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Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 14, 2019

Despite futures pressure stemming from higher grain prices, cash feeder cattle mostly gained, perhaps with increased demand as more feedlots get cleaned up.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Demand was reported as moderate to good across the Northern and Southern Plains as buyers were willing to put cattle back in pens even with the uptick in corn prices,” note AMS analysts. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.90 lower week to week on Friday ($1.55 to $2.45 lower). Over the same period, Corn futures closed an average of 34¢ higher through the front three contracts, as weather challenges both planted acres and yield.

“Steer and heifer calf prices are now expected to fall by about 3% in 2019 relative to last year, equivalent to taking between $4-$7/cwt. out of 500-600 lb. calf prices in the Southern Plains,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. They peg the season-average corn price at $4.50/bu.

In his weekly market comments, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee points out Dec Corn futures are up a staggering 80¢ since the middle of May.

“The market is already pricing corn in such a way to ration its use over the next 12-15 months,” Griffith explains. “Understanding that fewer acres of corn have been planted this year and yields are expected to be negatively impacted by later planting, fewer bushels of corn will pressure cattle markets the next 12 months as corn prices remain elevated.”

At the same time, Griffith points out the excessive moisture challenging row crops is fueling forage growth.

“…feedlots will be looking for heavier cattle to place in the feedlot which means there will be incentive to add weight to cattle the next several months,” Griffith says.

Fed Cattle Soften in Sluggish Trade

Neither cattle feeders nor packers seemed possessed to swap cattle.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week appeared steady to either side of even in two regions through Friday afternoon. The only established prices reported by USDA during the week were for the western Corn Belt: mainly steady on a live basis at $114-$115/cwt. and steady to $2 higher in the beef at $184-$186. There were prices reported in other regions at mostly $1-$2 lower than the previous week but too few to trend. On Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $112, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Both carcass weights and grading percentages continue to suggest that feedlot marketing is current, with no backlog building in the wings.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed week to week on Friday: an average of $1.08 higher through the front four contracts (52¢ to $1.85 higher) and then an average of 40¢ lower, except for 20¢ higher at the back.

In the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), USDA analysts forecast $118/cwt. for the 5-area Direct fed steer price in the second quarter, followed by $110 in the third quarter and $114 in the fourth.

Year to date, AMS notes that heifer slaughter rate is 8.7% more than last year, with beef cow slaughter up 2.6%, perhaps suggesting further pressure on limited herd expansion.

“Preliminary heifer slaughter through May is about 50,000 head short of 4 million head,” say AMS analysts. “The last time January-to-May heifer slaughter eclipsed the 4 million mark was 2011.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $222.23/cwt. Select was $4.16 lower at $202.76.

“Weaker beef demand may be the biggest threat to cattle and beef markets for the remainder of the year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist, in his weekly market comments. “Strong beef demand supported cattle and beef markets in 2017 and 2018, but there are signs that some weakness may be developing in beef demand in both domestic and international markets. While unemployment remains very low, other indications of weakness in the macro-economy are concerning and have led to reduced forecasts for U.S. economic growth in 2019; largely due to ongoing impacts of tariffs and trade disruptions. Relatively slow domestic income growth and higher prices for major consumer items, such as gasoline, combined with record large supplies of beef, pork and poultry may be limiting domestic beef demand going forward in 2019.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 14

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

134,900

(-29,100)

52,900

(+22,600)

49,400

(+37,300)

237,200

(+30,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 13 Change
  $134.25 + 2.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
600-700 lbs. $163.77 +  $10.35
700-800 lbs. $148.06 +  $4.87
800-900 lbs. $135.86 +  $1.83

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.38 +  $1.61
600-700 lbs. $146.89 +  $1.14
700-800 lbs. $136.54 +  $1.76

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
400-500 lbs. $153.77 +  $2.22
500-600 lbs. $143.51 –   $0.10
600-700 lbs. $132.83 –   $0.62

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 14 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $222.23 –   $0.08
Select $202.76 –   $4.16  
Ch-Se Spread $19.47 +  $4.08

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 14 Change
Aug $135.525 –  $1.725
Sep $135.800 –  $1.550
Oct $135.750 –  $1.625
Nov $135.875 –  $1.475
Jan ’20 $133.850 –  $1.975
Mar $133.075 –  $2.350
Apr $134.475 –  $2.025
May $134.750 –  $2.450

 

Live Cattle   June 14 Change
Jun $108.775 + $1.850
Aug $104.275 + $0.975
Oct $105.475 + $0.975
Dec $109.950 + $0.525
Feb ’20 $114.100 – $0.075
Apr $116.175 – $0.300
Jun $108.925 – $0.750
Aug $107.525 – $0.475
Oct $110.000 + $0.200

 

Corn futures June 14 Change
Jul $4.530 + $0.374
Sep $4.582 + $0.340
Dec $4.634 + $0.298
Mar ’20 $4.674 + $0.250
May $4.684 + $0.228
Jul $4.6.80 + $0.198

 

Oil CME-WTI June 14 Change
Jul $52.51 –  $1.48
Aug $52.77 –  $1.39
Sep $52.95 –  $1.32
Oct $53.00 –  $1.25
Nov $53.01 –  $1.18
Dec $52.98 –  $1.12

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 14 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26089.61 + 105.67
NASDAQ     7796.66 +   54.56
S&P 500     2886.98 +   13.64
Dollar (DXY)          97.45 +    0.89
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 14, 2019 2019-06-16T14:36:13-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 17, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade appeared steady to either side of even in two regions through Friday afternoon.

Live sales in the western Corn Belt, was mainly steady at $114-$115/cwt., while dressed sales were steady to $2 higher at $184-$186.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $112, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Cattle futures continued to soften Friday with continued pressure from rising grain prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ lower amid extremely light trade.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 13¢ higher Friday afternoon at $222.23/cwt. Select was $1.95 lower at $202.76.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 11¢ higher through Jul ‘20 and then mostly fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher through May ‘20 (mostly 8¢) and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—June 17, 2019 2019-06-16T13:25:15-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 17, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade appeared steady to either side of even in two regions through Friday afternoon.

Live sales in the western Corn Belt, was mainly steady at $114-$115/cwt., while dressed sales were steady to $2 higher at $184-$186.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $112, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Cattle futures continued to soften Friday with continued pressure from rising grain prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ lower amid extremely light trade.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 13¢ higher Friday afternoon at $222.23/cwt. Select was $1.95 lower at $202.76.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 11¢ higher through Jul ‘20 and then mostly fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher through May ‘20 (mostly 8¢) and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday. Pressure included a decline in chipmakers, tied to U.S. sanctions against China’s Huawei.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 17 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 4 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 40 points.

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With the weather and flooding continuing to wreak havoc across the Northern Plains and Midwest, the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) reduced  its outlook for hay yield and increased the expected price.

Keep in mind, hay prices were already sharply higher year over year, in the latest USDA Agricultural Prices published at the end of last month. At $199/ton in April, alfalfa was $16 more than the previous year and $15 more than the previous month. At $151/ton, other hay was $27 more than last year and $4 more than in March of this year.

In the latest Livestock Monitor, LMIC notes new seedings of alfalfa in those aforementioned areas—about half of all new seedings—are likely struggling.

“Winterkill was also potentially an issue in these areas, as this winter was not the kindest either,” say LMIC analysts. “It is unknown how many of those fields face irrecoverable situations, but for now, we assume that, should the fields dry out, those acres will still be harvested, but may lose a cutting.”

Cattle Current Daily—June 17, 2019 2019-06-16T13:23:28-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 14, 2019

Although too few transactions to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week wobbled from the blocks at steady to lower prices. There were some early sales in the Texas Panhandle at $112/cwt., a few in Kansas at $110, as well as some early dressed sales at $185 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt.

Feeder Cattle futures closed sharply lower Thursday but off of session lows, under continued pressure from rising grain prices. Live Cattle closed lower, to a lesser degree.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ lower (22¢ to $1.10 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.68 lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 5¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $222.10/cwt. Select was $2.02 lower at $204.71.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 12¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 10¢ higher through Sep ‘20 and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—June 14, 2019 2019-06-13T18:37:47-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 14, 2019

Although too few transactions to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week wobbled from the blocks at steady to lower prices. There were some early sales in the Texas Panhandle at $112/cwt., a few in Kansas at $110, as well as some early dressed sales at $185 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt.

Feeder Cattle futures closed sharply lower Thursday but off of session lows, under continued pressure from rising grain prices. Live Cattle closed lower, to a lesser degree.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ lower (22¢ to $1.10 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.68 lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 5¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $222.10/cwt. Select was $2.02 lower at $204.71.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 12¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 10¢ higher through Sep ‘20 and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

*******************************

Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, buoyed in part by a bounce to recently struggling oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 101 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 11 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 44 points.

*******************************

Carcass weights continue to suggest currentness of feedlot marketing.

Average dressed steer weighing of 842 lbs. (week ending June 1) was even with the previous week and 9 lbs. less than the previous year, according to the most recent Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report from USDA. Average dressed heifer weight was 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 779 lbs. and 7 lbs. lighter than the previous year. With 3,413 head more total cattle slaughter for the week than the previous year (1,810 head more fed slaughter), beef production for the week was 900,000 lbs. less at 463.8 million lbs.

Although 0.89% more carcasses graded Prime for the week ending May 31, carcasses grading Choice and Prime were 0.12% less with 0.80% fewer grading in the upper two-thirds of Choice.

Cattle Current Daily—June 14, 2019 2019-06-13T18:36:01-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 13, 2019

Cattle futures closed lower Wednesday pressured by follow through support in grain futures, especially soybeans. Languishing wholesale beef values and demand wonderments also weighed.

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.00-$2.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA: $120.52/cwt. for steers at 1,396 lbs.

There were 663 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, with 340 head (two Kansas lots) selling for a weighted average price of $113/cwt.; delivery at 1-9 days.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 lower (75¢ lower at the back to $1.65 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower (32¢ lower in spot Aug to $1.30 lower).

Wholesale beef values were steady 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 24¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $222.15/cwt. Select was $1.52 lower at $206.73.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 18¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 10¢ to 17¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—June 13, 2019 2019-06-12T18:58:31-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 13, 2019

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.00-$2.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA: $120.52/cwt. for steers at 1,396 lbs.

There were 663 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, with 340 head (two Kansas lots) selling for a weighted average price of $113/cwt.; delivery at 1-9 days.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 lower (75¢ lower at the back to $1.65 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower (32¢ lower in spot Aug to $1.30 lower).

Wholesale beef values were steady 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 24¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $222.15/cwt. Select was $1.52 lower at $206.73.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 18¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 10¢ to 17¢ higher.

*******************************

Major U.S. financial indices edged lower Wednesday, amid lingering worries about trade issues. Crude oil prices (WTI-CME) were also about $2 lower for 2019 contracts with wonderments about demand, tied to wonderments about global economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 43 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 5 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 29 points lower.

*******************************

“Steer and heifer calf prices are now expected to fall by about 3% in 2019 relative to last year, equivalent to taking between $4-$7/cwt. out of 500-600 lb. calf prices in the Southern Plains,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor.

LMIC adjusted expected calf and feeder prices lower based on the dramatic run up in corn prices.

As mentioned in yesterday’s Cattle Current, USDA increased the expected season-average corn price 50¢ higher to $3.80/bu. in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. LMIC is more bearish.

“LMIC is expecting total corn plantings this spring will be 87.4 million acres, the lowest area since 2009,” according to analysts there. “The lateness in planting also has negative implications for crop yield potential, since the crop will have less time to develop before harvest. Therefore the average yield per acre for the coming harvest is expected to fall to 162.5 bu.  Total corn harvest this fall is pegged at 13.0 billion bu., down from 14.4 billion bu. harvested last year. Corn prices will have to go up to ration the smaller supply and LMIC is calling for a crop year average price of $4.50 at the farm for the 2019-2020 corn crop.”

By way of comparison, WASDE projects corn planted area of 89.8 million acres with a yield of 166 bu./acre for total production of 13.7 billion bu.

Between the dramatic increase in expected corn prices and the adjustment lower in calf prices LMIC lowered projected cow-calf returns for this year from +$27 per head to -$14, similar to 2018. Anticipated returns for 2020 remain positive.

Moreover, LMIC anticipates higher cull  cow prices.

“Cull cow prices are still expected to move higher in 2019 by about 8.6%, averaging under $60/cwt. in the southern plains,” say LMIC analysts. “LMIC is expecting a substantial rebound in the cull cow price as both beef and dairy cow slaughter is expected to pull back by 2020.”

Cattle Current Daily—June 13, 2019 2019-06-12T18:56:46-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 12, 2019

Live Cattle futures and Feeder Cattle ran in opposite directions Tuesday as Corn futures strengthened on the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher (40¢ to $1.02 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ lower (10¢ lower at the back to $1.70 lower in spot Aug).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $222.39/cwt. Select was 54¢ lower at $208.25.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 12¢ higher through May ‘20 and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

*******************************

Major U.S. financial indices edged lower Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 14 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point lower. The NASDAQ closed fractionally lower.

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Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reduced estimated beef production for this year by 65 million lbs. to 27.20 billion lbs., in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

“The decline in beef production largely reflects lower steer and heifer slaughter in the second half of the year…as incentives to add weight on pasture slows the pace of feedlot placements,” say ERS analysts.

If realized, estimated total production would still be 332 million lbs. more than last year.

Estimated fed steer price for the year (5-area Direct) was lowered $1.50 from the previous month to $117/cwt. Prices are forecast to average $118 in the second quarter, $110 in the third quarter and $114 in the fourth.

Corn

Despite an increase to projected beginning corn stocks, based on reduced exports, WASDE estimates ending stocks 810 million bu. lower to 1.7 billion bu.—the lowest since 2013-14—with lower production.

“Corn production for 2019-20 is forecast to decline 1.4 billion bu. to 13.7 billion, which if realized would be the lowest since 2015-16,” say ERS analysts. “Unprecedented planting delays observed through early June are expected to prevent some plantings and reduce yield prospects. USDA will release its Acreage report June 28, which will provide survey-based indications of planted and harvested area.” USDA slashed expected yield per acre by 10 bu. to 166 bu./acre, compared to the prior month’s estimate. That would be 6.4 bu. less than the projection for 2018-19. USDA reduced projections for planted corn acreage by 3 million acres to 89.8 million acres.

The season-average farm price for corn was raised 50¢ to $3.80/bu. 

Soybeans

WASDE increased beginning soybean stocks on reduced exports.

“Although adverse weather has significantly slowed soybean planting progress this year, area and production forecasts are unchanged with several weeks remaining in the planting season,” explain ERS analysts.

The 2019-20 season-average price for soybeans is forecast at $8.25/bu., up 15¢ reflecting the impact of higher corn prices. Soybean meal prices are forecast at $295 per short ton, up $5. The soybean oil price forecast is unchanged at 29.5¢/lb. 

Wheat

WASDE projects U.S. 2019-20 wheat supplies lower, with reduced beginning stocks partly offset by slightly higher production.

U.S. beginning wheat stocks were estimated to be 25 million bu. less based on increased 2018-19 exports. Ending stocks were lowered 69 million bu. to 1,072 million.

“Winter wheat production is forecast up 6 million bu. to 1,274 million with an increase to Hard Red Winter more than offsetting decreases for Soft Red Winter and White Winter,” say ERS analysts. “Total wheat production is forecast at 1,903 million bu., up 5.8 million bu. from the May forecast.”

The season-average farm price for wheat was raised 40¢/bu. to $5.10, reflecting  sharply higher Wheat futures prices and reduced 2019-20 corn supplies.

Cattle Current Daily—June 12, 2019 2019-06-11T18:38:59-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 12, 2019

Live Cattle futures and Feeder Cattle ran in opposite directions Tuesday as Corn futures strengthened on the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher (40¢ to $1.02 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ lower (10¢ lower at the back to $1.70 lower in spot Aug).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $222.39/cwt. Select was 54¢ lower at $208.25.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 12¢ higher through May ‘20 and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—June 12, 2019 2019-06-11T18:37:37-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 11, 2019

Cattle futures surged higher Monday, recovering most of the losses from the previous session, even more for Live Cattle. Some attributed the reversal to the after-hours announcement on Friday that threatened U.S. tariffs on Mexican imports were suspended indefinitely.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.15 higher ($1.57 to $3.00 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.31 higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 65¢ lower Monday afternoon at $221.66/cwt. Select was $1.87 higher at $208.79.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher, except for unchanged to fractionally lower in the front three contracts. 

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher, except for 7¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Cattle Current Podcast—June 11, 2019 2019-06-10T19:34:10-05:00

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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.