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Cattle Current—June 24, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued lower Tuesday, with dressed trade in Nebraska mostly $3-$7 lower than last week at $155/cwt.

Even so, Cattle futures found some spark, helped along by outside markets.

Except for 87¢ lower in spot Jun and 17¢ lower at the back, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ higher (37¢ to $2.07 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.39 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.25 lower Tuesday afternoon at $211.81/cwt. Select was 73¢ lower at $203.57.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Tuesday, led by by tech stocks once again, and despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 131 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 74 points higher.

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So far, major restaurant chain transactions continue to improve, despite the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, according to the NPD Group (NPD).

For the week ending June 14, total major restaurant chain transactions were 12% less than the same week a year earlier, which represented a 1% improvement compared to the previous week.

More specifically, quick service chain transactions were 11% less year over year and 2% more positive than the previous week. Full service chain transactions were 26% less than a year earlier but improved 12% week to week.

“The only major variable in play with a case surge at the moment would be erosion in consumer willingness to dine out,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. “There are three main variables that will influence continued restaurant recovery: reopening of on-premise dining and expanding allowed capacity; the willingness of consumers to dine out and feel safe and confident in doing so; and the economic wellbeing of the consumer. Thus far, the evidence in restaurant transactional improvement confirms that dining rooms are opening, and there is consumer demand to fill opened restaurants.”

Cattle Current—June 24, 2020 2020-06-23T18:10:59-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 23, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were a few early live sales in the Texas Panhandle on Monday at $95/cwt. There were a few dressed trades in Nebraska at $152-$155.

Cattle futures closed narrowly lower Monday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower, (7¢ lower at the back to 80¢ lower at the front).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 34¢ higher Monday afternoon at $214.06/cwt. Select was 39¢ higher at $204.30.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower in the front four contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower. 

Cattle Current Podcast—June 23, 2020 2020-06-22T20:54:37-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 23, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were a few early live sales in the Texas Panhandle on Monday at $95/cwt. There were a few dressed trades in Nebraska at $152-$155.

Cattle futures closed narrowly lower Monday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower, (7¢ lower at the back to 80¢ lower at the front).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 34¢ higher Monday afternoon at $214.06/cwt. Select was 39¢ higher at $204.30.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower in the front four contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Monday, buoyed by tech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 153 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 20 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 110 points higher.

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“Wholesale boxed beef prices have dropped nearly back to pre-COVID-19 levels and may go lower into mid-summer as abundant third-quarter beef production could highlight potential recessionary demand weakness,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

In his weekly market comments, Peel explains cattle slaughter continues to recover from disruptions wrought by the pandemic, with estimated slaughter the week ending June 20 being 98.2% of year-earlier levels.

At the same time, the backlog of fed cattle continues to add days on feed and pounds per carcass.

Year to date, Peel notes steer and heifer carcass weights averaged 27.4 lbs. heavier year over year. Carcasses were an average of 20.4 lbs. heavier in the first quarter; 36.7 lbs. heavier for April 1 to June 6.

Beef production was 8.0% more year over year in the first quarter, while second-quarter production is estimated to be 14.0% less year over year, according to Peel. That makes for 3.8% less beef production for the year through June 19.

“The combination of recovered slaughter and higher carcass weights resulted in weekly beef production in mid-June estimated to be above year-earlier levels for the first time in 10 weeks,” Peel says. “Weekly beef production is likely to exceed year-earlier levels for the third quarter and perhaps for the balance of the year.”

More specifically, he explains third-quarter beef production is forecast to be nearly 6% higher than the same time last year. Annual beef production this year is forecast to be slightly more than last year at a record 27.3 billion lbs.

“With beef supplies increasing in the second half of the year, beef demand will be critical,” Peel says. “Retail grocery will transition from limited beef supplies in recent weeks to ample supplies at the same time that food service demand is slowly building.” 

Cattle Current Daily—June 23, 2020 2020-06-22T20:52:50-05:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 19, 2020

Depending on weight and location, some classes of calves and feeder cattle came under pressure last week as dry conditions spread and the cash fed cattle market succumbed to the backlog of market-ready cattle, declining wholesale beef values and iffy near-term domestic demand.

Nationwide, steers and heifers traded steady to $4/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Still, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.00 higher to week on Friday.

“The expectation is the market will remain under pressure through the end of fall as the industry works through large supplies of cattle and meat,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Cattle prices will start to gain a little momentum in the first quarter of 2021 before really accelerating in the second and third quarter of 2021…This is the expectation because it is likely more cows will be culled this year, as well as fewer heifers retained for breeding, due to lower cattle prices and the need for cash flow. Thus, the increased marketings in the short run will place added pressure on prices while at the same time providing support for prices moving into the longer run.”

Based on recent price data, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased the projected annual average feeder steer price (basis Oklahoma City) by almost $7, compared to the previous month, to $131.40/cwt.

“With higher anticipated fed cattle slaughter in 2020, feedlot marketings will increase. A faster pace of marketings and higher forecast fed cattle prices than last month will likely improve feedlot demand for feeder cattle,” say ERS analysts, in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

Heading into this week, the market could see added pressure from the monthly Cattle on Feed report, which will likely be viewed as at least somewhat bearish.

Compared to average expectations ahead of the report, more cattle were placed, fewer were marketed and slightly more were on feed at the beginning of the month. That’s for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.

Placements in May of 2.04 million head were 26,000 head fewer (-1.26%) than the previous year.

Marketings in May of 1.5 million head were 570,000 head fewer (-27.54%) than a year earlier and the least marketings for the month since the data series began in 1996.

There were 11.67 million head on feed June 1, which was 57,000 head fewer (-0.49%) than a year earlier. That’s the second highest June inventory since the data series began in 1996.

Moreover, expanding dryness could hamper intentions and prices as the summer unfolds.

According USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report (week ending June 14), 45% of nation’s pasture and range was rated in Good (39%) or Excellent (6%) condition. That’s 26% less than last year. 22% was rated in Poor (14%) or Very Poor (8%) condition, compared to 6% at the same time last year.

Fed Cattle Prices Lower

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average price for steers was $100.82/cwt., which was  $4.02 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.74, which was $5.91 less. Prices at the same time last year were at $110.43 and $180.56, respectively. Keep in mind that carcass weights are contra-seasonal and significantly heavier than last year.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

“The expectation was for finished cattle prices to decline but not $15/cwt. in three weeks,” Griffith says. “The lower prices speak volumes concerning the supply of market-ready cattle and the fact packers have plenty of cattle available to them. One would have thought there was price support at current prices and one can continue to think that based on this week’s prices, but there will continue to be pressure on finished cattle prices moving through the next couple of months. This is not a good sign for cattle feeders or those looking to market feeder cattle in the near term. It may take a while before optimism comes back to the finished cattle market.”

Other than $1.37 lower in spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.13 higher week to week on Friday (7¢ to $1.65 higher).

Estimated total cattle slaughter for the week of 656,000 head was just 12,000 head fewer (-1.8%) than the same time last year, according to USDA.

The average five-area direct fed steer price in May was $111.53/cwt. on a live basis, which was more than 9% higher than in April, according to ERS. With that in mind, USDA increased its price forecast for fed steers in the second quarter by $3 to $104. Forecast prices for the third and fourth quarters increased by $6 to $105 and $106, respectively.

Wholesale Values Normalizing

Wholesale beef values continue lower with increased beef production.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $16.92 lower week to week on Friday at $213.72/cwt. Select was $15.36 lower at $203.91.

“The red meat market has traversed some unfamiliar territory the past several months and probably still has a few new trails to cut before some form of normalcy is evident,” Griffith says. “The two broad markets the beef industry navigates are the domestic market and the international market. The international market is a major player in determining the full value of cattle produced domestically, which points to the importance of beef and cattle product exports. Through the first four months of 2020, beef and veal exports on a quantity basis were 7.0% greater than the same four months in 2019. However, beef and veal export value only increased 3.2% for January through April of 2020 compared to 2019. There is a good chance May 2020 beef and veal exports will have struggled compared to year-ago levels, given that May beef production was 19.2% lower than the same month one year ago.”

 

Friday to Friday Change

 

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

June 19 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

160,400

(+100)

46,500

(+12,700)

9,700

(-36,300)

216,600

(+23,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 18 Change
  $128.01 –   $1.57

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 19 Change
600-700 lbs. $152.86 –    $0.38
700-800 lbs. $137.25 –    $4.18
800-900 lbs. $128.38 –    $4.45

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 19 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.22 –  $2.52
600-700 lbs. $140.60 –  $0.63
700-800 lbs. $131.80 –  $0.12

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 19 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.75 –  $1.43
500-600 lbs. $139.58 –  $2.57
600-700 lbs. $130.56 –  $1.80

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 19 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.72 –  $16.92
Select $203.91 –  $15.36
Ch-Se Spread $9.81 –  $1.56

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 19 Change
Aug $132.550 + $1.450
Sep $133.875 + $1.400
Oct $134.850 + $1.700
Nov $135.575 + $2.100
Jan ’21 $134.850 + $2.400
Mar $134.000 + $2.650
Apr $134.675 + $2.300
Aug $135.000 + $2.025

 

Live Cattle   June 19 Change
Jun $94.700 –  $1.375
Aug $95.400 + $0.075
Oct $98.850 + $0.850
Dec $102.850 + $0.800
Feb ’21 $107.275 + $1.275
Apr $109.875 + $1.425
Jun $103.650 + $1.650
Aug $103.050 + $1.500
Oct $105.900 + $1.475

 

Corn  June 19 Change
Jly  $3.324 +$0.024
Sep $3.372 +$0.028
Dec $3.452 +$0.022
Mar ’21 $3.566 +$0.020
May $3.630 +$0.018
Jly $3.676 +$0.014

 

Oil CME-WTI June 19 Change
Jly $39.75 + $3.49
Aug $39.83 + $3.32
Sep $39.93 + $3.15
Oct $40.02 + $3.02
Nov $40.10 + $2.89
Dec $40.19 + $2.77

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 19 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25871.46 + 265.92
NASDAQ    9946.12 + 357.31
S&P 500    3097.74 +   56.43
Dollar (DXY)       97.66 +      0.57
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 19, 2020 2020-06-21T12:33:26-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 22, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were lower to sharply lower last week, with significantly heavier carcasses than a year ago and the continued backlog of market-ready cattle.

Based on reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service, the last established market in the Texas Panhandle was at $98/cwt., which was $6-$10 less than the previous week. Until then, prices were about $5 less at around $100, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Live prices were $4-$6 lower in Kansas at mostly $100-$102, steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $98-$102 and $3-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $99-$102. Dressed trade was steady to $12 lower at $158-$160.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average price for steers on a live basis was $100.82/cwt., which was  $4.02 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.74, which was $5.91 less. Prices at the same time last year were at $110.43 and $180.56, respectively. Keep in mind that carcass weights are contra-seasonal and significantly heavier than last year.

Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower through the front five contracts (10¢ lower to $1.37 lower in spot Jun) and then an average of 16¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 24¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ higher Friday afternoon at $213.72/cwt. Select was 17¢ lower at $203.91.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

Cattle Current Podcast—June 22, 2020 2020-06-20T12:32:07-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 22, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were lower to sharply lower last week, with significantly heavier carcasses than a year ago and the continued backlog of market-ready cattle.

Based on reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service, the last established market in the Texas Panhandle was at $98/cwt., which was $6-$10 less than the previous week. Until then, prices were about $5 less at around $100, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Live prices were $4-$6 lower in Kansas at mostly $100-$102, steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $98-$102 and $3-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $99-$102. Dressed trade was steady to $12 lower at $158-$160.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average price for steers on a live basis was $100.82/cwt., which was  $4.02 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.74, which was $5.91 less. Prices at the same time last year were at $110.43 and $180.56, respectively. Keep in mind that carcass weights are contra-seasonal and significantly heavier than last year.

Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower through the front five contracts (10¢ lower to $1.37 lower in spot Jun) and then an average of 16¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 24¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ higher Friday afternoon at $213.72/cwt. Select was 17¢ lower at $203.91.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly lower on Friday, following a volatile session. Key pressure appeared to stem from the spike in COVID cases in some states, leading to worries about the path of economic reopening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 208 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 17 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 3 points higher.

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If anything, Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report from USDA will likely be viewed as at least a touch bearish, with more cattle placed, fewer cattle marketed and slightly more cattle on feed June 1 than the trade expected. That’s for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.

Placements in May of 2.04 million head were 26,000 head fewer (-1.26%) than the previous year. Average analyst estimates ahead of the report expected placements to be 2.3% less.

In terms of placement weights: 33.38% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 49.93% weighed 700-899 lbs.; 16.69% weighed 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in May of 1.5 million head were 570,000 head fewer (-27.54%) than a year earlier. That’s the least marketings for the month since the data series began in 1996. Ahead of the report, on average, analysts expected marketings to be down 26.4%.

There were 11.67 million head on feed June 1, which was 57,000 head fewer (-0.49%) than a year earlier. That’s the second highest June inventory since the data series began in 1996. Average analyst expectations were for a decline of 1%.

Cattle Current Daily—June 22, 2020 2020-06-20T12:26:52-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 19, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued in Kansas on Thursday with live prices at $96-$102/cwt., but mostly $100-$102, which was $2-$6 lower than the last week.

Cattle futures softened Thursday, with continued light trade, lower cash prices and the ongoing decline in wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 71¢ lower. 

Beef exports continue to be a bright spot.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 20,100 metric tons for the week ending June 11 were 1% less than the previous week but 67% more than the previous four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increased sales were mainly to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.37 lower Thursday afternoon at $213.56/cwt. Select was $4.00 lower at $204.08.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Cattle Current Podcast—June 19, 2020 2020-06-18T18:24:14-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 19, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued in Kansas on Thursday with live prices at $96-$102/cwt., but mostly $100-$102, which was $2-$6 lower than the last week.

Cattle futures softened Thursday, with continued light trade, lower cash prices and the ongoing decline in wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 71¢ lower. 

Beef exports continue to be a bright spot.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 20,100 metric tons for the week ending June 11 were 1% less than the previous week but 67% more than the previous four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increased sales were mainly to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.37 lower Thursday afternoon at $213.56/cwt. Select was $4.00 lower at $204.08.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Thursday. Pressure included more initial weekly jobless claims than traders expected. Initial claims were 1.51 million according to the U.S. Department of Labor; that was 58,000 fewer than the previous week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 39 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point higher. The NASDAQ closed 32 points higher.

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“Given a potential months-long economic recession, overall beef demand will likely be down even as sit-down restaurants open across the USA,” says Brenda Boetel, Extension livestock economist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “Consumers will likely see a small decrease in beef consumption due to the expected decrease in 2020 beef production quantities, but the respective beef demand will likely be down more as consumers will be less willing to pay high prices for beef. The return to U.S. consumers spending large amounts on highly valued beef cuts will be slow and largely dependent on macroeconomic growth. Sit-down restaurants will find creative ways to entice patrons to return, including menu changes with lower price entrees. As such, overall beef demand will likely be down, while demand for higher-valued primals, typically consumed through foodservice, will be down more than the overall beef demand.”

Keep in mind that demand and consumption, though related, are quite different.

Boetel explains consumption is a function of production. As a perishable product, most all beef produced will be consumed. Calculated beef consumption is simply the sum of beef production and beef imports, minus exports and disappearance. She says beef consumption is projected to be 12.5% less in the second quarter of this this year, compared to the same time last year. That has to do with less beef production, spawned by disruptions to beef packing capacity.

Beef demand, on the other hand, reflects consumers’ perceptions of beef in the marketplace and is representative of consumers’ willingness to pay for beef, according to Boetel.

“Beef demand is impacted by several factors including beef prices, as well as prices of alternative proteins such as pork and chicken,” she explains.  “Additionally, income is another determining factor in beef demand, as well as other factors such as tastes and preferences.

“Even though we eat (i.e., consume) the beef produced, it doesn’t mean that beef demand remains in a consistent relationship with production. Beef consumption can increase without an increase in beef demand because beef demand and beef consumption are not the same thing. For example, beef consumption might increase because more beef is produced, but beef demand decreases because consumers are willing to pay less for each pound of beef they do consume.”

Boetel points out the beef demand index calculated at Kansas State University decreased almost 18% for choice retail beef in April of this year, compared to the same time last year. Driving forces included the substantial loss of food service sales, as well as the economic downturn.

Looking ahead, Boetel says many analysts expect global economic growth this year to contract by nearly 3%, while the U.S. economy is expected to contract by nearly 5.7%.

All of that likely means continued overall pressure on cattle prices.

“Until sit-down restaurants are operating at levels prior to COVID, there will likely be differences in the spread between different primals, no matter the amount of cattle processed,” Boetel says. “It will take months for the U.S. processing sector to work through the backlog of cattle on feed, but as it does so, the spread between wholesale beef and live cattle prices will return to traditional levels, although at likely lower absolute price levels for both live cattle and beef due to the macroeconomic downturn.”

Cattle Current Daily—June 19, 2020 2020-06-18T18:22:20-05:00

Cattle Current Podcast—June 18, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued $2-$6 lower on a live basis Wednesday at $100-$102/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $102 in Nebraska; $99-$102 in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday. Dressed trade was at $160-$162, which was $5-$10 lower in Nebraska and steady to $10 lower in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle feeders offered 1,220 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction; none sold.

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.25-$2.50 lower at the fat auction in Tama, IA. There were 122 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,378 lbs., bringing an average of $104.13/cwt.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $3-$6 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. There were 498 Choice 3-4 steers weighing an average of 1,533 lbs. and bringing an average of $102.76.

Cattle futures mostly tread water Wednesday amid continued light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ higher, except for unchanged in Dec.

Except for 32¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 36¢ higher. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.96 lower Wednesday afternoon at $217.93/cwt. Select was $5.09 lower at $208.08.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

Cattle Current Podcast—June 18, 2020 2020-06-17T18:51:33-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 18, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued $2-$6 lower on a live basis Wednesday at $100-$102/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $102 in Nebraska; $99-$102 in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday. Dressed trade was at $160-$162, which was $5-$10 lower in Nebraska and steady to $10 lower in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle feeders offered 1,220 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction; none sold.

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.25-$2.50 lower at the fat auction in Tama, IA. There were 122 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,378 lbs., bringing an average of $104.13/cwt.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $3-$6 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. There were 498 Choice 3-4 steers weighing an average of 1,533 lbs. and bringing an average of $102.76.

Cattle futures mostly tread water Wednesday amid continued light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ higher, except for unchanged in Dec.

Except for 32¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 36¢ higher. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.96 lower Wednesday afternoon at $217.93/cwt. Select was $5.09 lower at $208.08.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

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Major U.S. financial indices lost recent steam Wednesday, with some likely profit taking and continued uncertainty about COVID-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 170 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 14 points higher.

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“With higher anticipated fed cattle slaughter in 2020, feedlot marketings will increase. A faster pace of marketings and higher forecast fed cattle prices than last month will likely improve feedlot demand for feeder cattle,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

Based on recent price data, ERS increased the projected annual feeder steer price (basis Oklahoma City) by almost $7, compared to the previous month, to $131.40/cwt.

The projected second-quarter feeder steer price was raised by $5 to $126. Forecast price for the third quarter increased $9 to $132. The fourth-quarter price projection rose $13 to $131.

“In the second quarter, the capacity of beef packing plants to slaughter fed cattle was reduced by as much as 41%, which prompted lower prices for fed cattle. As beef production declined, wholesale beef prices skyrocketed, which greatly expanded packer margins. However, as packers’ capacity to slaughter began to rebound at the beginning of May, increasing demand for cattle, it likely increased their willingness to pay higher prices for cattle,” say ERS analysts.

The average five-area direct fed steer price in May was $111.53/cwt. on a live basis, which was more than 9% higher than in April, according to ERS. With that in mind, USDA increased its price forecast for fed steers in the second quarter by $3 to $104. Forecast prices for the third and fourth quarters increased by $6 to $105 and $106, respectively.

“Based on USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service estimated weekly slaughter for the week ending June 13, steer and heifer slaughter recovered to 4% below the same week a year ago, and cow and bull slaughter improved to 7% above the same week last year,” say ERS analysts.

Cattle Current Daily—June 18, 2020 2020-06-17T18:49:39-05:00

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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.

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.