Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $143.40 for live sales, and $226.97 for dressed; respectively, down $3.87 and $5.58. Total volume sold was up 5,000 head from a week ago but 39,000 head lower than last year.
Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $7.00 to $15.00 lower while heavy steers were $7.00 to $8.00 lower. Pasture conditions continue to decline across much of the U.S. as summer draws to an end. The USDA rated 51% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, unchanged from last week and up from a rating of 48% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions have declined the last few weeks and are rated 48% good or excellent, up 3% from a week ago. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down sharply from last week, averaging $240.00, while heavy steers were averaging $185.00, down $15 from a week ago.
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Live cattle futures were up across the board while feeder cattle futures were mixed this week. October live cattle were up $0.38 on the week but down $7.50 from a year ago, while February live cattle were up $0.15 from last week but down $8.65 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were mixed with September futures up $0.53 from last Friday and down $16.13 from a year ago while January futures are down $0.40 on the week. Corn futures are down slightly this week with December futures $0.03 lower and March futures also down $0.03.
Wholesale boxed beef prices are down compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $243.97, down $1.78 from a week ago and $3.78 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $233.49, down $2.42 from last week. The choice-select spread has continued to widen from $9.84 a week ago to $10.48 this week.
Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.