Friday’s close was more gracious than the noon hour assumed. Though all livestock contracts closed lower than their initial open, the markets were able to muster up some lost support and close on only a modest correction.
Live cattle prices tumbled through the day and closed moderately lower: down $0.40 to $1.92. December live cattle closed $0.75 lower at $113.62. Thursday’s Cargill explosion presents some questions for the beef industry. Though the reports claim that the explosion was minor, and at first many expected the plant to be fully up and running on Friday, but the plant is now taking extra precautions and hoping to be up and running early next week. The plant didn’t slaughter cattle Thursday, nor Friday, and will likely not be processing cattle on Monday. It makes one worry that the market implications of not having two plants running (the Tyson plant and now this Cargill plant) will back up fat cattle supplies and greatly affect current-ness.
Cash cattle traded was reported in the North at $173 for dressed cattle ($1.00 higher than last week), and Southern live cattle traded for $108.00 which was steady to $1.00 lower than the bulk of last week’s trade.
Closing boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.07 ($218.04) and select up $0.44 ($193.04) with a boxed beef movement of 97 loads (45.66 loads of choice, 21.58 loads of select, 13.24 loads of trim and 16.46 loads of ground beef).
MONDAY’S CASH CATTLE CALL:
$1.00 to $2.00 lower. With two packing plants down, cash prices will have to fight hard to get higher prices next week.
Like the other livestock markets, feeder cattle dabbled lower and lower throughout the day but were able to recover some ground at closing. November feeder cattle closed down $1.47 at $142.85. All other feeder markets closed lower as well, down $0.70 to $1.40.
On an estimated run of 6,641 head (up 4,926 head from the previous week) Billings Livestock Commission in Billings, Montana sold most feeders higher on Thursday. Yearling heifers offered the best test (900-949 pounds) and were called steady to $2.00 higher. Steer calves weighing 450 to 599 pounds sold most steady to $5.00 higher, steer calves over 600 pounds have strong undertones. Heifer calves weighing 500 to 599 pounds sold mostly $4.00 to $5.00 higher. Quality was called average to attractive, and multiple load lots sold. The best demand this week was for light weight calves under 475 pounds or heavyweight calves over 600 pounds, which buyers thought could finish against the April board. Many order buyers and farmer feeders were in the stands this week creating very active market activity. The CME feeder cattle index 10/17/19: $145.40, up $0.45.