Cash fed cattle traded mostly at $119 to $120 this week, with later sales on Friday reaching $122 in Nebraska with dressed cattle at $188 to $190. Those tops would be $2 to $3 higher than the previous week.
Beef cutout prices have steadily declined since Thanksgiving, with Friday’s Choice close at $216.29, $8.27 lower than last week. Select closed at $204.24, $3.06 lower. The Choice/Select spread was $12.05.
Packer margins have declined significantly the past few weeks, but margins remain above $150 per head which continues to encourage packers to seek cattle.
Steers and heifers sold at auctions this week steady to $3 lower. AMS said with the holidays and the end of the year fast approaching, many auction markets saw heavy runs of cattle. Marketing opportunities may be limited after this week.
“Demand was moderate to good in most regions as cattle feeders look to fill orders to take advantage of the market reflected in the 2020 CME Live cattle contracts,” AMS said. “Demand for yearlings continues to be strong.”
USDA’s national cutter cow carcass cutout price was $184.23 per cwt. on Friday.