Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $128.47 for live sales, and $202.47 for dressed; respectively, down $6.60 and $10.78. Total volume sold was down 2,000 head from a week ago and 2,000 head higher than last year.
Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly lower across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were trading $4.00 to $9.00 lower than last week. Pasture conditions continue to decline across much of the U.S. during the last week of summer. The USDA rated 46% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, down 1% from last week and down 5% from a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions have declined the last few weeks and are rated 35% good or excellent, down 4% from a week ago. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $12.50 from a week ago, averaging $217.50, while heavy steers were averaging $167.50, down $10.00 from last week.
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Live cattle futures and feeder futures were both down across the board this week. October live cattle were down $2.23 on the week and $24.75 lower than a year ago, while February live cattle were down $1.63 from last week and down $24.73 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also lower with October futures down $0.70 from last Friday and down $48.50 from a year ago while March futures are up $1.25 on the week. Nearby corn futures are higher this week with December futures $0.12 higher while May futures are up $0.11.
Wholesale boxed beef prices are down compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $218.66, down $13.11 from a week ago and $20.96 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $214.37, down $8.97 from last week. The choice-select spread has narrowed significantly from $8.43 a week ago to $4.29 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.