Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $154.86 for live sales, and $245.19 for dressed; respectively, down $2.42 and $2.68. Total volume sold was down slightly from a week ago and much lower than last year.
Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly unchanged or slightly higher across much of the U.S. this week. Pasture conditions continue to look good this summer. The USDA rated 63% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, up from 61% good or excellent last week and 51% good or excellent a year ago. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders and calves were $5.00 to $10.00 higher, while heavy steers were slightly lower than a week ago. Oklahoma City feeder steers and heifers were steady to $1.00 lower this week.
The House has voted to repeal country of origin labeling on meat on Wednesday in hopes of preventing retaliation from Canada and Mexico in response to the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling a few weeks ago.
Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were mixed this week. June live cattle were down about $0.37 on the week, while February live cattle were up $0.35. Feeder cattle were also mixed with August futures up $1.55 from last Friday but January futures down $0.82 on the week. Corn futures were lower on the week despite few surprises in this month’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates released earlier this week.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower on the week. Choice boxes averaged $246.38, down $3.28 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $239.77, down $1.00. The choice-select spread narrowed from $8.89 a week ago to $6.61 this week.