Fed Cattle Trade Active, But Lower

Feedlot cattle ( WB )

Negotiated fed cattle trades volumes were higher with the 5-area near 95,000 head. Despite the active cash trade, fed cattle prices traded $5 to $6 lower at $98 to $105, with the bulk of trades at $100 to $102. Dressed trades were from $156 to $167 with the bulk of sales from $158-160. Lots of heavy cattle that traded at the low end of the range.

The week’s cattle slaughter was estimated at 656,000 versus 668,269 head last year.

Live cattle futures finished 42 1/2 cents to $1.375 lower through the December contract, with front-month June futures pacing losses amid light deliveries. Feeder cattle ended 7 1/2 to 42 1/2 cents lower through the January contract. For the week, August live cattle firmed 7 1/2 cents and August feeders rose $1.45.

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady to $4 lower at auction. Demand was called moderate to good across the nation. Cattle sold for delivery months out were also in demand this week. Auction receipts totaled 160,400 head compared to 160,300 head the week before. Last year’s receipts totaled 159,800 head.

Friday’s Choice boxed beef cutout was $213.72 per cwt. $16.92 lower than last Friday. Select boxed beef sold for $203.91 per cwt., $15.36 lower than the previous Friday.

Cattle on feed totaled 11.7 million head on June 1, 2020, slightly below the same time last year. This is the second highest June 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.04 million head, 1% below 2019. Net placements were 1.97 million head. During May, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 375,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 305,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 485,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 532,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 235,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 105,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during May totaled 1.50 million head, 28% below 2019. Marketings were the lowest for May since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 66,000 head during May, 8 percent below 2019.