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Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 15, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Thursday continued steady with last week in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at mostly $115/cwt. on a live basis. Dressed sales were steady to $1 higher at $182.

Cattle futures strengthened on Thursday, regaining some of the losses from the previous session, with continued overall strength in beef demand.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher (32¢ higher to 97¢ higher in spot Dec).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher, (42¢ to $1.22 higher).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.28 lower Thursday afternoon at $241.06/cwt. Select was $1.69 lower at $215.84.

Steer carcasses weighed an average of 903 lbs. for week ending Nov. 2, which was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 4 lbs. heavier than the same time a year earlier, according to the most recent USDA Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Fed heifer carcasses weighed an average of at 835 lbs., on par with the previous week and year.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to 3¢ lower, but 1¢ higher in a couple of the front months.

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 15, 2019 2019-11-14T18:53:26-06:00

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 15, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Thursday continued steady with last week in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at mostly $115/cwt. on a live basis. Dressed sales were steady to $1 higher at $182.

Cattle futures strengthened on Thursday, regaining some of the losses from the previous session, with continued overall strength in beef demand.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher (32¢ higher to 97¢ higher in spot Dec).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher, (42¢ to $1.22 higher).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.28 lower Thursday afternoon at $241.06/cwt. Select was $1.69 lower at $215.84.

Steer carcasses weighed an average of 903 lbs. for week ending Nov. 2, which was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 4 lbs. heavier than the same time a year earlier, according to the most recent USDA Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Fed heifer carcasses weighed an average of at 835 lbs., on par with the previous week and year.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to 3¢ lower, but 1¢ higher in a couple of the front months.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed little changed Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1 point lower. The S&P 500 closed 2 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 3 points.

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So far, rather than swap alternative proteins for real meat, it appears consumers in the western world are adding alternatives to what they already eat, according to the annual global animal protein outlook from RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness (RRFA).

“Contrary to expectations, the growing interest in alternative proteins has added to total protein consumption; the substitution effect is not yet clear in the consumption data,” according to RRFA analysts. “At the same time, animal

protein consumption has been stable, or up slightly, in the E.U. and U.S. in recent years. This is despite double-digit growth in alternatives’ sales: 16% year-over-year growth for 2018 in the U.S. and a compound annual growth rate of 16% in the Netherlands since 2016.”

Rabobank expects alternative protein consumption to grow next year, along with meat and seafood consumption.

“We also expect more clarity as to whether alternatives are an addition to or a substitute for meat and seafood. Alternatives will need to improve their nutritional profile and eating quality, and address regulatory barriers such as terminology, in order to maintain current growth rates,” according to RRFA analysts.

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 15, 2019 2019-11-14T18:50:46-06:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 14, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the Southern Plains Wednesday with prices steady to $1 higher at $115/cwt. on a live basis.

There were 1,393 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction, and no takers. Two lots from the Southern Plains were passed at bids of $115.00 and $115.50/cwt.

Choice steers and heifers sold $1.50-$2.00 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA on Wednesday. There were 358 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,452 lbs. and bringing an average price of $117.68. Country trade in the region last week was at $114-$115.

Cattle futures stepped lower, though, with heavy volume and about even open interest. Rather than the beginning of a correction, one could argue retrenchment ahead of what looks to be a higher trending market.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.13 lower, ($2.25 to $4.30 lower). A day earlier, the CME Feeder Cattle Index reached the highest level since last December at $147.44. 

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.84 higher Wednesday afternoon at $242.34/cwt. Select was $1.30 higher at $217.53.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 14, 2019 2019-11-13T19:54:52-06:00

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 14, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the Southern Plains Wednesday with prices steady to $1 higher at $115/cwt. on a live basis.

There were 1,393 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction, and no takers. Two lots from the Southern Plains were passed at bids of $115.00 and $115.50/cwt.

Choice steers and heifers sold $1.50-$2.00 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA on Wednesday. There were 358 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,452 lbs. and bringing an average price of $117.68. Country trade in the region last week was at $114-$115.

Cattle futures stepped lower, though, with heavy volume and about even open interest. Rather than the beginning of a correction, one could argue retrenchment ahead of what looks to be a higher trending market.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.13 lower, ($2.25 to $4.30 lower). A day earlier, the CME Feeder Cattle Index reached the highest level since last December at $147.44. 

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.84 higher Wednesday afternoon at $242.34/cwt. Select was $1.30 higher at $217.53.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed on Wednesday, with support from positive news, including a stout pop in Disney shares, capped by another see-saw chapter of U.S.-China trade talks; reports that there was yet another snag.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 92 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 3 points.

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“Besides the impact of ASF (African Swine Fever), many trade disputes and issues are causing uncertainty for global animal protein, with the US-China trade war the most apparent, but not the only trade uncertainty,” says Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist, Animal Protein at RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness (RRFA). “In addition, the ongoing rise of alternative proteins also adds to the uncertainty, even though Rabobank has a less bullish view of alternatives than others do.”

RRFA released its annual global animal protein outlook Wednesday.

Rabobank projects protein growth in most regions next year, but analysts say production losses, due to ASF, particularly in China, will exceed combined production growth in all other regions.

For North America, Rabobank anticipates production growth from all species, led by pork and followed by poultry and then beef.

“We expect U.S. beef production to be up slightly, by less than 1% in 2020,” according to the report. “Non-fed slaughter could also be up a little, as a result of liquidation. We expect the calf crop to come down slightly, reflecting weather conditions at calving and in the spring. We expect carcass weights to return to trend, offsetting any reduction in numbers.

“With only a fractional increase in production and solid exports, U.S. fed cattle prices are expected to change little. We expect a spring high of $128-$130/cwt. and a summer low of $100-$105.”

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 14, 2019 2019-11-13T19:52:48-06:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 13, 2019

Cattle futures traded either side of steady on Tuesday, awaiting further direction from the cash market.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly marginally higher, from an average of 8¢ lower to an average of 11¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 17¢ lower to 22¢ higher.

Currently strong market fundamentals should grow more positive when Tyson reopens the Kansas plant that was shuttered by fire in August. During a Tuesday conference call to share the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal results, Noel White, Tyson CEO said the company expects to have the plant fully operational within 60 days, and potentially sooner.

Wholesale beef values were higher on Choice and sharply higher on Select with moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.91 higher Tuesday afternoon at $240.50/cwt.—the highest since June of 2017. Select was $2.54 higher at $216.23.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jly ’20 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 13, 2019 2019-11-12T19:24:27-06:00

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 13, 2019

Cattle futures traded either side of steady on Tuesday, awaiting further direction from the cash market.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly marginally higher, from an average of 8¢ lower to an average of 11¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 17¢ lower to 22¢ higher.

Currently strong market fundamentals should grow more positive when Tyson reopens the Kansas plant that was shuttered by fire in August. During a Tuesday conference call to share the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal results, Noel White, Tyson CEO said the company expects to have the plant fully operational within 60 days, and potentially sooner.

Wholesale beef values were higher on Choice and sharply higher on Select with moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.91 higher Tuesday afternoon at $240.50/cwt.—the highest since June of 2017. Select was $2.54 higher at $216.23.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jly ’20 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices mainly edged higher on Tuesday, supported once again by positive quarterly corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unchanged. The S&P 500 closed 4 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 21 points.

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Increased uncertainty and price pressure from the Tyson plant fire may have helped encourage some cow-calf producers to begin herd liquidation, says Elliott Dennis, livestock marketing economist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

To illustrate the market uncertainty leading into the fire, Dennis uses the example of a cow-calf producer in the Northern Plains, who calves in March or April and then sells weaned calves in October. At calving time, Dennis points out Feeder Cattle futures for Oct were around $157. After higher Corn futures rose in response to late and poor planting conditions, and applied price pressure to Feeder Cattle, he explains the October Feeder Cattle contract fluctuated between $132 and $145 in June, July and August, before sinking to $127, in the wake of the Tyson plant fire. By expiration, the contract was back up $145.

“How risk averse producers were likely determined price risk management used and ultimately gross revenue received for sold calves,” Dennis says, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. He adds that cow-calf producers could respond to the increased market volatility by selling cows and exiting the market or by retaining beef cows for breeding.

Although the number of beef cows bred and the number of heifers retained for breeding this year won’t be known until the Jan. 1 USDA Cattle report, Dennis says cow slaughter provides some indication of producer response.

Beef cow slaughter numbers this year tracked close to last year’s pace through much this year. However, Dennis says, USDA’s Cow Slaughter Under Federal Inspection reports suggest a large beef cow sell-off since the week of September 14. He adds that beef cow slaughter numbers are on an upward trend and show no sign of slowing down.

Besides the fire, Dennis explains cow slaughter likely increased, due to skyrocketing prices for 90% lean beef, tighter hay supplies borne by the wet spring and summer, and the slow recovery of cash prices.

“In the short term, this reduction in beef cows affects the number of calves born next year, and feeder cattle available to enter feedlots,” Dennis says. “In the long term, it could ultimately signal that the industry is beginning to enter a contraction phase of the cattle cycle.”

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 13, 2019 2019-11-12T19:21:59-06:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 12, 2019

Cattle futures firmed and gained on Monday, supported by currently positive fundamentals, including seasonal strength for wholesale beef values and cash fed cattle prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (57¢ to $1.25 higher).

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 53¢ lower Monday afternoon at $238.59/cwt. Select was 43¢ higher at $213.69.

Corn futures closed 4¢ lower through Jly ’20 and then mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ lower through Nov ’20 and then 5¢ to 9¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 12, 2019 2019-11-11T19:58:00-06:00

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 12, 2019

Cattle futures firmed and gained on Monday, supported by currently positive fundamentals, including seasonal strength for wholesale beef values and cash fed cattle prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (57¢ to $1.25 higher).

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 53¢ lower Monday afternoon at $238.59/cwt. Select was 43¢ higher at $213.69.

Corn futures closed 4¢ lower through Jly ’20 and then mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ lower through Nov ’20 and then 5¢ to 9¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed marginally mixed on Monday, amid mixed news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 10 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 11 points.

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“Prices for most weight classes of feeder cattle increased last week, suggesting that the last week of October may have been the seasonal low,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. “However, cold weather this week may dampen demand and could pressure prices a bit more as large fall run numbers will likely continue for another couple of weeks.”

In his weekly market comments, Peel explains price patterns are typical for the time of year in Oklahoma, with prices per hundredweight decreasing sharply from 400 to 600 lbs. and prices largely unchanged at weights from 600 to 800 lbs.

“The current price patterns suggest marketing considerations for both cow-calf sellers and stocker buyers. For example, the value of additional weight for retained weaned calves depends on the weaning weight of the animals and the amount of additional weight planned,” Peel explains. “At 450 lbs., the value of 50 lbs. of weight gain is only $34/head but the value of 50 additional lbs. for a steer weighing 550 lbs. at weaning is $46/head. However, under the current price pattern, the value per pound of additional weight is higher as more weight is added. Of course, prices at this point in time do not account for price changes over the time it takes to add additional weight. However, current price patterns provide information about potential value relative to additional costs to add weight.”

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 12, 2019 2019-11-11T19:55:13-06:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Nov. 8, 2019

Cash calf and feeder cattle prices mostly held their own or churned higher last week, as receipts increased and more farmer feeder were able to enter the market.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $4/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was with the second heaviest auction volume of the year at 360,400 head.

Other than $2.12 and 12¢ lower in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 36¢ higher week to week on Friday.

“Discounts continue to be applied to calves with short or no weaning programs, but they are not nearly as severe as what was being applied a month ago,” say AMS analysts. “Colder weather is helping to straighten calves out and making them a little less risky to own.”

As well, late harvest, weather, and truck availability continue to be issues in various parts of the country.

“Demand for lightweight calves in Montana was reduced by dry conditions on the West Coast,” explain AMS analysts. “Transportation issues in the Northern Plains tightened demand late in the week, due to limited truck availability. It’s farming time in the Northern Plains and farmers need those trucks hooked to their grain trailers. Farmer feeders are still working on corn harvest in the Northern Plains, which is going slow as corn is wet and must be dried. This is keeping some of these buyers out of the market on calves, as they simply don’t have the time to take on a bawling calf.” They add that propane rationing in the Upper Midwest and Eastern Corn Belt, could further delay harvest completion.

With all of that said, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments that value of gain is currently offering opportunity to add weight to calves.

“With the assumption of buying 425-575 lb. steers in November and carrying those calves for 150 days ,with an average daily gain of 2 lbs./day, the expected value of gain ranges from $1.42 to $1.54/lb., Griffith explains, in his weekly market comments. “There is no guarantee in the stated value of gain if no form of price risk management is used. Thus, to increase the probability of successfully reaching the stated value of gain, one would have to sell a futures contract or do something similar to successfully capture this value. There is a strong potential for profit in what the market is currently offering, but this profit potential will change as the market changes, which means producers can either speculate that the market will stay the same or go higher or they can hedge their bets and capture the value being offered today.”

Cash fed cattle prices grind higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week at $114-$115/cwt. in the Southern Plains, which was mainly $2 higher in Kansas and $2-$3 higher in the Texas Panhandle. In Nebraska, live trade was unevenly steady at $114-$116. Prices in the western Corn Belt were $1-$2 higher at $114-$115. Dressed trade was $1-$2 higher at $181-$182.

Other than 27¢ lower in spot Dec and unchanged in away Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher week to week on Friday.

“The finished cattle market is trading $14 higher than its fall low, on a live basis, which occurred eight weeks ago,” Griffith says. “Live cattle futures are pricing in further gains before the end of the year, which could mean a 20% price improvement from the fall lows. Beyond the end of the year, and pushing into the spring of 2020, Live Cattle futures are predicting finished cattle to reach $126/cwt. The current expectation for April is about $3 lower than the highest single week average in the spring of 2019, which may be disappointing to some. However, there is a good possibility of live cattle experiencing a single weekly average in 2020 that meets or exceeds $130.”

AMS analysts point out increasing boxed beef values and strong packer margins continue to support fed cattle prices, while providing incentive for packers to keep running plants hard.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.92 higher week to week on Friday at $239.12/cwt. Select was $5.75 higher at $213.26.

Beef Exports Remain Strong

U.S. beef exports in September were steady with last year in volume at 109,799 metric tons (mt), but value was 4% less at $661.3 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Through the first three quarters of the year, beef exports were 2% below last year’s record pace in both volume (991,325 mt) and value ($6.1 billion).

“While red meat exports face obstacles in some key markets, global demand dynamics are strong and we see opportunities for significant growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Progress is being made on market access improvements and this makes for a very positive outlook going forward.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Nov. 8

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

360,400

(+85,800)

49,600

(+600)

23,900

(+21,900)

433,900

(+108,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Nov. 7 Change
  $145.84 –   $0.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
600-700 lbs. $150.43 –  $1.42
700-800 lbs. $149.12 –  $0.97
800-900 lbs. $147.72 –  $2.35

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $152.47 + $3.06
600-700 lbs. $146.21 + $3.48
700-800 lbs. $145.95 + $1.49

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.41 + $5.46
500-600 lbs. $136.06 + $3.74
600-700 lbs. $131.11 + $1.73

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $239.12 + $5.92
Select $213.26 + $5.75
Ch-Se Spread $25.86 + $0.17

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 8 Change
Nov $147.000 –  $2.125
Jan ’20 $145.875 –  $0.125
Mar $145.500 + $0.375
Apr $146.825 + $0.425
May $147.350 + $0.175
Aug $151.850 + $0.150
Sep $152.225 + $0.275
Oct $152.075 + $0.750

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 8 Change
Dec $119.250 – $0.275
Feb ’20 $125.025 +$0.800
Apr $126.100 +$0.650
Jun $118.275 +$0.525
Aug $115.775 +$0.475
Oct $116.850 +$0.575
Dec $118.725 -0-
Feb ’21 $120.425 +$0.350
Apr $121.225 +$0.950

 

Corn futures Nov. 8 Change
Dec $3.772 – $0.120
Mar ’20 $3.864 – $0.120
May $3.934 – $0.110
Jul $3.996 – $0.104
Sep $3.962 – $0.062
Dec $4.010 – $0.046

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 8 Change
Dec $57.24 + $1.04
Jan ’20 $57.26 + $0.99
Feb $57.10 + $0.95
Mar $56.77 + $0.91
Apr $56.40 + $0.56
May $55.99 + $0.79

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27681.24 + 333.88
NASDAQ   8475.31 +    88.91
S&P 500   3093.08 +     26.17
Dollar (DXY)        98.40 +       1.28
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Nov. 8, 2019 2019-11-10T15:20:51-06:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 11, 2019

Cash fed cattle trade ended the week at $114-$115/cwt. in the Southern Plains, which was mainly $2 higher in Kansas and $2-$3 higher in the Texas Panhandle. In Nebraska, live trade was unevenly steady at $114-$116. Prices in the western Corn Belt were $1-$2 higher at $114-$115. Dressed trade was $1-$2 higher at $181-$182.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed to marginally higher with positive Live Cattle fundamentals tempered by the more price-positive outlook for corn prices (see World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates below).

Except for 20¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (27¢ lower to 22¢ higher).

Wholesale beef values were higher on Choice and steady on Select with moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 83¢ higher Friday afternoon at $239.12/cwt. Select was 24¢ higher at $213.26.

Corn futures closed 2¢ higher through Jly ’20 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ Lower. 

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 11, 2019 2019-11-10T14:59:34-06:00

This Is A Custom Widget

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This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.