Live cattle futures settled steady to 60 cents lower in the front months on Wednesday, with back months higher. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed with nearby March 42.5 cents in the red. The CME feeder cattle index was up 15 cents on February 6 at $148.10. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 94 cents at $209.37, with Select boxes 41 cents higher at $203.14. Estimated FI week to date cattle slaughter was 346,000 head through Wednesday. That was down 5,000 from the previous week but 11,000 head larger than the same week last year. US export data shows 260.83 million pounds of beef was exported during December. That was slightly larger than November and the fifth straight monthly record, 2.5% above December 2016. Total 2017 exports were a record 2.862 billion pounds, and up 12.2% from 2016.

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