Live cattle contracts closed mixed Tuesday while the rest of the livestock sector traded mostly higher.
Live cattle contracts continue to be mostly unchanged, with nearby contracts trading lower and deferred contracts higher. December live cattle are down $0.30 at $119.87, February live cattle are down $0.17 at $124.57 and April live cattle are down $0.35 at $125.05. Asking prices and even a few bids started to circulate throughout the countryside later Tuesday afternoon. Texas has set asking prices at $121 to $122, and fats in Texas were bid Tuesday at $118.
Closing boxed beef prices were lower: choice down $2.15 ($221.49) and select down $1.14 ($205.35) with a big movement of 208 loads (143.90 loads of choice, 27.64 loads of select, 13.07 loads of trim and 23.86 loads of ground beef). Tuesday’s slaughter is estimated at 122,000 head — 2,000 head more than a week ago and 1,000 head more than a year ago.
WEDNESDAY’S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $1.00 higher. It appears that the market is waiting patiently to see how Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange performs. Some feeders have set high asking prices again this week mostly steady with last week’s asking prices. Given that this week’s slaughter is expected to be big again, it wouldn’t be outrageous to think that prices could easily be in the low $120s.
Feeder cattle contracts had a relatively good day — closing mostly higher except in a couple deferred contracts. January feeders closed $0.12 higher at $141.65, March feeders closed $0.25 higher at $142.52 and April feeders closed $0.32 higher at $144.47. Monday at Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage, Missouri, 11,973 head sold compared to the previous week, with steers, heifers and yearlings all sold steady. Demand was moderate to good, and supply was heavy — mostly due to the shortened week prior and ranchers able to finally get calves into the sale barn with good weather conditions. The CME feeder cattle index 12/9/19: $143.35, up $0.02.