The cash cattle trade was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon with just a few bids reported in parts of the North at 240.00. A few cattle sold in Iowa at 150.00 on a live basis. Asking prices remain firm at 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 242.00 to 243.00 in the North. Significant trade volume could develop on Thursday if packers and feedlot managers decide to complete business before the long holiday weekend. The kill totaled 115,000 head, 2,000 below last week, and 6,000 smaller than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef gained .89 at 223.75, select 214.47 up 1.33.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 41 points higher to 10 lower with only 2015 contracts in the red. A narrow price range defined the live cattle complex as traders seemed uninterested in stepping into the market at this point in the week. Traders looked for increased support from outside markets as well as potential beef value support. There was some late short covering in the live pit. April settled .47 higher at 145.75, and June was up .20 at 135.60.
Feeder cattle ended the session 2 to 40 points higher but were unable to show much life through much of the session. DTN’s Rick Kment says, overall traders seemed to be overlooking the cattle market in favor of hanging out on the sidelines as mere observers. April settled .02 higher at 179.25 and May was up .12 at 179.90.