Packers probably lost a little money Friday when they bought cattle at $108 ahead of the Cattle on Feed report, $2 per cwt. higher than last week. Some trades in the north were reported at $109, with dressed prices established at $168 per cwt.
Most analysts expected the Cattle on Feed numbers to be positive for cash cattle, but the placement number registered at 103% compared to August placements a year ago. The average of analyst’s estimates was a 3% decline. Monday’s futures price is likely to suffer as a result. The total cattle on feed number was 104% of year ago, and the August marketings number was 106%, in line with pre-report estimates.
Cash feeder cattle sold strong, with steers and heifers mostly steady to $6 per cwt. higher. AMS reporters said, “Calves unevenly steady throughout the week, with early-week auctions slightly lower and mid-to-late week auctions higher. Demand for the week was moderate to very good, with active trade especially for yearling cattle. Several auction barns across the Plains and Midwest are reporting higher receipts than a year ago. This is due to many bringing their calves to town after weaning, and earlier than usual.”
Choice boxed-beef closed Friday at $191.60, up 18 cents from last week, and Select boxed-beef was up $2.88 at $188.73. The Choice-Select spread closed at $2.87.