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Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 2, 2020

Cash fed cattle trade took on a decidedly bearish tone Wednesday.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $17-$20 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,411 lbs. brought an average price of $100.45/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at mostly $120.

Cattle feeders offered 4,696 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. Just 832 head sold: 662 head at a weighted average price of $113/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days; 170 head at a weighted average of $112.06 for delivery at 1-17 days. Most of the sales were from the Sothern Plains where last week’s negotiated cash price was $118-$120.

Cattle future fell hard Wednesday, limit down across the board, except one Live Cattle contract. Pressure included the softer cash outlook and diving wholesale beef values, as well as lower outside markets. News that a significant number of workers at JBS facilities in Greeley, CO stayed home Tuesday, due to confirmed cases of COVID-19, also weighed.

Except for 85¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.50 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.98 lower Wednesday afternoon at $235.17/cwt. Select was $3.83 lower at $225.13. Over the last two days, Choice was down $15.80 and Select was $13.01 lower. Also, drop value sank to a new multi-year low of $7.92/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 23¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 2, 2020 2020-04-01T18:56:05-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 2, 2020

Cash fed cattle trade took on a decidedly bearish tone Wednesday.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $17-$20 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,411 lbs. brought an average price of $100.45/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at mostly $120.

Cattle feeders offered 4,696 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. Just 832 head sold: 662 head at a weighted average price of $113/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days; 170 head at a weighted average of $112.06 for delivery at 1-17 days. Most of the sales were from the Sothern Plains where last week’s negotiated cash price was $118-$120.

Cattle future fell hard Wednesday, limit down across the board, except one Live Cattle contract. Pressure included the softer cash outlook and diving wholesale beef values, as well as lower outside markets. News that a significant number of workers at JBS facilities in Greeley, CO stayed home Tuesday, due to confirmed cases of COVID-19, also weighed.

Except for 85¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.50 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.98 lower Wednesday afternoon at $235.17/cwt. Select was $3.83 lower at $225.13. Over the last two days, Choice was down $15.80 and Select was $13.01 lower. Also, drop value sank to a new multi-year low of $7.92/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 23¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices extended losses Wednesday, as investors grew more pessimistic about how quickly the U.S. can get back to business. Specific negative news included quantification of decreased U.S. manufacturing last month.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector was 1% less in March than the previous month, with the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM) Purchasing Managers Index® (PMI) at 49.1.

“The coronavirus pandemic and shocks in global energy markets have impacted all manufacturing sectors,” says Timothy Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Comments from the panel were negative regarding the near-term outlook, with sentiment clearly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and energy market volatility. The PMI returned to contraction territory, and with a negative trajectory.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 973 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 114 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 339 points.

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Tough markets for the leather industry will likely continue this year, according to the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA).

Part of the challenge has to do with plentiful supply, on the heels of U.S. cowherd expansion. Part has to do with trade issues before COVID-19. More important in the eyes of many U.S. hides and skins suppliers, though, is the global leather demand situation, and the rise of synthetic products as alternatives to leather.

Plastic synthetic alternatives that look like leather have taken significant market share away from leather in consumer product areas such as footwear and automobile upholstery, according to the LHCA. In fact, organization representatives say the situation is so dire that some lower-quality hides and skins are being composted and destroyed rather than processed into leather, a trend that will continue this year.

Based on USDA data, the United States exported more than $1.17 billion worth of cattle hides, pig skins and semi-processed leather products last year. That was $450 million less than the previous year.      

China was the largest buyer of salted cattle hides, with imports valued at more than $400 million last year, according to the LHCA. Italy was the single largest destination for wet blue cattle hides, with imports valued at more than $122 million. Other large export markets included South Korea, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

On a positive note, U.S. hide exports continue to move overseas, despite COVID-19, although that could change if ports are forced to shut down, or if container availability challenges and congestion issues accelerate.

“It is difficult to predict the exact economic impact of the virus, but it is likely to be significant, considering labor shortages recorded at ports and in manufacturing facilities abroad, compounded by an observed decline in retail traffic both globally and in the U.S.,” according to the LCHA.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 2, 2020 2020-04-01T18:53:36-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 1, 2020

Cattle futures started weak and finished stronger Tuesday. Fundamental reasons were hard to come by, especially given the sharp decrease in wholesale beef values. Potential support could have stemmed from the rally in Lean Hogs (after the front two contracts) and pressure on Corn.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.34 higher (from 87¢ higher at the back to $3.00 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher ($1.55 to $2.20 higher).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.82 lower Tuesday afternoon at $243.15/cwt. Select was $9.18 lower at $228.96.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower through Mar ‘21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher. Pressure included Tuesday’s USDA reports.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 1, 2020 2020-03-31T19:04:01-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 1, 2020

Cattle futures started weak and finished stronger Tuesday. Fundamental reasons were hard to come by, especially given the sharp decrease in wholesale beef values. Potential support could have stemmed from the rally in Lean Hogs (after the front two contracts) and pressure on Corn.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.34 higher (from 87¢ higher at the back to $3.00 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher ($1.55 to $2.20 higher).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.82 lower Tuesday afternoon at $243.15/cwt. Select was $9.18 lower at $228.96.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower through Mar ‘21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher. Pressure included Tuesday’s USDA reports (see below).

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday, with continued pressure in the energy market, overall uncertainty related to COVID-19 and month-end and quarter-end book balancing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 410 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 42 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 74 points.

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Corn and soybean stocks were less than anticipated, but expected planting intentions were higher, especially for corn, according to the Grain Stockand Prospective Plantings reports issued by USDA on Tuesday. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) noted that Mar. 1 on-farm stock estimates included 2019 production from acres that were still standing and expected to be harvested when the survey was conducted in early March.

Corn

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2020 is estimated at 97.0 million acres, which would be 8% more or 7.29 million acres more than last year. If realized, this will be the highest planted acreage since 2012, according to NASS. Acreage increases from last year of 800,000 or more are expected in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and South Dakota.

Corn stocks in all positions Mar. 1 totaled 7.95 billion bu., down 8% from the same time a year earlier. Of the total stocks, 4.45 billion bu. were stored on farms, down 13% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks of 3.50 billion bu. are up slightly from a year ago.

Soybeans

Soybean planted area for 2020 is estimated at 83.5 million acres, up 10% from last year. Increases of 250,000 acres or more are anticipated in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota.

Soybeans stored in all positions Mar. 1 totaled 2.25 billion bu., down 17% from the previous year. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 1.01 billion bu., down 20% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks of 1.24 billion bu. are down 15%.

Wheat

All wheat planted area for 2020 is estimated at 44.7 million acres, down 1% from last year. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area since records began in 1919. The 2020 winter wheat planted area of 30.8 million acres is 1% less than last year and down slightly from the previous estimate. This represents the second lowest planted acreage on record for the United States.

All wheat stored in all positions Mar. 1 totaled 1.41 billion bu., down 11% from a year earlier. On-farm stocks are estimated at 339 million bu., down 8% from last March. Off-farm stocks of 1.07 billion bu. are down 12% from a year ago.

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“A lot more market volatility is likely to come as the effects of COVID-19 ripple through our economy,” says David Anderson, Extension livestock economist at Texas A&M University, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “While we come to grips with all the demand implications it’s worth recognizing that it is occurring in the time of cyclically peak beef supplies.”

With two days left in the first quarter, Anderson explained, year over year: fed steer and heifer slaughter was up 5.4%; cow and bull slaughter was 4.5% higher; average steer dressed weights were 22.5 lbs. heavier; average heifer dressed weights were 13.7 lbs. heavier; cow weights were up 2.6 lbs. 

At the time, Anderson says increased slaughter numbers and heavier weights resulted in 6.7% more first-quarter beef production.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 1, 2020 2020-03-31T19:01:32-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 31, 2020

Cattle futures showed signs of support early but ended mostly lower on Monday.

After $1.75 lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed , from 52¢ lower to 17¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $2.27 lower at the back).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.87 lower Monday afternoon at $250.97/cwt. Select was $4.24 lower at $238.14.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

After fractionally higher to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower.

The USDA Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports are scheduled to be released Tuesday morning.

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 31, 2020 2020-03-30T19:50:17-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Mar. 31, 2020

Cattle futures showed signs of support early but ended mostly lower on Monday.

After $1.75 lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed , from 52¢ lower to 17¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $2.27 lower at the back).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.87 lower Monday afternoon at $250.97/cwt. Select was $4.24 lower at $238.14.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

After fractionally higher to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower.

The USDA Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports are scheduled to be released Tuesday morning.

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The equities whipsaw continued Monday, to the upside this time, with major U.S. financial indices gaining back most of what was lost in the previous session.

Support included an announcement from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that the company selected a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate from constructs it has been working on since January. The company expects to initiate human clinical studies of its lead vaccine candidate by September 2020 at the latest. According to a statement, J&J anticipates the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021, a substantially accelerated timeframe in comparison to the typical vaccine development process.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 690 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 85 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 271 points.

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In his weekly market comments, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, provides some perspective on recent extreme market volatility, as well as underscoring the distinct dynamics of various cattle and beef markets.

Peel points out the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped from more than 29,000 points in the third week of February to less than 19,000 a month later. During the same time, he says the Jun Live Cattle contract fell from about $112/cwt. to $86, reflecting ongoing concern about weakening U.S. and global macroeconomic conditions resulting from COVID-19, as well the risk of labor disruptions at packing plants.

Also from mid-February to mid-March, Peel explains, “Cash fed cattle prices declined from nearly $120/cwt. to a low around $106 on broader concerns reflected in the Live futures as well as the supply pressure of increased beef production.” He adds that year-to-date beef production is up 6.3% through mid-March, but cash fed cattle prices increased the last couple of weeks, due to the sharp demand increase for retail beef.

Similarly, macroeconomic uncertainty pressured Feeder Cattle futures from more than $143 in mid-February to about $109 a month later.

“Cash feeder cattle prices followed futures with the Oklahoma combined auction prices for 500-550 lb. No. 1 steer prices dropping from about $184/cwt. in the third week of February to a low near $152 one month later,” Peel says. “Prices for 750-800 lb. No. 1 steers declined from about $139/cwt. to $117 over the same period…The squeeze on available feeder supplies pushed feeder prices sharply higher last week by 10-12% over the previous week. Ripple effects will likely impact feeder cattle markets in the coming weeks.”

At the same time, as of Monday, the Choice boxed beef cutout value was 11% higher than the same time a year earlier and Select was about 9% higher.

“The different patterns of boxed beef, fed and feeder cattle prices in the past six weeks illustrates vividly the fact that these markets operate with very distinct dynamics,” Peel says, explaining “These dynamics have become very apparent as the distinction between the current market situation and expectations for future supply and demand conditions has widened.”

Cattle Current Daily—Mar. 31, 2020 2020-03-30T19:48:24-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 30, 2020

Cattle futures, fell hard again Friday as traders continue to exit contracts and beef demand uncertainty grows.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.52 lower ($2.55 to limit-down $4.50 in spot April).

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ lower Friday afternoon at $252.84/cwt. Select was 21¢ higher at $242.38.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

After unchanged to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 30, 2020 2020-03-29T17:50:17-05:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Mar. 27, 2020

Oversold conditions and atypically high wholesale beef prices, tied to the shift in more consumers eating at home, helped lift Cattle futures and negotiated cash fed cattle prices last week. In turn, cash calf and feeder cattle prices found some traction.

Steers and heifers sold $8-$15/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural marketing Service (AMS). Auction receipts continued sparser than normal, stalled by understandable producer caution.

“Much of this stronger undertone is likely associated with the strong week that feeder cattle futures experienced and the strong week for live cattle sales,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.12 higher week to week on Friday, not counting recently minted away Mar (65¢ higher at the back to $3.30 higher).

Except for 10¢ and 30¢ lower in two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 54¢ higher week to week on Friday, from 12¢ higher to $2.30 higher in spot Apr.

Extreme volatility continued, though, with limit-up and expanded limit-up moves early in the week and then limit-down and near-limit down moves toward the end of the week.

“Despite the stronger prices, the volatility in the futures market will keep many cattle producers on the sidelines as it should,” Griffith says. “…Market volatility is not a big issue for producers who do not have anything that needs to be marketed immediately, because they are only experiencing a loss in value of a commodity. Alternatively, those who must market cattle in the near term may actually experience that loss in value. As an example, a person with a load of feeder cattle two weeks ago may have been offered $10-$15/cwt. less for those animals than they may have been offered this week. That equates to a $5,000 to $7,500 difference in value over a two-week period on a 50,000 lb. load. The situation cattle producers are traversing right now is the exact reason price risk management should be included in a producer’s business plan.”

Fed Cattle Prices Climb

Wholesale beef values continued extraordinarily high last week, relative to supplies and seasonal expectations.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 91¢ lower week to week on Friday at $252.84/cwt. Select was $2.21 higher at $242.38.

Wholesale price strength helped boost fed cattle prices. Week to week through Thursday, the five-area direct fed steer price was $9.64/cwt. higher on a live basis at $119.44. It was $16.20 higher in the beef at $189.31.

Regionally, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mostly $8-$10 higher on a live basis at $118-$120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $119-120 up north. Dressed sales were $15-$20 higher at $190.

“Slaughter cow prices skyrocketed early in the  week at auctions nationwide,” say AMS analysts. “Demand for boneless lean ground beef continued to move higher as cow plants needed product to move through the marketing chain to fill ground beef orders place by retailers. With most restaurants nationwide either closed or only filling carry out orders, grocery stores have had trouble finding enough protein products to fully stock their cases.”  

Earlier in the week, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, explained in his weekly market comments, “Disruptions in normal activities due to COVID-19 have produced a surge in at-home food demand. Recent reports indicate a 77% year-over-year increase in grocery meat sales in mid-March. The spike in grocery demand overwhelmed the retail meat supply chain, resulting in temporary shortages of meat in many grocery stores. The shortages are due to the tremendous logistical challenges of shifting meat supplies from food service channels to retail grocery channels.”

Peel emphasized for consumers that there is no shortage of beef or other meats. Beef, pork and poultry production was record large in the first quarter and is projected to be record large this year at 109.3 billion lbs., 4.3% more than last year.

“Beef production is projected to be 1.9% higher year over year in 2020, totaling 27.7 billion lbs.,” according to Peel. “Increased beef production is concentrated in the first half of the year. Total steer and heifer slaughter is up 3.9% year over year for the year to date. Steer carcass weights for the year to date are up over 21 lbs. year over year with heifer carcass weights up over 12 lbs. First-quarter beef production is estimated to increase 6.6% over last year.”

Uncertain domestic demand in tandem with increasing beef supplies helped pressure Live Cattle futures at the end of the week.

As Brenda Boetel, livestock economist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls explained in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets, “There is no evidence that consumers are eating more beef currently, and as such the demand will likely decrease significantly once the supply system catches up with the rush demand of the last few weeks.”

 

Friday to Friday Change

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Mar. 27 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

87,200

(+28,200)

22,000

(+11,800)

4,200

(-12,300)

113,400

(+27,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Mar. 26 Change
  $130.44 + $9.06

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 27 Change
600-700 lbs. $155.66 + $9.05
700-800 lbs. $143.18 + $10.05
800-900 lbs. $133.05 + $7.41

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 27 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.30 + $15.04
600-700 lbs. $145.80 + $11.26
700-800 lbs. $137.04 + $16.31

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 27 Change
400-500 lbs. $158.22 + $14.08
500-600 lbs. $144.15 + $10.65
600-700 lbs. $132.37 + $10.14

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 27 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $252.84 –  $0.91
Select $242.38 + $2.21
Ch-Se Spread $10.46 –  $3.12

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 27 Change
Apr $120.600 + $1.775
May $120.925 + $2.675
Aug $127.100 + $3.300
Sep $127.575 + $2.700
Oct $128.525 + $2.450
Nov $128.800 + $1.300
Jan ’21 $128.250 + $0.650
Mar $127.700 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 27 Change
Apr $100.950 + $2.300
Jun $89.425 –  $0.100
Aug $90.450 –  $0.300
Oct $94.325 + $0.325
Dec $98.325 + $0.125
Feb ’21 $102.625 + $0.225
Apr $104.500 + $0.125
Jun $98.425 + $0.300
Aug $97.000 + $0.350

 

Corn  Mar. 27 Change
May $3.460 – $0.024
Jul $3.516 – $0.022
Sep $3.560 – $0.014
Dec $3.642 – $0.010
Mar ’21 $3.740 – $0.008
May $3.784 – $0.010

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 27 Change
May $21.51 –  $1.12
Jun $25.15 + $0.79
Jly $28.13 + $2.20
Aug $30.05 + $2.95
Sep $31.30 + $3.28
Oct $32.14 + $3.34

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 27 Change
Dow Industrial Average  21636.78 +2463.30
NASDAQ    7502.38 +  622.86
S&P 500    2541.47 +  236.55
Dollar (DXY)      98.31 –        4.51
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Mar. 27, 2020 2020-03-29T17:47:57-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Mar. 30, 2020

Cattle futures, fell hard again Friday as traders continue to exit contracts and beef demand uncertainty grows.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.52 lower ($2.55 to limit-down $4.50 in spot April).

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ lower Friday afternoon at $252.84/cwt. Select was 21¢ higher at $242.38.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

After unchanged to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply lower Friday, as investors seemed to focus more on COVID-19 and its ultimate impact than the massive stimulus bill passed by Congress.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 915 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 88 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 295 points.

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“As tough as today is for cattle producers, the longer the coronavirus lasts, the more damage will be done. In response to the unprecedented and devastating impact of this pandemic on our industry, Congress enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides USDA’s Office of the Secretary with an additional $9.5 billion ‘to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus’,” according to a letter sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday, from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and 46 state affiliates.

The letter encourages Perdue to consider several principles as USDA develops vehicles to deliver this assistance to cattle producers. Among them:

  • “As the largest segment of the U.S. agriculture industry, U.S. cattle production accounts for $67 billion (18%) of the $371 billion in total cash receipts from agricultural commodities in 2018. We are present in all fifty states on 729,000 farm operations that are the lifeblood of our rural economies. While coronavirus has undoubtedly impacted all segments of American agriculture, the impact of this crisis is uniquely acute for cattle producers who are not eligible for traditional safety net programs offered by USDA and the Small Business Administration.
  • “While there are multiple preliminary economic assessments relative to the impact of coronavirus on cattle markets, we believe that no single entity is better equipped than USDA to lead this effort. We encourage USDA to implement this effort by utilizing its unique expertise and available resources, while also working directly with the academic community and livestock industry experts to determine the full extent of need and most equitable measures of response.
  • “Marketing cattle in the United States is, by nature, highly volatile and complex with multiple links in the cattle supply chain. Cow-calf producers, seedstock producers, stockers and backgrounding operations, and cattle feeders have all been impacted by this pandemic. We believe assistance must be delivered equitably across all producer segments of the cattle supply chain based on need. Further, business size and structure are not reliable determinants of financial need or viability during this unprecedented occurrence and should not be a prohibiting factor for eligibility.
  • “We firmly believe that economic assistance for cattle producers should not only prioritize financial loss due to COVID-19, but also be market-oriented, not disrupt or mask market signals, and not be a permanent subsidy program.
Cattle Current Daily—Mar. 30, 2020 2020-03-29T17:23:45-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 27, 2020

Cattle futures, continued to lose ground Thursday amid light demand, continued declines in open interest and concerns about beef demand relative to growing supplies.

For the week ending Mar. 14, the average dressed steer weight was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 901 lbs., but 36 lbs. heavier than the a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 835 lbs. was 5 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 30 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.56 lower ($1.92 lower at the back to $3.00 in spot April).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.45 lower ($1.27 lower in expiring Mar to $4.50 lower at the back of the board).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.73 lower Thursday afternoon at $253.57/cwt. Select was 92¢ lower at $242.17.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

After mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher through Jan ‘21, Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 27, 2020 2020-03-26T20:56:22-05:00

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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.