Cash Cattle Higher, COF Up 1%
Negotiated cash cattle prices ranged from steady to $1 higher with modest volumes reported. Packers were anticipating larger kills on Saturday in an effort to make up for reduced slaughter early in the week due to power outages that impacted Kansas and Texas from the winter storms.
Cattle in Kansas and Texas traded at mostly $114 to a few at $115, steady to $1 higher. Cattle in the North traded at $114 to $115, and cattle sold on a dressed basis at $180 to $182 per cwt., $1 to $2 higher.
April live cattle futures closed Friday up $0.75 at $123.675 and for the week lost $1.50. March feeder cattle futures rose $0.925 at $139.125 and on the week fell $1.725.
Cattle futures late this week were in a consolidation pattern after pushing to new highs in several contracts on Tuesday. However, solid price uptrends are in place on the daily charts for live cattle futures, suggesting sideways to higher price action next week. More normal temperatures in cattle country next week should allow a return to normal transportation and processing activities, following the frigid weather conditions seen the past week or longer.
The Choice boxed beef cutout closed Friday at $239.21 per cwt., up $6.86 for the week. Select boxed beef closed at $227.45 pere cwt., up $6.52 compared to last week.
USDA weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 552,000 head, versus 608,000 head last week and 625,629 head last year. The total year to date was 4.502 million head, 5.5% below last year.
USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed report issued Friday estimated 12.1 million in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more, up 1% compared to Fed. 1 of last year. This is the second highest February 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.
Placements in feedlots during January totaled 2.02 million head, 3% above 2020. Net placements were 1.96 million head.
During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 410,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 440,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 575,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 417,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 105,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.
Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.82 million head, 6% below 2020.
Other disappearance totaled 56,000 head during January, 4% above 2020.