The livestock complex saw slightly better interest from traders throughout the day, but heading into the second half of the week, more cash cattle trade will need to develop.
The live cattle contracts were able to close higher as traders felt less pressure in Wednesday’s market. October live cattle closed $0.07 higher at $182.20, December live cattle closed $0.37 higher at $186.02 and February live cattle closed $0.07 higher at $190.37. The cash cattle market’s unwillingness to trade cattle steady with Tuesday’s thin movement also lent traders some confidence as well. Bids were offered throughout the afternoon at $182 to $183 live and $288 to $290 dressed in Nebraska and $182 live in Texas. It’s likely that the week’s trade will now be delayed until late Thursday afternoon or Friday as feedlots are aiming to trade cattle for more than what Tuesday’s market accomplished. On Tuesday afternoon some live cattle sold in the South for $182 and a light round of dressed trade was noted in Nebraska at $183, both of which are $1.00 lower than last week’s weighted average. Feedlots are going to be challenged in trying to get more money out of packers this week, but depending on how desperately packers need supplies, anything could happen. Wednesday’s slaughter is estimated at 125,000 head, 1,000 head less than a week ago and 3,000 head less than a year ago. Tuesday’s slaughter was revised to 125,000 head.
Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $3.31 ($296.76) and select down $0.72 ($274.87) with a movement of 176 loads (102.88 loads of choice, 40.33 loads of select, 14.32 loads of trim and 18.57 loads of ground beef).
THURSDAY’S CATTLE CALL:
Steady. Given that packers already have some cattle bought for $1.00 lower than last week’s weighted average in both regions, it’s likely that packers will refuse to budge from those price points.
It wasn’t a rosy day for the feeder cattle complex as the contracts were able to close mixed, but sales were slightly softer in the countryside after the week’s whirlwind of emotion surrounding political and economic fears. October feeders closed $0.82 lower at $247.44, November feeders closed $0.07 higher at $250.42 and January feeders closed $0.22 lower at $254.05. The spot November contract did close below the contract’s 100-day moving average again Wednesday, which remains a key threshold to monitor given that before Tuesday’s weakness the market hadn’t come close to trading at that level since January of 2023. At Bassett Livestock Auction in Bassett, Nebraska, compared to last week steers weighing 850 to 950 pounds sold $5.00 to $14.00 lower and there were no comparable offerings on heifers. Feeder cattle supply over 600 pounds was 99%. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for Oct. 3: up $0.11, $251.90.