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Cattle Current Podcast-Feb. 15, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. A few live trades were reported in the western Corn Belt at $124/cwt., but too few to trend.

Cattle futures leaked mostly slightly higher, apparently tied to expectations of further cash support for fed cattle. Lower grain prices also provided support to Feeder Cattle.

Except for 5¢ and 17¢ lower in Dec and away Feb, respectively, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ higher. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher (5¢ to 60¢ higher).

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ lower through Jul ‘20, and then 8¢ to 9¢ lower, amid chatter about fewer year-over-year exports to China and early expectations for the next domestic crop weighing on stocks. 

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.Choice boxed beef cutout value was 37¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $216.07/cwt. Select was $1.60 lower at $210.41. 

Cattle Current Podcast-Feb. 15, 2019 2019-02-14T20:26:39+00:00

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 15, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. A few live trades were reported in the western Corn Belt at $124/cwt., but too few to trend.

Cattle futures leaked mostly slightly higher, apparently tied to expectations of further cash support for fed cattle. Lower grain prices also provided support to Feeder Cattle.

Except for 5¢ and 17¢ lower in Dec and away Feb, respectively, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ higher. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher (5¢ to 60¢ higher).

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ lower through Jul ‘20, and then 8¢ to 9¢ lower, amid chatter about fewer year-over-year exports to China and early expectations for the next domestic crop weighing on stocks. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 37¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $216.07/cwt. Select was $1.60 lower at $210.41. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Thursday. Pressure included a month-to-month decline in retail sales of 1.2% in December, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 103 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 6 points.

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Despite expectations of falling land values over the past few surveys, quality farmland values rose 3.4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the latest Agricultural Finance Monitor published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Ranchland or pastureland values increased by 6.5% in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.5% in the third quarter. Cash rents for quality farmland rose 2.9% in the fourth quarter, following a 2% gain in the third quarter. Cash rents for ranchland or pastureland rose by 1.3%, after increasing by 0.8% in the third quarter.

At the same time, lenders continue to report declines in farm income relative to a year earlier. The current index value marks the 20th consecutive quarter with a value below 100. Results above 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report higher income compared with the same quarter a year ago, while results lower than 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report lower income from a year earlier.

The fourth-quarter index value for farm income was 41. Expectations for farm income in the first quarter of 2019 were slightly more optimistic with an index value of 48. 

The survey was conducted from Dec. 15-31 last year. The results are based on responses from 22 agricultural banks within the boundaries of the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all or parts of: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 15, 2019 2019-02-14T20:25:20+00:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 14, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, but packer interest seemed to pick up, at least on a token basis. Although too few transactions to trend, a few western Corn Belt trades were reported at $123-$124/cwt. on a live basis and at $199-$200 in the beef.

There were 785 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. There were no sales, but three lots passed out at $125/cwt.

Cattle futures closed lower, amid likely overall position squaring and beneath the umbrella of uncertainty regarding if and when a trade deal will be completed with China. Aside from light trade, recently firmer grain prices added drag to Feeder Cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower. 

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower, following the previous session’s strong gains. 

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.Choice boxed beef cutout value was 72¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $216.44/cwt. Select was 99¢ lower at $212.01. 

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 14, 2019 2019-02-13T21:17:11+00:00

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 14, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, but packer interest seemed to pick up, at least on a token basis. Although too few transactions to trend, a few western Corn Belt trades were reported at $123-$124/cwt. on a live basis and at $199-$200 in the beef.

There were 785 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. There were no sales, but three lots passed out at $125/cwt.

Cattle futures closed lower, amid likely overall position squaring and beneath the umbrella of uncertainty regarding if and when a trade deal will be completed with China. Aside from light trade, recently firmer grain prices added drag to Feeder Cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower. 

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower, following the previous session’s strong gains. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 72¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $216.44/cwt. Select was 99¢ lower at $212.01. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Wednesday, with optimism over a tentative plan that would avoid another government shutdown, as well as reports that the U.S. may be flexible in its Mar. 1 deadline with China as the two nations toward a trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 117 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 8 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 5 points.

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Aggressive herd expansion for the past five years—and expectations of continued minimal expansion for another year or two—will continue to provide cyclical price risk, explained Kevin Good, CattleFax analyst, at that organization’s recent Outlook Seminar.

Along the way, Good noted that growing supplies of cattle will shift leverage to the feeding sector from cow-calf producers and stocker operators.

“Cattle producers, on average, will receive a smaller percentage of the retail beef dollar as larger cattle supplies increase price pressure across all segments of the industry,” Good said. “Retail beef prices will likely see some inflation in 2019, but larger beef, pork and poultry production will be price limiting.”

CattleFax projects the all-fresh retail beef price to average $5.73/lb. this year, up 6¢ from last year, with the composite carcass cutout value increasing $4 to average $216/cwt.

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 14, 2019 2019-02-13T21:17:32+00:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 13, 2019

There was no cash fed cattle trade to speak of through Tuesday afternoon, as expected.

Cattle futures closed mainly narrowly mixed, amid likely profit taking and position squaring, buoyed by sharply higher outside markets.

After $1.00 lower in spot Feb, Live Cattle futures an average of 19¢ lower to an average of 11¢ higher. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed from 27¢ lower to 30¢ higher. 

Grain futures closed mainly higher on speculation that the U.S. and China will reach a resolution on trade sooner rather than later.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through Jul ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 12¢ higher. 

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.Choice boxed beef cutout value was 28¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $217.16/cwt. Select was 86¢ lower at $213.00. 

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 13, 2019 2019-02-12T19:30:17+00:00

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 13, 2019

There was no cash fed cattle trade to speak of through Tuesday afternoon, as expected.

Cattle futures closed mainly narrowly mixed, amid likely profit taking and position squaring, buoyed by sharply higher outside markets.

After $1.00 lower in spot Feb, Live Cattle futures an average of 19¢ lower to an average of 11¢ higher. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed from 27¢ lower to 30¢ higher. 

Grain futures closed mainly higher on speculation that the U.S. and China will reach a resolution on trade sooner rather than later.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through Jul ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 12¢ higher. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 28¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $217.16/cwt. Select was 86¢ lower at $213.00. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply higher Tuesday, with investors cheering a tentative plan that would avoid another government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 372 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 34 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 106 points.

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Hay stocks Dec. 1 were 5.4 million tons less than the previous year (-6.4%) according to USDA’s February Crop Production report issued last week. The decline is accentuated in areas like the Southern Plains, where stocks are down a combined 16.0% in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, according to Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

Since then, Peel says there’s little doubt winter storms chewed further into stocks.

“Around Oklahoma, anecdotal reports suggest that some producers are concerned about having adequate hay supplies for the winter and are finding, in many cases, that hay is in tight hands and, if available to purchase at all, is increasingly expensive,” Peel explains, in his most recent market comments. 

If Art Douglas, professor emeritus at Creighton University is correct, El Niño conditions should provide above-normal precipitation to these areas through the summer.

“La Niña conditions are unlikely in the next eight months as the equatorial current shows only slow cooling,” Douglas explained during the recent 2019 CattleFax Outlook Seminar. “The residual warmth along the equator will lead to a wetter summer in the southern half of the U.S., while warm waters off the coast of Mexico will favor an active monsoon season in the Southwest.”

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 13, 2019 2019-02-12T19:28:29+00:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 12, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up last week $1 higher on a live basis at $125/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $1.00-$1.50 higher in the north at $124.50-$126.00. Dressed sales were up to $3 higher at $200. 

Cattle futures trickled higher Monday, after narrow mixed trade early, supported by last week’s cash trade and stronger wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed 42¢ higher. 

Except for 50¢ lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher. 

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.53 higher Monday afternoon at $216.88/cwt. Select was $2.69 higher at $213.86. 

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 12, 2019 2019-02-12T10:58:08+00:00

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 12, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up last week $1 higher on a live basis at $125/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $1.00-$1.50 higher in the north at $124.50-$126.00. Dressed sales were up to $3 higher at $200. 

Cattle futures trickled higher Monday, after narrow mixed trade early, supported by last week’s cash trade and stronger wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed 42¢ higher. 

Except for 50¢ lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher. 

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.53 higher Monday afternoon at $216.88/cwt. Select was $2.69 higher at $213.86. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed again on Monday, with lingering worries about the lack of resolution to trade issues between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 53 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point higher. The NASDAQ was up 9 points.

Indices are sharply higher in early trade today on signs the government may have a plan in place to avoid another shutdown.

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“The wet winter weather in entre cattle feeding region, from the upper Midwest and all the way south through the Southern Plains will hold weights down and likely create some variability in finishing times,” says Stephen Koontz, agricultural economist at Colorado State University, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “Regardless, beef and slaughter prices are holding strong through this first two-month window into the year.”

On the other side of the fence, Koontz points out steer calves (500-600 lbs.) are trading $5-$15/cwt. lower than a year earlier while feeder weights (700-800 lbs.) are selling for about $10 less.

“The current feeder cattle cash and futures prices and the deferred Live Cattle futures prices suggest strong concerns about the coming summer,” Koontz says. “We are starting the year expecting big supplies of beef through the summer and it will take surprise good news for optimism. The solid domestic demand and demand due to international trade in protein is, for me, much less of a given this year.” 

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 12, 2019 2019-02-12T10:56:10+00:00

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

Calves and feeder cattle traded mixed last week with heavier receipts and a firmer tone across much of the key trade areas.

Steers and heifers sold from steady to $2/cwt. lower in the North Central part of the country. Prices were to steady to $4 higher in the Southeast and South Central areas, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Some auctions in the southern areas reported spots up to as much as $10

higher on what would be considered cattle suitable for grazing. Demand for those kind is expected to be good in anticipation of grass,” say AMS analysts. “Most grazing areas are not showing any signs of drought stress currently.”

However, there appears to be less wheat pasture than originally anticipated.

Winter wheat planted area for harvest in 2019 is estimated at 31.3 million acres, down 4% from last year and down 4% from 2017, according to the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings report.

“This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record,” say analysts with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). “Seedings, which began in early September, fell behind the 5-year average seeding pace in early October and remained behind the 5-year average seeding pace for the duration of the planting season. Seeding was mostly complete by November 11.”

Year to year, winter wheat area seeded is 6% less in Kansas, 5% less in Oklahoma but on par in Texas.

“Despite the optimism in the cash market, there continues to be some trepidation in the futures market,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The market has been moving sideways for three straight months and there is no sign of it breaking out in either direction. Moving from March through August, the seasonal expectation is priced in the market with August feeder cattle futures trading $7 higher than the March contract. This does provide a little solace, but it does not provide many opportunities for price risk management.”

Week to week on Friday Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.74 higher (62¢ to $2.30 higher).

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up last week $1 higher on a live basis at $125/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $1.00-$1.50 higher in the north at $124.50-$126.00. Dressed sales were up to $3 higher at $200.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (95¢ to $1.95 higher).

“Live cattle futures would suggest prices will continue to move sideways into April, but untethered optimism holds the hope that prices will increase a few more dollars heading towards grilling season,” Griffith says.

In the meantime, the recent reopening of USDA’s data spigot offers some indication of how much winter weather is impacting carcass weights.

Dressed steers weights for the week ending Jan. 5 were 6 lbs. lighter year over year at 896 lbs., according to the Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Dressed heifer weights were 8 lbs. lighter at 892 lbs. A week earlier, year over year, dressed steer weights were 9 lbs. lighter and dressed heifer weights were 13 lbs. lighter.

Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service project fed steer prices for at $122-$126/cwt. for the first quarter, $119-$127 in the second, $109-$119 in the third and at $108-$118 in the fourth. That’s from the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Wholesale beef values were mixed. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher at $215.35/cwt. Select was $1.98 lower at $211.17.

Total beef production for last year was revised down 75 million lbs. from the December estimate to 26.86 billion lbs., according to WASDE. That’s just shy of the historic record, but still 677 million lbs. more than the previous year (+2.6%).

Likewise, estimated beef production for this year was revised down by 175 million lbs. to a record-large 27.61 billion lbs.

“Preliminary Yearly Federally Inspected Slaughter cattle numbers for 2018 showed a 2.6% increase over 2017 and a 7.2% larger harvest over the previous five-year average,” say AMS analysts. “Total cow slaughter in 2018 was 7.0% over year ago and 10.4% over the previous five-year average. Beef cow slaughter showed the way with an 8.6% larger number than a year ago and 14.1% larger than the previous five-year average.”

“Prices of calves, feeder cattle, and slaughter cows are in no way considered strong by those who are selling, but the prices are showing improvement which brings optimism,” Griffith says. “The most favorable aspect of the market may be that seasonal price trends continue to work their way into the market, which can aid producers in decision making because they can use seasonal expectations for purchasing and selling. This is important because seasonal trends for many classes of cattle were shot out of the air during the marketing years 2014 through 2016.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 8

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

259,700

(+49,000)

56,100

(+2,200)

22,300

(+18,800)

338,100

(+13,700)

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 7 Change
$141.69  –  $0.17

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8  Change
600-700 lbs. $159.44 –    1.84
700-800 lbs. $147.62 –    1.66
800-900 lbs. $142.40 +   0.10

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $166.92 +   3.19
600-700 lbs. $151.52 +   3.02
700-800 lbs. $142.22 +   1.04

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $160.36 +   0.82
500-600 lbs. $148.72 –    0.80
600-700 lbs. $138.60 +   0.19

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $215.35 +  $1.09
Select $211.17 –   $1.98  
Ch-Se Spread $4.18 +  $3.07

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 8 Change
Mar $144.100 +   $1.575
Apr $145.900 +   $1.900
May $146.900 +   $2.300
Aug $150.900 +   $2.200
Sep $151.125 +   $2.025
Oct $150.950 +   $1.775
Nov $150.500 +   $1.500
Jan ’20 $147.600 +   $0.625
Live Cattle   Feb. 8 Change
Feb ’19 $127.375 +   $1.925
Apr $127.925 +   $1.650
Jun $118.100 +   $1.950
Aug $114.575 +   $1.575
Oct $116.025 +   $1.350
Dec $118.225 +   $1.350
Feb ’20 $119.400 +   $1.125
Apr $119.700 +   $1.450
Jun $112.350 +   $0.950
Corn futures Feb. 8 Change
Mar ’19 $3.742 –  $0.040
May $3.822 –  $0.048
Jul $3.900 –  $0.046
Sep $3.934 –  $0.040
Dec $3.992 –  $0.030
Mar ’20 $4.086 –  $0.026
Oil CME-WTI Feb. 8 Change
Mar $52.72 –   $2.54
Apr $53.09 –   $2.46
May $53.55 –   $2.33
Jun $54.02 –   $2.19
Jul $54.45 –   $2.05
Aug $54.81 –   $1.90

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25106.33 +  42.44
NASDAQ     7298.20 +    34.33
S&P 500     2707.88 +       1.35
Dollar (DXY)          96.64 +       1.07

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 8, 2019 2019-02-12T11:23:00+00:00

Cattle CurrentPodcast—Feb. 11, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports, which cited a few trades in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $124-$125/cwt. on a live basis. The Agricultural Marketing Service reported dressed sales $2 higher in Nebraska at $200. Chatter increased that trade was headed higher by the end of the day.

Expectations of steady to higher cash and firm fundamentals helped lift Cattle futures Friday. Those fundamentals include winter-depressed cattle weights.

Dressed steers weights for the week ending Jan. 5 were 6 lbs. lighter year over year at 896 lbs., according to the Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report from USDA. Dressed heifer weights were 8 lbs. lighter at 892 lbs. A week earlier, year over year, dressed steer weights were 9 lbs. lighter and dressed heifer weights were 13 lbs. lighter.

As well, the slug of USDA reports released Friday—offering the year’s first grain supply and usage estimates—proved to be market neutral.

Live Cattle futures closed 61¢ higher (10¢ to $1.10 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ higher (50¢ to $1.02 higher).  

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher. 

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.36 lower Friday afternoon at $215.35/cwt. Select was 36¢ lower at $211.17. 

Cattle CurrentPodcast—Feb. 11, 2019 2019-02-09T12:54:51+00:00

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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.

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.