Cash fed cattle traded fully $2 higher at $112 in the south, and $5 higher on a dressed basis in the north at $180. Yet the trade was not as robust as some expected and some cattle feeders passed at those bids, many seeking $115.
Those ideas were supported by the fact October futures are now history, and December live cattle traded $2.30 higher on Friday at $119.52. The two-month rally is now the highest price since April. The February contract gained $1.875 to $124.225. November feeder cattle rose $1.525 to $149.125. Compared to lows established on September 9th nearby contracts have advanced $18 to $20 higher.
Boxed beef prices surged higher this week with Choice $7.76 higher at $233.20 and Select up $7.67 at $207.51. The Choice-Select spread was $25.69.
Estimated cattle slaughter for the week was reported at 655,000 head, 15,000 higher than last week and 2,000 higher than a year ago.
Yearling steers and heifers sold at auction steady to $3 higher. Steer and heifer calves sold steady to $2 higher. AMS reporters said good demand on the remaining supply of yearlings was evident.
“Long-time weaned calves with full rounds of preconditioning vaccinations sold on good demand creating wide price spreads compared to calves with partial vaccinations,” AMS reported. “The Central Plains and Midwest endured unseasonably cold temperatures this week. Furthermore, cattle movement was hindered by rain, wintery mix and snow systems that moved across the country, keeping auction receipts lower than normal for the fall run.”
Auction volume this week included 60 percent weight over 600 lbs. and 58 percent heifers.