Daily Market Highlights

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 14, 2019

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

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

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

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower. 

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 12¢ higher. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 12, 2019

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

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

Live Cattle futures closed 42¢ higher. 

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

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.36 lower Friday afternoon at $215.35/cwt. Select was 36¢ lower at $211.17. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Friday, recovering from strong pressure early in the session, tied to lingering worries about the lack of resolution to trade issues between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 63 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point higher. The NASDAQ was up 9 points.

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“Beef production (2018) is reduced on lower cattle slaughter and lighter carcass weights through late December,” say ERS analysts, in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). “The 2019 beef production forecast is reduced on lower projected slaughter as smaller anticipated placements in late 2018 and early 2019 are expected to result in lower fed cattle marketings and slaughter in the first half of the year.”

The annual average fed steer price (5-area Direct) for last year was estimated at $117.12/cwt., which was 21¢ higher than the December projection.

Fed steer prices for this year are estimated at $122-$126 in the first quarter, $119-$127 in the second, $109-$119 in the third and at $108-$118 in the fourth.

Total beef production for last year was revised down 75 million lbs. from the December estimate to 26.86 billion lbs. Likewise, estimated beef production for this year was revised down by 175 million lbs. to 27.61 billion lbs.

“Total red meat and poultry production for 2018 was lowered from December as beef and broiler production more than offsets slightly higher pork production,” say ERS analysts. “For 2019, the total red meat and poultry production forecast is lowered from December on lower expected beef, pork, and broiler production.”

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 11, 2019 2019-02-09T12:52:57+00:00

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 8, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. 

Cattle futures mostly tread water, pressured early by sharply lower Lean Hog futures, but recovering as trade picked up.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (17¢ lower to 11¢ higher). 

Except for unchanged in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ higher. 

Corn and soybean futures came under pressure Thursday, perhaps in part to negative rhetoric regarding a trade resolution with China, as well as defensive positioning ahead of USDA reports Friday that will provide the first glimpse at grain stocks and usage estimates in more than a month.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 8¢ lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 86¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $216.71/cwt. Select was 84¢ lower at $211.53. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Thursday, pressured mostly by renewed concerns about global economic growth. Worries were spurred by reports that the U.S. and China are still wide apart in trade negotiations. Pressure also came from the European Commission (EU) lowering its projections for economic growth to 1.5% for this year.

“Our forecast is revised downwards, in particular for the largest euro area economies,” says Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. “This reflects external factors, such as trade tensions and the slowdown in emerging markets, notably in China. Concerns about the sovereign-bank loop and debt sustainability are resurfacing in some euro area countries. The possibility of a disruptive Brexit creates additional uncertainty…”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 220 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 25 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 86 points.

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U.S. beef exports continued on a record pace in November according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Note that these are the latest statistics, about a month late, due to the government shutdown.

Beef exports totaled 112,842 metric tons (mt) in November, up 1% from a year earlier, while value climbed 6% to $709.2 million. For January through November of last year, exports reached 1.24 million mt, up 8% year-over-year and 6% above the record pace of 2011. At $7.63 billion, beef export value was up 16% and broke the full-year record set in 2017 ($7.27 billion).

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter is also on a record pace, averaging $322.97 in November, which was 5% more than a year earlier. Value per head of fed slaughter through the first 11 months of 2018 was $320.72, which was 14% more than the same period a year earlier.

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 8, 2019 2019-02-07T19:25:49+00:00

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 7, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, but early sings pointed to at least steady trade.

For instance, although too few to trend, there was some live trade in Nebraska at $124/cwt., steady with last week. 

Likewise, two lots of steers from Kansas brought a weighted average price of $124.11 in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. That was steady with the region’s country price a week earlier. There were only 294 head offered, but 161 head sold. Another lot was passed out at $124.

Cattle futures edged lower Wednesday with the lack of cash direction and light trade, especially light in Feeder Cattle.

Other than unchanged to an average of 3¢ higher in the back three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ lower.  

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 55¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $217.57/cwt. Select was 73¢ lower at $212.37. 

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Major U.S. financial indices leaked lower Wednesday, pressured by mixed quarterly earnings results and little betting direction from the State of the Union address. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 21 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 26 points.

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“Plant-based proteins are no longer just a meat replacement, it’s now its own category,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “It’s possible that protein overall is evolving into a category, whether animal meat, beans, nuts, soy, wild game or other proteins, in forms ranging from beverage to center-of-plate.”  

Case shipments of plant-based protein from broadline foodservice distributors to foodservice operators increased 20% year to year in November, according to The NPD Group.

Burgers represent the largest plant-based foodservice category and have year-over-year double-digit growth in pounds shipped to foodservice operators, and plant-based burgers are showing up the most on many restaurant menus.  Although plant-based burgers are popular across demographics, an analysis done with NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout, shows that smaller, more affluent ($100,000 and up) households are the top buyers of plant-based burgers.   

About a quarter of the U.S. population, many of whom aren’t vegan or vegetarian, say that they eat and drink plant-based beverages and foods as well as animal protein on a regular basis, according to NPD.

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 7, 2019 2019-02-06T19:19:37+00:00

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 6, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon.

Live Cattle futures edged higher with the firm fundamental outlook—at least static demand levels and weather-dampened beef production—for the near term. Feeder Cattle softened, likely due most to positioning after the previous session’s strong gain.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 30¢ higher (5¢ higher to 97¢ higher in spot Feb).

Other than an average of 12¢ higher in Sep and Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ lower. 

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $217.02/cwt. Select was 31¢ lower at $213.10. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher again Tuesday, buoyed by positive quarterly earnings reports. Also, there may have been some betting on the President’s State of The Union address scheduled for Tuesday night.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 172 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 12 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 54 points.

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Agricultural producers were more optimistic about the agricultural economy in January, but they remain concerned about farmland values, according to results from the January Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer

The barometer rebounded 16 points from December, to 143 in January. It’s based on 400 survey responses from agricultural producers across the country.

“This survey provided us with the first opportunity to measure farmers’ sentiment following the announcement of USDA’s second round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “It appears that these two announcements provided a significant boost to producer sentiment regarding both current and future economic conditions.”

In January, both of the barometer’s two sub-indices increased month to month. The Index of Current Conditions rose 3 points to 132. The Index of Future Expectations increased 13 points to 148. Pessimism about farmland values increased, though. According to the January survey, the percentage expecting higher farmland values over the next 12 months declined 4 points to 13%. Those expecting higher values in the next five years declined 2 points to 48%.

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 6, 2019 2019-02-05T19:13:11+00:00

Cattle Current daily-Feb. 5, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended up last week at steady money to a little higher with moderate trade and demand on Friday. Live prices were $1 higher at $124/cwt., except for steady in the western Corn Belt at $123-$126. Dressed sales were steady to $3 higher at $197-$200.

Cattle futures closed higher Monday, led by Feeder Cattle and supported by higher cash prices and resurgent wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 higher ($1.12 to $1.82 higher).

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.39 higher Monday afternoon at $217.65/cwt. Select was 26¢ higher at $213.41.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Monday, supported by tech stocks and positive quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 175 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 18 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 87 points.

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“Total commercial beef production for 2018 is projected at 26.9 billion lbs., up 2.6% from one year ago and just fractionally smaller than the record U.S. beef production of 27.1 billion lbs. in 2002,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Beef production in 2019 is forecast at a record 27.4 billion lbs, up 1.8% year over year. Total beef production is likely to grow through 2020 at least.”

Along the way, Peel says total cattle slaughter last year was 2.5% more, with steer slaughter 0.7% less than in 2017 and heifer slaughter 6.5% more. Total cow slaughter was 6.5% more year over year, including 8.6% more beef cows.

Cattle Current daily-Feb. 5, 2019 2019-02-04T18:43:08+00:00

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 4, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports, though expectations were for steady to higher prices.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, following the previous session’s correction.

Except for 2¢ lower in near Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Except for $1.35 lower in the back contract and 15¢ higher in Nov, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ lower.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.13 lower Friday afternoon at $214.26/cwt. Select was 27¢ higher at $213.15.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mostly higher Friday, supported by energy stocks and the positive employment outlook.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate edged up to 4.0%.

Hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls in January rose by 3¢ to $27.56, following a 10¢ gain in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 85¢, or 3.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 64 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 17 points.

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Between 1979 and 1998, U.S. consumer beef demand declined by 50%, reminded Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO, at that organization’s annual Outlook Seminar last week.

Since then, demand increased, in part, because the industry increased product quality and consistency. For instance, Blach pointed out the percentage of Choice and Prime cattle increased 50% since 2004 to 79% last year.

“We finally started listening to the consumer and they rewarded us,” Blach says. He explains if beef demand hadn’t grown for the last two decades, fed steer prices today would be $20/cwt. less and steer calf prices would be $50 less.

“We have a changing consumer today. Are we willing to make the next changes to assure we’re providing consumer with what is important to them?” Blach asked. Among growing consumer demands, he cites things such as traceability and verification.

Cattle Current Daily-Feb. 4, 2019 2019-02-03T20:08:52+00:00

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

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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.