Packers Maintain Leverage, Fed Cattle Lower

Cash fed cattle traded lower. ( FJ )

Cash fed cattle prices drifted lower throughout the week, with Friday sales in the south at $103, about $3 lower. Northern cattle sales were higher, with Iowa at $107 to $109, and Nebraska at $104 to $106, and $172 to $175 dressed.

Slaughter rates were estimated down 10,000 head at 644,000. Traders see next week as critical as numbers of ready cattle will increase. Carcass weights are also trending higher, with the latest USDA number at 863.7 pounds, 3.7 pounds higher than the previous week and 4.6 pounds higher than last year.

Wholesale beef prices continue drifting lower. The Choice cutout closed Friday at $231.77, down $5.75 from the previous Friday. Select closed at $212.27, down $0.44.