The end of the week was not very kind to the cattle complex with only April feeder cattle posing a minor gain. Higher grain prices put more pressure on the market, even though cash cattle were generally steady to higher for the week. Hogs were the recipients of further spread trading as the market continue to adjust to the Hog and Pigs report.
Cattle: Steady. Futures: Mixed. Live Equiv: $200.93 -$0.58*
Hogs: Lower. Futures: Mixed. Lean Equiv: $111.01 -$4.25**
*Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue.
Cash cattle closed the week with Southern trade steady with the previous week while Northern dressed cattle were able to trade $1.00 to $4.00 higher. That should have been supportive to the market but the potential impact of lower corn acres this year and even higher prices got the upper hand of trading.
It did not matter that boxed beef prices gained last week as feedlots ponder the profitability of holding out for higher cash amidst rising feed costs. Beef generally sees strong demand through April but the volume of cattle that need to come to the market may limit upside potential this year. Boxed beef prices on Friday were mixed with choice down $1.25 and select up $0.18.