Daily Market Highlights

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 19, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade broke out in the north yesterday. Live sales were as much as $4 higher in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $130/cwt. Dressed trade was $2-$3 higher at $207-$208.

Lighter carcass weights continue to provide support. The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Apr. 6 was 865 lbs., which was 7 lbs. less than a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 5 lbs. less at 804 lbs.

Except bouncing higher in the front month, Live Cattle futures closed mixed Thursday, while Feeder Cattle edged higher as traders positioned ahead of the holiday weekend and ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below). More on that report momentarily.

Other than $1.60 higher in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 15¢ lower to 30¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ higher (22¢ to 95¢ higher).

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 30¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $233.06/cwt. Select was 70¢ lower at $219.46. At $13.60, the Choice-Select spread was the widest since December.

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Major U.S. financial indices strengthened Thursday, buoyed by positive quarterly earnings reports and an uptick in retail sales. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated March retail sales to be 1.6% more than the previous month, significantly higher than trade expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 110 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 4 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 1 point.

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The monthly Cattle on Feed report will likely be viewed as neutral to a touch bearish, with slightly more March placements and total cattle on feed than most pre-report estimates. The report is for feedlots with a one-time capacity of 1,000 head or more.

There were 2.01 million head placed on feed in March, which was 4.84% more (+93,000 head) than the previous year. In terms of placement weights: 16.14% (325,000) head went on feed weighing 600 lbs. or less; 14.89% (300,000 head) weighing 600-699 lbs.; 29.54% (595,000) weighing 700-799 lbs.; 26.76% (539,000 head) weighing 800-899 lbs.; 9.19% (185,000 head) weighing 900-999 lbs.; 3.48% (70,000 head) weighing 1,000 lbs. or more.

Marketings in March of 1.78 million head were 3.42% fewer (-63,000 head) than last year.

All told, there were 11.96 million head on feed Apr. 1, which was 2.00% more (+235,000 head) than a year earlier. That’s the largest inventory since the data series began in 1996. The inventory included 4.51 million heifers and heifer calves, which was 320,000 head more (+7.62%) than the same time a year earlier.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 19, 2019 2019-04-18T19:15:53-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 18, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade got underway in the Southern Plains on Wednesday at $126/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2 higher than the previous week.

Out of the 1,578 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, 1,269 head sold—all from Nebraska—for a weighted average price of $127.08/cwt.; all for delivery at 1-17 days.

Choice 2-3 steers brought $126-$128/cwt. at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota.

Cattle futures closed mixed but mostly higher Wednesday as traders positioned for the holiday-shortened trading week.

Except for 22¢ and 7¢ lower in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 46¢ higher.

Other than an average of 47¢ lower in the front two contracts and 5¢ lower at the back, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 58¢ higher. Popular estimates suggest tomorrow’s monthly Cattle on Feed report to show March placement about 4% more than a year earlier.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower as global production and stocks continue to weigh on prices.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 71¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $232.76/cwt. Select was 99¢ lower at $220.16.

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Major U.S. financial indices wobbled on Wednesday. Despite strong quarterly earnings reports, traders reportedly fretted over the political uncertainly surrounding health care companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 3 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 4 points.

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Life continues to be tougher for agricultural producers in the middle, according to the recently released 2017 Census of Agriculture from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

For instance, the total number of farms declined between 2012 and 2017, from 2.11 million to 2.04 million.

There were 77,000 farms with sales of $1 million or more, which was 2,000 fewer than in 2012, but 1,000 more farms with sales of $5 million or more.

There were 792,000 farms with sales of less than $2,500, which were 4,000 more (+0.51%) more than 2012.

In between, were farms with sales of $2,500 to $999,999, which totaled 1.17 million. That was 69,000 fewer (-5.56%) than 2012. There were 39,000 fewer farms (-4.85%) with sales of $2,500 to $4,999 and 30,000 fewer farms (-6.85%) with sales of $50,000 to $999,999.

Farms with sales of $5 million or more accounted for fewer than 1% of all farms but 35% of all sales. On the other end of the scale, farms with sales of $50,000 or less accounted for 76% of the farms and 3% of the sales.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 18, 2019 2019-04-17T18:06:32-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 17, 2019

Cattle futures gained more ground Tuesday, buoyed by continued strength in Lean Hog futures and firm wholesale beef prices. Feeder Cattle likely received some benefit from lower grain futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher (20¢ to $1 higher).

Except for unchanged and 17¢ higher in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 94¢ higher .

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 8¢ to 10¢ lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.07 higher Tuesday afternoon at $232.05/cwt. Select was 7¢ lower at $221.15.

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Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Tuesday, regaining the minimal losses from the previous session. Support included stronger quarterly earnings than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 67 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 1 point higher. The NASDAQ was up 24 points.

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Between recent prices and expectations for stronger feedlot demand, USDA increased projected feeder cattle prices for the second quarter by 2$ at the midpoint to $144-$150/cwt., according to the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. Prices for the fourth quarter increased $2 at the midpoint, as well, to $140-$152. The annual price forecast increased to $143-$150.

Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) note the inventory of cattle on feed more than 150 days continued to build in March; 23% more than a year earlier. They expect feedlot placements and marketings in the coming quarters to bring the supply of long-fed cattle more in line with the 5-year average.

“These large supplies of market-ready cattle in feedlots have experienced a tough winter, and the performance of steers and heifers in the feedlot has suffered. Given how long feedlot operations have had to feed these animals, the feedlots may be more inclined to take prices offered than to feed their cattle longer to recover the lost weight,” ERS analysts explain. “As a result, the momentum of the weekly 5-area steer price may have limited upward support, particularly given the strong number of market-ready cattle in early 2019. However, based on expected strength of beef demand as the year progresses, the 2019 annual price forecast was left unchanged at $117-$122/cwt.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 17, 2019 2019-04-16T19:31:56-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 16, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were steady in the Southern Plains last week at $124/cwt. In late-week trade, live prices were steady to $2 higher in the north at $126-$128 in Nebraska, $127.00-$127.50 in Colorado and at $127-$130 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to unevenly steady at $204-$206.

Sluggish, directionless trade had Cattle futures hovering in mixed action early in Monday’s session. They ended the day grinding a touch higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ higher, except for 25¢ lower in spot Apr and unchanged in Dec.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.23 higher Monday afternoon at $230.98/cwt., the highest since last May. Select was 20¢ higher at $221.22.

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Major U.S. financial indices leaked lower Monday, presumably on mixed quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 27 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point lower. The NASDAQ was down 8 points.

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“With generally good summer forage prospects, stocker cattle demand remains strong with spring calf price peaks continuing into mid-April,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Lightweight feeder cattle prices have yet to confirm a seasonal price peak and may hold steady or even push slightly higher in the next two to three weeks. In Oklahoma, 5-weight steer prices typically drop roughly 7% between the spring peak into July and another 4% to fall lows in October. Large frame, #1 steers (500 lbs.) are currently priced about $186/cwt., suggesting an October low price of roughly $166.”

As for feeder steers (7-weight to 8-weight), Peel says they typically increase to a peak in July before declining in the second half of the year.

“Current steer prices are roughly $148/cwt. (750 lbs., Large #1), suggesting a peak July price of roughly $153 and an October price near $148,” Peel says. “Futures markets are more optimistic than that for feeder markets with current Feeder Cattle futures prices for the summer and fall well above these levels. This may provide a pricing opportunity for summer or fall feeder sales.”

Although cash cattle prices may have peaked in late March at nearly $129/cwt., Peel believes lingering weather impacts could fuel one more price surge in the next few weeks.

“Beef production thus far this year is down 0.7% year over year but weekly beef production the last four weeks has averaged 1.8% higher year over year,” Peel says. “Beef production typically increases from the first quarter to the third quarter of the year. The seasonal increase in beef production may be tempered somewhat in the coming weeks by lower carcass weights and other lingering impacts of severe weather this winter and spring. Normal seasonality of fed prices indicates that fed prices will likely drop to +/- $120/cwt. for fall lows.”

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 16, 2019 2019-04-15T20:04:19-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 15

Based on USDA reports through late Friday afternoon, the only trendable negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was steady money in the Southern Plains at $124/cwt.

Week-end positioning, reduced tonnage from another storm and the promise of grilling-season demand helped lift Cattle futures on Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher. 

Except for unchanged in spot Apr and an average of 29¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher. 

Corn futures closed fractionally higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 1¢ higher Friday afternoon at $228.84/cwt. Select was $1.07 higher at $221.02. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday. Support included quarterly earnings from J.P. Morgan Chase and surging Disney shares, tied to its new streaming service. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 269 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 19 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 36 points.

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Measured against history, analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) say the expansion phase of the current cattle cycle is typical. It may be the liquidation phase that runs against the grain.

In the latest Livestock Monitor, LMIC analysts explain cyclical herd growth since the 1970’s lasts 5-7 years, with peak numbers usually fewer than the apex of the previous cycle. The liquidation phases usually takes 5-8 years. Currently, they estimate beef cow numbers at the beginning of next year to be about the same as this year; then a negligible reduction.

“Even though cow-calf returns are dramatically below a few years ago, most producers are not faced with financial stress to force substantial breeding herd reductions,” LMIC analysts say. “That is a contrast to most recent cattle cycles. In several areas of the U.S. drought, floods, and/or brutal winter weather has impacted and could continue to ratchet down cowherd numbers. But the economics suggest the most modest cyclical herd downturn since the 1958-67 inventory cycle.”

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 15 2019-04-13T16:24:44-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 12, 2019

Cattle futures worked their way higher Thursday, helped along by Lean Hog futures once again (see below). Lean Hogs were buoyed by data from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service indicating 77,700 metric tons of U.S. pork sold to China last week. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 30¢ higher. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ higher (25¢ higher to $1.17 higher in the back contract).

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 2¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 22¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $228.83/cwt. Select was 33¢ higher at $219.95. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed little changed on Thursday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 14 points lower. The S&P 500 closed unchanged. The NASDAQ was down 16 points.

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“African Swine Fever has spread to every province in mainland China and is now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs,” says Christine McCracken, RaboResearch animal protein analyst. “The expected 30% loss in pork production is unprecedented. These losses cannot easily be replaced by other proteins like chicken, duck and seafood, nor will larger pork imports be able to fully offset the loss.” McCracken authored the recent Rabobank article, Rising African Swine Fever Losses to Lift All Protein Boats.

According to a media advisory from Rabobank Thursday:

In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35%. This loss is at least 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and nearly as large as Europe’s annual pork supply.

Rabobank expects production losses to exceed 10% in Vietnam, the world’s fifth largest pork-producing country and a significant supplier to China.Rabobank believes there will be a net supply gap of almost 10 million metric tons in the total 2019 animal protein supply, which will increase farmgate and consumer prices.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 12, 2019 2019-04-11T18:39:52-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 11, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade got underway in the Southern Plains Wednesday at $124/cwt. on a live basis, which was steady with last week.

Likewise, there were 510 head—four five lots of Oklahoma heifers—offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. Four lots (416 head) sold for 1-17 day delivery at a weighted average price of $124/cwt. 

Continued sluggish trade and lack of direction pressured Cattle futures Wednesday, despite strong renewed buying in Lean Hog futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower (2¢ lower in spot Apr to 72¢ lower). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ lower (2¢ lower to 97¢ lower in spot Apr).

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $229.05/cwt. Select was 82¢ higher at $219.62. 

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Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Wednesday. Support included release of minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting, underscoring the likelihood of static interest rates for the remainder of the year.

“…a majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year,” according to the FOMC minutes. “Several of these participants noted that the current target range for the federal funds rate was close to their estimates of its longer-run neutral level and foresaw economic growth continuing near its longer-run trend rate over the fore-cast period.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 6 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 54 points.

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Cattle prices will meander lower next year and then increase steadily through 2028, according to the 2019 Baseline Outlookreport from the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Institute (FAPRI) and Agricultural Markets and Policy team. The outlook through 2028 is based on market information available in February.

FAPRI pegs the 5-area fed steer price in 2020 at $112.38/cwt., compared to a projection of $114.17 this year. The price is projected at $114.78 in 2021, rising from there to $130.29 in 2028.

Prices for steers weighing 600-650 lbs. (basis Oklahoma City) are projected to ebb at $143.92/cwt. in 2020, compared to a projection of $153.30 for this year. The estimated price in 2021 is $149.47 and then increases to $181.35 in 2028.

Overall, however, FAPRI suggests pressure on farm finances likely will continue. Although the analysis shows a projected increase for net farm income this year, it remains below the average of 2014-17. Longer-term projections suggest little change in real net farm income over the next decade, resulting in continued increases in the farm sector’s debt-to-asset ratio.“Although it remains well below the levels of the 1980s, the ratio of U.S. farm debts to assets has increased from 11.3% in 2012 to 13.5% in 2018,” according to the report. “The outlook is for continued stress on farm finances, with the debt-to-asset ratio averaging 14.8% between 2020 and 2028.”

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 11, 2019 2019-04-10T19:15:05-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 10, 2019

Sluggish trade, pressure in Lean Hog futures and softer outside markets weighed on Cattle futures Tuesday.

Other than 10¢ and 90¢ higher at either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 20¢ lower. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from and average of 23¢ lower to an average of 42¢ higher.

Corn futures closed unchanged to 1¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 35¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $228.32/cwt. Select was $2.08 lower at $218.80. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday, with investors apparently fretting over protracted trade negotiations with China and an expected rough patch for quarterly earnings. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 190 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 17 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 44 points.

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“The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, primarily on lower carcass weights, but higher total cattle slaughter for 2019 is expected to partially offset declines in carcass weights,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest 

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Estimated beef production for this year of 27.280 billion lbs. is 20 million lbs. less than the previous month’s projection.

Projected fed steer prices (5-area Direct) were lowered slightly based on a lower price in the first quarter. The 5-area Direct fed steer price is projected at $122-$126/cwt. in the second quarter; $111-$119 in the third and $109-$119 in the fourth.

 Incidentally, total red meat and poultry production for this year was reduced by 212 million lbs. to 104.245 billion lbs.

“Pork production is lowered on a slower pace of slaughter throughout the

year, but is partially offset by slightly higher hog weights,” say ERS analysts. “Broiler production was reduced based on recent hatchery data and slowing weight growth, while turkey production was raised slightly.”

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 10, 2019 2019-04-09T21:21:01-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 9, 2019

Cattle futures edged higher Monday, after early follow-through pressure from end of the week profit taking and positioning. Firm wholesale beef prices provided some of the support.

There’s plenty of market uncertainty for the week ahead.

Another massive winter-like storm is forecast to hit the North Central Plains and upper Midwest this week, with some forecasts suggesting a bomb cyclone similar to the one just a few weeks ago, and impacting some of the same areas.

“A potentially dangerous storm will unfold across the nation’s mid-section April 10-11,” according to USDA Agricultural Weather Highlights. “The storm, which bears a resemblance to the mid-March ‘bomb cyclone,’ will undergo rapid intensification across the central Plains on Wednesday and cross the Great Lakes region on Friday. Heavy snow will fall across the northern Rockies on Tuesday, followed by a major precipitation event (1 to 3 inches or more) on Wednesday and Thursday from Nebraska and South Dakota eastward into Michigan. Flooding is already occurring in parts of the upper Midwest, and this week’s storm will likely aggravate the situation, especially from South Dakota to Wisconsin. In addition, wind-driven snow will fall along an axis from Wyoming to upper Michigan. Farther south, locally severe thunderstorms may sweep across the southeastern Plains, mid-South, and lower Midwest. In the storm’s wake, late-week freezes may occur as far south as northern Texas. The NWS 6-10-day outlook for April 13-17 calls for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation across most of the country.”

Other than 25¢ lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher (22¢ to 90¢ higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ higher (35¢ to $1.82 higher).

Grain markets on Monday may have reflected some defensive positioning ahead of Tuesday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.74 higher Monday afternoon at $228.67/cwt. Select was 60¢ higher at $220.88.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Monday. The Dow was down on mid-term queasiness over blue chip stocks like Boeing and General Electric.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 83 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 15 points.

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Although total cattle slaughter so far this year is 0.7% more than in 2018, beef production is about 1% less as weather and herd dynamics slow cattle finishing, according to Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments.

As for herd dynamics, Peel notes steer slaughter is 3.9% less year over year, while heifer slaughter is up 7.6%. Beef cow slaughter is 1.1% more, while dairy cow slaughter is up 5.0%.

Then, there’s the long winter. Feedlot performance is worse year over year and carcass weights are lighter. So far this year, Peel says steer carcass weights averaged 866 lbs., which is 7.3 lbs. lighter. Heifer carcasses are 11.7 lbs. lighter at 804 lbs.

“Reduced beef production appears to have supported boxed beef prices, reducing supplies somewhat so far this year compared to earlier expectations,” Peel explains. “Fed cattle prices have likely been supported as well, though the weather impacts have not been as obvious as some had expected. Fed cattle prices may have peaked seasonally but continued weather impacts and the onset of summer beef demand should provide continued support for a few more weeks and possibly another chance for a spring price peak.”

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 9, 2019 2019-04-08T19:23:55-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 8, 2019

For the week, through Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were steady to a touch softer in the Northern Plains at $126/cwt. in Nebraska and at $127-$128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was reported at $204-$206, compared to $206 the previous week. Prices in the Southern Plains were $1-$2 lower at $124.

Despite early pressure stemming from volatile Lean Hog futures, Cattle futures ended the day mostly narrowly mixed, with most of the pressure ascribed to week-end positioning.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.19 lower in the front three contracts, and then 37¢ lower to 50¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (47¢ lower to 32¢ higher).

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ lower through May ’20 and then mostly 4¢ lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 19¢ higher Friday afternoon at $226.93/cwt. Select was $1.92 higher at $220.28.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, buoyed by a strong employment report and continued optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal sooner rather than later.

Non-farm payroll employment increased 196,000 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%.

Average hourly earning for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased 4¢ in March to $27.70.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 40 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 46 points.

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Demand for turnout cattle continued to boost calf prices. Overall, steers and heifers traded steady to $3/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Buyers were very critical of excessive flesh, especially on heifers as market activity slowed substantially if they were over-conditioned,” AMS analysts explained. “After the previous week’s downward trend in the futures contracts, early-week sales had cattle buyers more cautious when procuring heavier cattle.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 81¢ higher week to week on Friday, thanks in large part to a bounce higher Thursday, as traders continue to push Lean Hog futures.

Cattle Current Daily—Apr. 8, 2019 2019-04-07T13:57:00-05:00

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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.

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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.