Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $151.29 for live sales, and $240.20 for dressed; respectively, down $3.57 and $4.99. Total volume sold was 7,000 head higher than a week ago and 64,000 head lower than last year.
Feeder steer cattle and calves were mixed across much of the U.S. this week with prices finishing the week higher in some areas and lower in other areas. Pasture conditions continue to look good this summer. The USDA rated 65% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, up from 63% good or excellent last week and 54% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions are rated 72% good or excellent. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders and calves were steady to $5.00 lower, while heavy steers were slightly lower than a week ago. Oklahoma City feeder steers and heifers were steady to $7.00 lower this week.
Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were mixed this week. August live cattle were down about $0.12 on the week, while February live cattle were up $1.10. Feeder cattle were also mixed with August futures down $0.02 from last Friday but January futures up $0.67 on the week. Corn futures were largely unchanged on the week, with only a penny difference for most contracts.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher on the week. Choice boxes averaged $249.87, up $3.49 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $243.67, up $3.90. The choice-select spread narrowed from $6.61 a week ago to $6.20 this week.