Wholesale Beef Higher, But Cash Cattle Struggle

Beef packers continued to maintain their strangle-hold on the market this week. Rising boxed beef cutout prices will pad packer profits – likely to exceed $400 per head. Nothing seems to help cattle feeders’ efforts to push prices higher, including last week’s winter storm.

Cash fed cattle traded at $114 in the South in light volumes, steady with last week. A few cattle sold in the North at $115.50 per cwt., and on a dressed basis at $181 to $182 per cwt., steady to $2 higher. Cattle feeders are asking $116 to $117.

The Choice boxed beef cutout closed Friday at $241.24, up $2.03 per cwt. for the week. Select boxed beef closed at $229.78 per cwt., up $2.33 compared to last week.

Cattle futures broke down technically and finished close to their weekly lows. While funds have liquidated long positions since mid-month, there’s risk of additional selling pressure to start next week given weakening chart patterns.

February live cattle plunged $3.90 to settle at $113.10. April through December live cattle dropped $1.075 to $1.675. Feeder cattle ended $1.70 to $2.875 lower through the November contract. For the week, April live cattle dropped $3.675 to $120.00, while March feeders slipped 45 cents to $138.675.

Estimated weekly cattle slaughter was 666,000 head, compared to 628,287 last year. The total year-to-date was 5.166 million head, 4.2% below last year.

 

Latest News

NCBA Reports On Q1 Voluntary Price Discovery Framework

NCBA president Jerry Bohn said a major trigger in negotiated trade data was tripped during the first quarter of 2021, as determined by the Live Cattle Marketing Working Group Regional Triggers Subgroup.

TSCRA Disaster Relief Fund Distributes Aid

Thanks to contributions from across the U.S., Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Disaster Relief Fund mailed checks totaling $112,750 to cattle raisers financially burdened by February’s Winter Storm Uri.

Retail Beef Sales Remain Strong During February

Sales of all food and beverage items during February were 11.8% higher than during February 2020, and the meat department was an above-average performer.

Land Grab or Climate Solution? President Biden Could Unveil '30 by 30' Plan Details Next Week

Details of a U.S. land and water related executive order could be unveiled soon. Known as the ’30 by 30’ plan, it would place 30% of U.S. lands and 30% of U.S. waters under federal jurisdiction by 2030.

Ranching by the Seat of Your Pants

Oregon rancher Alec Oliver was determined to return to ranching and working from horseback after he was paralyzed in a vehicle accident nearly a decade ago.

CRP ground rotator
Vilsack Hints at Possible CRP Changes Coming Soon with Biden's 30 By 30 Plan

CRP could be in focus again. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said this week that he thinks greater opportunities are coming for landowners to take less productive farmland out of production and place into CRP.