Cattle and beef markets moved significantly lower last week as consumer demand continued to soften with the fallout from the lean fine-textured beef (LFTB) controversy. But LFTB wasn’t the only factor pulling markets lower. Nearby cattle futures contracts have declined $12 to $14 over the past month, and cash fed cattle prices have answered with an $8 per hundredweight drop of their own.
Cash fed cattle prices were quoted $3 per hundredweight lower last week at $122 to $123 in the North and mostly $122 in the South. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $8 to $9 per hundredweight lower at $193 to $194.
Boxed beef cutout values fell sharply lower for the second consecutive week. Choice boxed beef traded Friday at $177.61 per hundredweight, a decline of $5.75 from the previous Friday, and down $9.80 per hundredweight from two weeks ago. The Select price on Friday was $175.30, a decline of $7.10 from last week and $11.27 lower than two weeks ago. The Choice-Select spread was $2.31, compared to $0.97 last Friday.