Cattle Outlook: Corn Prices Down

US - USDA’s latest corn stocks report came in well above trade expectations, pushing corn prices still lower. USDA says 1 September corn stocks totaled 1.128 billion bushels, down 34 per cent from a year earlier, but up 17 per cent compared to trade forecasts. That’s good news for livestock producers.
calendar icon 3 October 2011
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

The December, March and May corn futures contracts each ended this week 46 cents lower than last week. The December contract settled at $5.925, March at $6.0575, May at $6.135 and July at $6.1925 per bushel. Corn futures have lost $1 per bushel in the last two weeks.

The October fed cattle futures contract ended the week at $122.15/cwt, up $5.33 from last week’s close. December cattle gained $5.93 to end the week at $122.65/cwt. February live cattle settled at $124.15/cwt, up $4.55 from last Friday.

Higher fed cattle futures and lower corn futures pushed up feeder cattle futures. The October feeder cattle contract gained $5.71 this week to settle at $140.525/cwt. November gained $6.36 to end the week at $142.925. January feeder cattle end the week at $146.075/cwt up $7.38 from the previous Friday.

Friday morning the choice boxed beef carcass cutout value was $182.41/cwt, down $1.37 from last week. The select carcase cutout was up two cents from the previous Friday to $169.51 per hundred pounds of carcase weight. The choice-select spread remains quite large.

There was very light sales volume this week. Through Thursday only 2,566 head reported on the five-area report. The week before there was 147,917 head sold. The five-area average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $116.23/cwt, up 36 cents from last week.

Steers sold on a dressed weight basis averaged $185.00/cwt, $1.89 high than the week before. This week last year live steer prices averaged $96.60/cwt and dressed steers averaged $152.83/cwt.

This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 677,000 head, up 2.1 per cent from the week before and up three per cent compared to the same week last year. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending 17 September was 853 pounds, down two pounds from the week before and the same weight as a year ago. This is the first week since early December that steer weights haven’t been above the year-earlier level.

Cash bids for feeder cattle around the country this week were mostly from $3 lower to $3 higher with a few more locations up than down. Prices this week at Oklahoma City were steady to $2 higher with price ranges for medium and large frame number one steers: 400-450# $145-$153, 450-500# $139.50-$150, 500-550# $130-$139, 550-600# $132-$141.75, 600-650# $124.50-$140.50, 650-700# $133.50-$137.75, 700-750# $130-$137, 750-800# $125-$134.50, 800-900# $122-$132 and 900-1000# one group at $126/cwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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