US - Fed cattle were up, slaughter was down and Oklahoma feeders were mixed last week, write Professors Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.
Friday's choice boxed beef cutout value was $244.07/cwt, down $4.92 from the previous Friday, but up $3.44 from a year ago, they write in their weekly outlook.
The select carcass cutout was $244.59/cwt this morning, down $1.04 from last week, but up $7.80 from a year ago. This is the first time the cutout value for select carcasses has been above choice cutout since January 31, 2014.
Fed cattle prices were higher this week on light sales volume. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $160.78/cwt, up $2.91 from last week's average and up $12.86 from a year ago. The 5 area average dressed price for steers was $259.09/cwt, up $9.09 for the week and up $19.29 compared to a year ago.
Cattle slaughter this week totalled 524,000 head, down 2.4 per cent from the week before and down 8.7 per cent from the same week last year.
The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on February 28 was 875 pounds, down 5 pounds from the week before, but up 12 pounds compared to the same week last year. Steer weights have been above year-ago each week since June 14, 2014.
Feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City were mixed this week. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $297-$312, 450-500# $282.60-$294, 500-550# $274-$299.50, 550-600# $265-$287, 600-650# $244-$260, 650-700# $235-$242, 700-750# $209-$225.50, 750-800# $203.25-$219.50, 800-900# $183-$205.50, 900-1000#, $175.75-$193/cwt.
The April live cattle futures contract settled at $154.27/cwt today, down 38 cents for the week. June fed cattle settled at $145.27/cwt, down $1.83 from the previous Friday. August fed cattle lost $1.30 this week to settle at $143.62/cwt.
The March feeder cattle contract ended the week at $213.12/cwt, up $3.40 for the week. April feeders settled at $211.22/cwt which is $2.65 higher than the Friday before.
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