up $1.12 from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread was $1.11 per cwt.