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Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 22, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports.

Choice steers brought $1.75-$2.00/cwt. higher at the fat auction in Tama, Iowa. Ch 2-4 steers (152 head) at an average of 1,344 lbs. brought an average of $109.27/cwt. Choice heifers were $2.25-$2.50 higher.

Similarly, slaughter steers sold $3-$4 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota; $5-$6 higher for slaughter heifers. Ch 2-3 steers (182 head) weighing an average of 1,440 lbs. brought an average of $108.89.

Incrementally, Cattle futures continued to recover some of last week’s steep losses, helped along by wholesale beef strength, as well as notions that Friday’s Cattle on Feed report should be neutral to slightly bullish (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ higher (17¢ higher at the back to 95¢ higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher (77¢ to $1.57 higher).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 4¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $241.74/cwt. Select was $1.43 higher at $215.70.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 22, 2019 2019-08-21T19:17:47-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 22, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports.

Choice steers brought $1.75-$2.00/cwt. higher at the fat auction in Tama, Iowa. Ch 2-4 steers (152 head) at an average of 1,344 lbs. brought an average of $109.27/cwt. Choice heifers were $2.25-$2.50 higher.

Similarly, slaughter steers sold $3-$4 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota; $5-$6 higher for slaughter heifers. Ch 2-3 steers (182 head) weighing an average of 1,440 lbs. brought an average of $108.89.

Incrementally, Cattle futures continued to recover some of last week’s steep losses, helped along by wholesale beef strength, as well as notions that Friday’s Cattle on Feed report should be neutral to slightly bullish (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ higher (17¢ higher at the back to 95¢ higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher (77¢ to $1.57 higher).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 4¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $241.74/cwt. Select was $1.43 higher at $215.70.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Wednesday, recovering losses from the previous session. Support included loftier quarterly earnings than expected from consumer giants Lowes and Target.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 240 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 23 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 71 points.

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Positive forage conditions for longer grazing, as well as the bump higher in grain prices earlier this summer are among reasons market analysts seem to be expecting lower year-over-year July feedlot placements when the monthly Cattle on Feed report comes out Friday.

For instance, analysts at Allendale, Incestimate July placements to be 1.6% less than last year. Analysts surveyed by Urner Barry expect, on average, placements to be 0.5% less, according to the Daily Livestock Report.

If either are correct, Allendale analysts point out it would be the third consecutive month of placements below year-earlier levels.

“Concerns over feedlot profitability, and more restrained supplies of replacement feeders are two important reasons,” say Allendale analysts. “July placements supply a portion of the January through April finished cattle supply. Kansas State University estimates fed cattle finishing in that period may run losses averaging $106 per head.”

Helped along by an extra marketing day in July this year, both estimate marketings to be 6.6-6.8% more than a year earlier.

Allendale’s estimate puts marketing in July at 1.997 million head. That would be the most for the month in 11 years, according to analysts there.

Likewise, between both sources, cattle on feed Aug. 1 is estimated to be up 0.5-0.6%, compared to the same time last year.

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 22, 2019 2019-08-21T19:12:46-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 21, 2019

Cattle markets on Tuesday continued to retrace some of last week’s steep losses.

Although negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon, prices for the week were looking higher. Through Monday, though a light test, the 5-area direct steer price average was $109/cwt. on a live basis. Chatter also continued that less negotiated trade the last couple of weeks mean packers need to renew inventory.

Oversold conditions and continued erosion in Corn futures helped Cattle futures close higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.49 higher through the front three contracts, and then an average of 42¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher, except for 12¢ lower in the back contract.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.57 higher Tuesday afternoon at $241.70/cwt. Select was 25¢ lower at $214.27.

Despite softer week-to-week corn condition, Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then fractionally mixed to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally mixed to 1¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 21, 2019 2019-08-20T19:07:45-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 21, 2019

Cattle markets on Tuesday continued to retrace some of last week’s steep losses.

Although negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon, prices for the week were looking higher. Through Monday, though a light test, the 5-area direct steer price average was $109/cwt. on a live basis. Chatter also continued that less negotiated trade the last couple of weeks mean packers need to renew inventory.

Oversold conditions and continued erosion in Corn futures helped Cattle futures close higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.49 higher through the front three contracts, and then an average of 42¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher, except for 12¢ lower in the back contract.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.57 higher Tuesday afternoon at $241.70/cwt. Select was 25¢ lower at $214.27.

Despite softer week-to-week corn condition, Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then fractionally mixed to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally mixed to 1¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday, with traders apparently taking profits from gains in the previous several sessions, perhaps prompted by lower Treasury yield rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 173 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 23 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 54 points.

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

As market reaction to the Tyson fire captures a lion’s share of attention, Elliott Dennis, Extension livestock economist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests it be considered within the context of the macro economy that already enveloped cattle markets.

“Chinese trade issues continued to weigh on the agriculture markets,” Dennis explains, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “Effects were seen in corn and soybeans, spilling over into the cattle markets. The markets avoided a selloff when President Trump delayed tariffs on Beijing until December. Cattle markets saw a response with Chinese purchases towards the end of this past week. In absence of China, several negotiated trade deals have yet to be ratified by Congress. Combined, this has weighed down the domestic market.”

Next, Dennis points to worries about global economic growth and the impact on beef demand. For instance, faltering manufacturing and company profits in the second quarter, as well as last week’s yield curve inversion heighten concerns about domestic economic recession.

“The beef market will need to find additional homes for the beef on the market,” Dennis says. “More beef on the domestic markets will further depress prices. While beef was doing a decent job at finding international homes, this trend will need to continue and, in some cases, increase. While domestic demand has been strong, there is greater uncertainty whether consumers will continue to have increasing disposable income in the future, due to inflation. If inflation spills into the consumer goods market, then this could further depress derived demand prices.”

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 21, 2019 2019-08-20T19:02:23-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 20, 2019

Renewed stability defined cattle markets Monday, helped along by news that estimated cattle slaughter last week, following the Tyson fire, was 9,000 head more than the previous week at 651,000 head. That according to USDA’s Estimated Daily Livestock Under Federal Inspection reports.

When all was said and done last week, negotiated cash fed cattle traded mostly $5 lower in the Southern Plains at mostly $105/cwt. They were $6-$7 lower in Nebraska at mostly $107 and $5-$6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $106.50-$110.00. In Nebraska, dressed trade was at $165-$172 in a light test, which was $13-$15 lower. It was $9-$10 lower in the western Corn Belt at $170-$172.

Cattle futures showed signs of life early in Monday’s session but lost steam as the session progressed.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from and average of 12¢ lower to an average of 15¢ higher.

Other than $1.10 higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from and average of 3¢ lower to an average of 29¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 44¢ higher Monday afternoon at $239.13/cwt. Select was $1.26 higher at $214.52.

Corn and Soybean futures softened with a more favorable weather outlook and worries about export demand.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 13¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 20, 2019 2019-08-19T19:57:09-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 20, 2019

Renewed stability defined cattle markets Monday, helped along by news that estimated cattle slaughter last week, following the Tyson fire, was 9,000 head more than the previous week at 651,000 head. That according to USDA’s Estimated Daily Livestock Under Federal Inspection reports.

When all was said and done last week, negotiated cash fed cattle traded mostly $5 lower in the Southern Plains at mostly $105/cwt. They were $6-$7 lower in Nebraska at mostly $107 and $5-$6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $106.50-$110.00. In Nebraska, dressed trade was at $165-$172 in a light test, which was $13-$15 lower. It was $9-$10 lower in the western Corn Belt at $170-$172.

Cattle futures showed signs of life early in Monday’s session but lost steam as the session progressed.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from and average of 12¢ lower to an average of 15¢ higher.

Other than $1.10 higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from and average of 3¢ lower to an average of 29¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 44¢ higher Monday afternoon at $239.13/cwt. Select was $1.26 higher at $214.52.

Corn and Soybean futures softened with a more favorable weather outlook and worries about export demand.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 13¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices continued to rally Monday, building on gains from the end of last week. Support included further strengthening of bond yields.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 249 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 34 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 106 points.

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The degree of price movement following the fire at Tyson’s beef packing plant at Holcombe, KS may have been shocking, but the way the market reacted wasn’t, according to Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

Markets seek to coordinate equilibrium between supply and demand, Peel explains in his weekly market comments. When a severe shock occurs to either, markets seek to reestablish that equilibrium as quickly as possible.

“With fresh beef production suddenly decreased, boxed beef prices rose sharply to ration a suddenly limited supply,” Peel explains. “Choice boxed beef prices increased by over $22/cwt. or 10.3% in one week. This illustrates one of the most important functions of markets (one that is commonly taken for granted): markets make sure that we don’t run out of things. With less supply available, the market uses higher prices to determine how limited beef supplies will be allocated. It is a common market reaction. When a freeze hits Florida, orange juice prices begin to rise immediately, not because there is an immediate shortage of juice but to make sure that the current supply continues to be available over time. Markets will never tell a consumer that they cannot have a product but prices will rise enough to convince some consumers not to consume as much of the product at this time.”

As well, Peel says markets discourage wasting products.

“This is particularly important for perishable products. Thus, watermelon prices drop dramatically when the seasonal supply becomes available to make sure that all watermelons are consumed. Fed cattle ready for slaughter are no less perishable and the current drop in fed prices ensures that all possible adjustments are used to absorb the cattle into remaining industry capacity,” Peel says. “Prices decrease enough initially to provide ample incentive to change existing production plans and cover the additional costs of shifting logistics and timing of production.”

Looking ahead, Peel provides some context, via a similar situation almost 20 years ago, when the ConAgra beef packing plant at Garden City burned and never reopened. 

“Subsequent research confirmed initial reactions generally similar to the current situation.” Peel says. “Most of the negative impacts on fed cattle prices subsided in three to six weeks after the event. Packing capacity, relative to cattle supplies, is somewhat tighter this time, so the impacts may be slightly larger or longer-lived. Nevertheless, boxed beef and cattle markets will likely adjust relatively quickly in the coming weeks with final adjustments depending on the duration of the plant closure.” 

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 20, 2019 2019-08-19T19:54:16-05:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 16, 2019

Fire at the Tyson beef packing plant at Holcombe, KS cast a pall over cattle markets last week.

Uncertainty about how much beef packing capacity was lost and for how long, amid seasonally and cyclically heavy fed cattle supplies, created an exodus among futures traders at the opening bell.

Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle futures were limit-down last Monday, then down the expanded limit in some contracts Tuesday.

Some auctions cancelled sales, waiting for the dust to settle. Where auctions proceeded, extreme heat and the futures fallout limited receipts and demand.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $5-$10/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.48 lower week to week on Friday. They were down an average $10.10 after the first two sessions of the week, before recovering an average of $5.18 on Wednesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index was down $4.06 week to week on Thursday at $137.60.

All of that was with Corn futures closing an average of 36¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week on Friday. Pressure was tied to the surprisingly large estimate for corn production in last week’s USDA Crop Production report.

Cash feeder prices were already under pressure, of course.

“Prices for feeder steers weighing 750-800 lbs. for the week of August 12, 2019, were $137.71/cwt., more than $10 below the same week last year,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “Based on recent price data, the third-quarter 2019 feeder steer price was lowered by $1 to $142 and the 2019 fourth-quarter price forecast was lowered $1 from the prior month to $140. This month’s annual price forecast for 2019 is $141/cwt.”

“This market is likely to rebound following the kneejerk reaction,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The primary rebound will be in the yearling cattle arena which is where cattle feeders will continue to search for cattle to fill pen space. The calf market may see a short-lived rebound, but the calf market is going to be coming under seasonal price pressure as spring born calves begin to move to market in September and October.”

Fed Cattle Lower in Cautious Trade

Through late Friday afternoon, the only established negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week remained the $105/cwt. paid in the Southern Plains, which was $5 less than the previous week. Although too few to trend, there were a few trades in Nebraska Friday at $106/cwt. on a live basis and at $172 in the beef.

Through Thursday the 5-area direct steer price was $105.40 on a live basis (7,941 head) and $170.46 in the beef (4,172 head). Week to week that was $8.71 less on a live basis and $12.11 less dressed.

Live Cattle futures were down an average of $7.34 after the first two trading sessions of the week. Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $6.53 lower ($4.17 to $8.70 lower). 

“The last time the weekly weighted average finished cattle price fell below $100 was December 2010, while the $100 mark was only achieved in 12 weeks from 2000 through 2010,” Griffith says. “Could the cash market fall below the century mark? It is possible, but unlikely.”

Wholesale beef prices exploded higher as there were apparently lots of buyers living hand to mouth in the spot market for supply.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was a staggering $22.32 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $238.69/cwt. Select was $19.45 higher at $213.26.

“Price jumps like this do not come along very often and will be only temporary as adjustments take place in future,” say AMS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 16

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

104,800

(-49,800)

27,900

(-26,200)

70,100

(-171,300)

202,800

(-247,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 15 Change
  $137.60 –  4.06

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
600-700 lbs. $158.93 –  $3.75
700-800 lbs. $148.56 –  $5.17
800-900 lbs. $143.46 –  $0.41

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.21 –  $9.02
600-700 lbs. $142.46 –  $8.36
700-800 lbs. $136.20 –  $7.61

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
400-500 lbs. $141.60 –  $7.08
500-600 lbs. $133.78 –  $7.93
600-700 lbs. $128.78 –  $6.65

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 16 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $238.69 + $22.32
Select $213.26 + $19.45
Ch-Se Spread $25.43 +   $2.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 16 Change
Aug $134.575 –  $4.325
Sep $132.375 –  $6.075
Oct $132.850 –  $5.400
Nov $132.750 –  $5.525
Jan ’20 $130.925 –  $5.675
Mar $130.300 –  $5.725
Apr $131.425 –  $5.675
May $132.300 –  $5.475

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 16 Change
Aug $99.925 – $8.125
Oct $98.050 – $8.700
Dec $103.525 – $7.925
Feb ’20 $108.925 – $6.775
Apr $111.300 – $6.375
Jun $104.825 – $6.050
Aug $103.200 – $5.750
Oct $105.575 – $4.900
Dec $108.850 – $4.175

 

Corn futures Aug. 16 Change
Sep $3.710 –  $0.392
Dec $3.806 –  $0.370
Mar ’20 $3.926 –  $0.356
May $4.000 –  $0.340
Jul $4.056 –  $0.318
Sep $4.050 –  $0.172

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 16 Change
Sep $54.87 + $0.37
Oct $54.81 + $0.44
Nov $54.42 + $0.33
Dec $53.99 + $0.21
Jan ’20 $53.56 + $0.10
Feb $53.19 + $0.03

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 16 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25886.01 -401.43
NASDAQ     7895.99 –  63.15
S&P 500     2888.68 –   29.97
Dollar (DXY)          98.20 +    0.71
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 16, 2019 2019-08-18T12:05:19-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 19, 2019

Through late Friday afternoon, the only established negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week remained the $105/cwt. paid in the Southern Plains, which was $5 less than the previous week. Although too few to trend, there were a few trades in Nebraska Friday at $106/cwt. on a live basis and at $172 in the beef.

Through Thursday the 5-area direct steer price was $105.40 on a live basis (7,941 head) and $170.46 in the beef (4,172 head). Week to week that was $8.71 less on a live basis and $12.11 less dressed.

Cattle futures were unable to hold early-session support Friday as another trip lower in Lean Hogs provided pressure.

After unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower (17¢ to 87¢ lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ lower, (57¢ lower at the back to $1.20 lower in spot Aug).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.57 higher Friday afternoon at $238.69/cwt. Select was $2.59 higher at $213.26.

Corn and Soybean futures grained support from the dryer weather outlook for the Corn Belt.

Corn futures closed 8¢ to 10¢ higher through Jul ’20 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ higher.

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 19, 2019 2019-08-17T20:56:36-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 19, 2019

Through late Friday afternoon, the only established negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week remained the $105/cwt. paid in the Southern Plains, which was $5 less than the previous week. Although too few to trend, there were a few trades in Nebraska Friday at $106/cwt. on a live basis and at $172 in the beef.

Through Thursday the 5-area direct steer price was $105.40 on a live basis (7,941 head) and $170.46 in the beef (4,172 head). Week to week that was $8.71 less on a live basis and $12.11 less dressed.

Cattle futures were unable to hold early-session support Friday as another trip lower in Lean Hogs provided pressure.

After unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower (17¢ to 87¢ lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ lower, (57¢ lower at the back to $1.20 lower in spot Aug).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.57 higher Friday afternoon at $238.69/cwt. Select was $2.59 higher at $213.26.

Corn and Soybean futures grained support from the dryer weather outlook for the Corn Belt.

Corn futures closed 8¢ to 10¢ higher through Jul ’20 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices rallied Friday, on the back of resurgent bond yields, apparently allaying recession fears among investors. It was inversion of the yield curve earlier in the week that drove steep losses, along with continued anxiety about global economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 306 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 41 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 129 points.

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Although cattle markets had a firmer feel, albeit lower, at the end of the week,

plenty of market uncertainty remains following  the fire at Tyson Foods beef slaughter plant at Holcombe, KS Aug. 9.

Among what’s known:

“The plant operated at about 6,000 head of fed cattle per day, leaving a shortfall in the national packing capacity of 30,000 head for a five-day work week,” said representative of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), in a Monday assessment for its members. “According to CattleFax, that amounts to 6% of total U.S. fed cattle packing capacity the rest of the processing industry will need to absorb.”

“According to CattleFax, in order to compensate for the loss of capacity at Holcomb, the major packing plants in Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa, which represent 83 percent of U.S. fed slaughter capacity, would need to slaughter 8.2% more cattle per week, or run 3.3 more hours per week, to make up the production lost in Holcomb,” explained Colin Woodall, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in a Tuesday letter to Greg Ibach USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “While we expect other processing facilities to take more cattle, the shortfall created by the Holcomb fire will be incredibly difficult to make up based on the current packing infrastructure.” On behalf of NCBA, Woodall requested, “…that APHIS and FSIS inspectors, along with AMS graders, be provided the flexibility needed to move to other plants and work expanded shift hours, including weekends, in order to help the packing segment of our industry process the cattle headed to harvest… we ask that Packers and Stockyards Division staff remain vigilant against any effort to illegally capitalize on the current market situation.”

In another letter, NCBA asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to declare an emergency suspension of Hours of Service for cattle haulers. The organization also sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, requesting that the agency, “…keep an even closer eye on the cattle markets to ensure that no market participant tries to use the uncertainty to manipulate or illegally take advantage of the situation…”

Tyson will rebuild the plant. At a late-week new conference, Tyson officials explained the area impacted by the fire was relatively small, in terms of square footage, but large in terms of the plant’s electric and hydraulic infrastructure. Officials said rebuilding will likely be a matter of months, rather than weeks.

As long suspected, beef packing capacity shuttered during historically long beef cowherd liquidation, fueled by historic drought, increased market vulnerability.

Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle futures were limit-down last Monday, then down the expanded limit in some contracts Tuesday as traders panicked and liquidated long positions. Part of the panic stemmed from seasonally and cyclically large fed cattle supplies at a time when beef packer capacity utilization was, by most accounts, already running historically high.

On the surface at least, lots of beef buyers were relying on the spot market for their immediate supply. There seems no other way to explain the massive surge in wholesale beef prices.

Cattle Current Daily—Aug. 19, 2019 2019-08-17T20:56:14-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 16, 2019

Other than the $105 paid in the Southern Plains a day earlier, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon.

Cattle futures mostly edged higher, with plenty of uncertainty in the wake of this week’s volatile trade.

After unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ higher, except for 27¢ and 2¢ lower in near Dec and Feb, respectively.

Other than 10¢ and 25¢ lower in two contracts toward the back, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ higher, (2¢ higher to $1.30 higher in spot Aug).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.78 higher Thursday afternoon at $236.12/cwt. Select was $4.75 higher at $210.67. That was $19.24 for Choice week to week and $18.30 more for Select, driven by the recent supply disruption.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 16, 2019 2019-08-15T18:08:57-05:00

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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.