Daily Market Highlights

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 17, 2021

Cattle futures managed to close marginally lower to narrowly mixed Thursday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 34¢ lower in four contracts to an average of 56¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ lower, except for an average of 6¢ higher in two contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Southern Plains and mostly inactive on light demand in the North through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, prices are steady to unevenly steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska with live prices at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $123-$124 in Kansas and $125 in Nebraska. Live prices in the western Corn Belt are $1-$3 lower at $123-$124. Dressed traded is unevenly steady at $200.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.82 lower Thursday afternoon at $318.00/cwt. Select was $3.62 lower at $280.27.

Net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending Sept. 9 were 15,300 metric tons, according to USDA’s weekly U.S. Export Sales report. That was 23% more than the previous week and 24% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, China, Mexico, and Canada.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through May ‘22 and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices mainly hovered in place Thursday amid investor caution. Weekly initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Sept. 11 were 332,000, which was 20,000 more than the previous week and a tad gloomier than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 63 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 20 points.

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Price projections in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) continue to be optimistic, especially heading into 2022.

ERS sees the 2022 annual average feeder steer price (basis 750-800 lbs., Oklahoma City) at $155.00/cwt., which would be $9.12 more than this year’s estimate and $19.55 more than the 2020 average. Prices are projected at $154 in the third quarter and $155 in the fourth quarter for an annual average of $145.88. Prices are forecast at $153 in the first quarter next year and at $151 in the second.

ERS projects the 2022 annual average five-area direct fed steer price at $128.25/cwt., which would be $6.07 more than this year’s projection and $19.74 more than 2020. Prices are projected at $124 in the third quarter and $131 in the fourth quarter for an annual average of $122.18. Prices are forecast at $133 in the first quarter next year and at $128 in the second.

“Cow slaughter is expected to be higher during the second half of the year, partly offsetting declines in steer and heifer slaughter. But, coupled with lighter expected dressed weights, the forecast for 2021 beef production was reduced to 27.74 billion lbs., down 130 million lbs. from last month,” according to ERS analysts.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 17, 2021 2021-09-16T19:55:53-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 16, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in the Southern Plains through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were generally steady at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and $123-$124 in Kansas.

Prices were unevenly steady in Nebraska at $125 on a live basis and $200 in the beef.

There were too few transactions to trend in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.07 lower Wednesday afternoon at $319.82/cwt. Select was $6.73 lower at $283.89.

Cattle futures retreated Wednesday but held on to most of the previous session’s gains. Resurgent Corn futures added pressure to Feeder Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.20 lower (2¢ at the back to  to $2.15 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower (10¢ lower at the front to $1.10 lower at the back), except for 5¢ higher in spot Oct.

Corn futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 12¢ higher through Nov ‘22 and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices rose Wednesday, supported by tech and energy stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 236 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 37 points higher. The

NASDAQ closed 123 points higher

Crude Oil futures (WTI-CME) closed $1.65 to $2.15 higher through the front six contracts.

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“…while the four-firm concentration in fed cattle beef packing has remained relatively constant since 1994, the CPI (Consumer Price Index) for beef has been variable over that same period; sometimes above and sometimes below the overall consumer price index. If concentration is causing the recent rise in consumer prices for meat and poultry products, why did concentration not cause inflation five or 10 years ago?,” wonders Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, in a letter sent Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The letter was in response to a White House press briefing last week where the primary focus was climbing consumer food prices. Brian Deese, National Economic Council (NEC) director and Secretary Vilsack unveiled what they called a study. You’d be hard-pressed to find a credible economist able to connect the dots and conclusions. The abbreviated bottom line is that industry consolidation is at the root of higher red meat and poultry prices.

“…Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products, and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic…The dynamic of a hyper-consolidated pinch point in the supply chain raises real questions about pandemic profiteering. During the pandemic, wholesale prices for beef rose much faster than input prices for cattle. That means that the prices the processors pay to ranchers aren’t increasing, but the prices collected by processors from retailers are going up.”

There’s neither time nor space to start filling in the fictional holes and inferential leaps.

Good luck getting profit data from privately owned companies, which represent a fair bit of beef packing capacity. Never mind what gross packing margins have and don’t have to do with profitability.

Few would argue that food retail prices are increasing. As mentioned in yesterday’s Cattle Current, beef and veal values were 9.6% higher year over year in pandemic-ravaged 2020, according to according to the Consumer Food Price Index from ERS. Year over year in July, those values were 6.5% higher; 4.2% higher year to date compared to the same time last year.

Everything from increased labor costs and supply chain disruptions to inflation and derived demand contribute to increasing consumer prices and the price imbalance between industry sectors.

“Before the administration attempts to recreate the animal agriculture industry, it is prudent to look back and acknowledge the benefits that flow from the food supply chains as they exist, which ERS described as ‘efficient,’ Potts explained in her letter. “In 2020, according to ERS, Americans spent an average of 8.6 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food. Indeed, Americans spend less of their disposable personal income on food than any other country in the world. This remarkable drop is attributable largely to systematic efficiencies that allow food processors to offer food to consumers at lower prices.”  

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 16, 2021 2021-09-15T21:16:34-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 15, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $124-$127 in the North. Dressed trade was at $198-$203.

Cattle futures were finally oversold and cheap enough to generate buying interest Tuesday. Support included the fact that the JBS plant in Grand Island — offline Monday due to a fire on the rendering side — was reportedly back up and running.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.96 higher ($2.57 to $3.45 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.16 higher ($1.65 to $2.82 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.04 lower Tuesday afternoon at $322.89/cwt. Select was $1.54 lower at $290.62.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher across the front half of the board and then fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 4¢ higher in spot Sep.

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Major U.S. financial indices weakened after a respite the previous day and despite the fact that the closely watched Consumer Price Index (CPI) was slightly less than the trade expected month over month and year over year. The CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3% in

August on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.5% in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unadjusted index for all items was 5.3% more than 12 months earlier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 292 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 25 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 67 points.

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Wholesale beef prices continue to decline, while retail beef prices edge higher.

Although wholesale beef prices remain elevated, Choice boxed beef prices continue downward, from a recent summer high in of $348.03/cwt. in August to $322.89 yesterday afternoon. Likewise, Select declined from $319.59 to $290.62.

Conversely, the most recent summary of retail beef prices, published by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) yesterday shows the Choice beef price increasing steadily from $6.48/lb. in March to $7.64 in August. During the same period, the all fresh retail beef price increased from $6.38/lb. to $7.14.

According to the Consumer Food Price Index from ERS, beef and veal values were 9.6% higher year over year in pandemic-ravaged 2020. Year over year in July, those values were 6.5% higher; 4.2% higher year to date compared to the same time last year.

By way of comparison, the Consumer Food Price Index for all food was 3.4% higher year over year in 2020, 3.4% higher year over year in July and 2.4% higher year to date.

Year over year in July, food-at-home (grocery store or supermarket food purchases) CPI increased 2.6%, while food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) increased 4.6%, according to the ERS Food Price Outlook.

Year to date, ERS analysts say, “Of all the CPI food-at-home categories tracked by USDA-ERS, the fresh fruits category has had the largest relative price increase (4.9%) and the fresh vegetables category the smallest (0.4%). No food categories have decreased in price in 2021 compared to 2020.”

As for the overall consumer price index, according to the latest update from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unadjusted index for all items was 5.3% higher over the last 12 months.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 15, 2021 2021-09-14T19:22:46-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 14, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $124-$126 in Nebraska and $124-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $198-$203. 

Last week’s five-area direct average steer price was $124.79/cwt. on a live basis, which was 64¢ less than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef was 97¢ lower at $200.82.

Widespread reports of an overnight for at the JBS packing facility in Grand Island, Neb. — apparently halting production, at least for Monday — shoved already faltering Cattle futures lower. Overall weakness in commodity markets also contributed pressure.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.09 lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 lower

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 57¢ lower Monday afternoon at $247.59/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $218.01/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ lower through Jly ’22 and then 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower through Aug ’22 and then fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed on Monday, snapping a five-day slide as investors await Tuesday’s report on consumer prices to gauge both inflation and the Federal Reserve’s timing to taper stimulus efforts. Crude oil continued to rally in part due to port disruptions spawned by Hurricane Ida.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 262 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 10 points lower. 

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Beef byproduct values continue significantly higher in recent months than they were for several years. During the ebb in 2020, those values were the lowest since 2009, according to Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. For perspective, he says hide and offal values were $6.93/cwt. (live fed steer basis) in July last year. They were $14.99 last month. They were $15.25 yesterday.

“The sharp jump in byproduct values is due to increases in hide values along with several other products included in the by-product totals,” Peel explains, in his weekly market comments. “The largest component of byproduct values is the hides. The August steer hide value was up 115% year over year. In recent years, hides have dropped from roughly half of total byproduct values to about 30% of the total. Despite the doubling of hide values in the past year, hides still only represent 31.7% of current byproduct value. This is because numerous other byproduct values have likewise increased sharply in the past year.”

For instance, Peel explains inedible tallow values are up 177% year over year while edible tallow values increased 85% percent. Combined, he says edible and inedible tallow represent 25.4% of August total byproduct values. Tongue prices were up 111% year over year in August and accounted for 19.5% of total byproduct values. 

“The majority of hides and offals are exported. Over the past decade, exports of hides, variety meat, and tallow have added an average of $2.42 billion to total beef industry exports. In 2020, the value of hide, variety meat and tallow exports was $1.7 billion,” Peel says.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 14, 2021 2021-09-13T21:53:32-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 13. 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were steady to $1 lower at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $124-$125 in Nebraska and $124-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $2-$5 lower in Nebraska at $198 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $203.

Cattle futures continued lower Friday, pressured by growing concerns about rising Delta variant infections hampering economic recovery and demand.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 lower (50¢ lower in the back contract to $2.10 lower in Nov ’21).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower, (33¢ lower in the front contract to $1.13 lower at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.36 lower Friday at $327.22/cwt. Select was $3.08 lower at $298.37.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Aug. 28 was 901 lbs., which was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week and 15 lbs. lighter than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 821 lbs. was 1 lb. heavier than the previous week but 13 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Estimated total cattle slaughter the holiday shortened week was 577,000 head, according to USDA, which was 47,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 23.04 million head is 834,000 more (+3.76%) than the same period last year.

Estimated year-to-date total beef production of 19.03 billion lbs. was 648.1 million lbs. more (+3.53%) than the same time the previous year.

Corn futures closed higher Friday, despite bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates that increased ending stocks with more projected planted acres and higher estimated yield (see below).

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 15¢ to 19¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday as investors continued to fret over growing cases of the Delta variant and its impact on economic growth, while inflation indicators continue to rise. For instance, the Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.7% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3% for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 271 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 34 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 132 points.

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The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates published Friday increased expected fed steer prices and lowered expected corn prices.

ERS lowered projected beef production for this year by 130 million lbs. to 27.74 billion lbs. based on lower expected steer and heifer slaughter and lighter carcass weights more than offsetting higher cow slaughter. However, the total would be 586 million lbs. more (+2.1%) than last year. Total beef production next year is forecast to be 26.87 billion lbs., which would be 867 million lbs. less (-3.1%) than this year.

ERS increased this year’s expected five-area direct annual average fed steer price by $1 to $122.20/cwt. Average projected prices are $124 in the third quarter, $131 in the fourth quarter and $133 in the first quarter of next year. Expectations for next year’s annual average price increased by $2 to $128.

Total red meat and poultry production  this year is projected to be 106.6 billion lbs., which would be 59 million lbs. more than last year. Next year, total red meat and poultry production is forecast to be 204 million lbs. (+0.19%) more than this year on increased pork and poultry production.

Corn

USDA forecast corn production for 2021-22 at 15.0 billion bu., up 246 million from last month on increases to harvested area and yield. The national average yield is forecast at 176.3 bu./acre, up 1.7 bu. Harvested area for grain is forecast at 85.1 million acres, up 0.6 million. With projected supply rising more than use, ending stocks increased 166 million bu. to 1.4 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers was lowered 30¢ to $5.45/bu. 

Soybeans

Soybean production is projected at 4.4 billion bu., up 35 million with lower harvested area more than offset by a higher yield forecast of 50.6 bu./acre. Ending stocks are projected at 185 million bushels, up 30 million from last month.

The U.S. season-average soybean price was forecast at $12.90/bu., down 80¢. The soybean meal price was forecast $25 less at $360 per short ton. The soybean oil price forecast was unchanged at 65¢/lb. 

Wheat

Projected 2021-22 ending wheat stocks were reduced 12 million bu. to 615 million and would be 27% less than last year, the lowest in eight years. The projected 2021-22 season-average farm price was lowered 10¢/bu. to $6.60 on reported NASS prices to date and price expectations for the remainder of 2021-22.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 13. 2021 2021-09-12T19:35:19-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept 10, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon. Although there were too few transactions to trend, there was some live trade at $124-$125/cwt. and some in the beef at $198. The previous day, established trend was as $126 and $203, respectively.

Trade was limited on light demand in Kansas with a few live sales steady with the previous day at $123.

Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt. Live prices the previous day were at $124-$125; $203 dressed.

Trade was at a standstill in the Texas Panhandle. Live prices the previous day were at $123-$124.

Cattle futures offered hope again early in yesterday’s session but closed lower yet again, except for front-month Live Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $1.28 lower at the back).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower, except for 2¢ to 65¢ higher in the front three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.28 lower Thursday afternoon at $332.58/cwt. Select was $1.72 lower at $296.45.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 12¢ lower with most of the pressure in new-crop contracts.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed down for the second consecutive day on Thursday amid volatile trade. First-time unemployment claims fell to the lowest level since the pandemic started, but more large companies like Microsoft announced plans to delay reopening due to the continued spread of the delta variant of Covid-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 152 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 21 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 38 points. 

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“Boxed beef prices have started what is expected to be a slow and long price decline following the Labor Day holiday. There may be some buying in the next week or so to restock meat counters, but beef prices are expected to soften until fourth-quarter holiday buying takes center stage,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Beef is the major value determinant of cattle, but the drop credit is also important to finished cattle value. Hide and offal does not play into the boxed beef valuation equation, but packers count on its value to pay the bills. In 2020, the hide and offal value peeked at $9.41/cwt., which is about where it started the current year. However, hide and offal values have been on a linear trajectory and averaged $15.14 last week, which is nearly 44% higher than the five-year average price for the last week of August. Current hide and offal values are at the highest level since January 2015 when cattle supplies were tight, and prices may be destined to go higher.”

Cattle Current Daily—Sept 10, 2021 2021-09-09T20:56:06-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 9, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend, there were a few live sales in Nebraska at $126/cwt. There were also some early dressed sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $203. Last week, live prices were $125-$126 in Nebraska and $125-$128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade in the regions was at $200-$203.

Trade in the Southern Plains was limited on light demand. There were a few live sales at $124, steady with the previous day. Last week, live sales in Kansas were at $125-$126 and at $123-$124 in the Texas Panhandle.

Cattle futures tried to gain traction early in Wednesday’s session but ran out of steam amid continued concerns about declining beef values and demand uncertainty.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 lower (22¢ lower at the front to $1.77 lower toward the back).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower amid heavy trade.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 33¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $334.86/cwt. Select was $3.73 lower at $298.17.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower, except for 2¢ higher in spot Sep.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 2¢ higher through Sep ’22 and then fractionally lower.

For the record, 59% of the nation’s corn crop was in Good or Excellent condition (week ending Sept. 5), according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report. That was 1% less than the previous week and 2% less than the five-year average.

57% of the soybean crop was in good or excellent condition versus 56% the previous year and 65% for average

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Major U.S. financial indices softened Wednesday amid investor nervousness about inflation and economic growth.

“Economic growth downshifted slightly to a moderate pace in early July through August,” according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. “…The deceleration in economic activity was largely attributable to a pullback in dining out, travel, and tourism in most Districts, reflecting safety concerns due to the rise of the Delta variant, and, in a few cases, international travel restrictions. The other sectors of the economy where growth slowed or activity declined were those constrained by supply disruptions and labor shortages, as opposed to softening demand.”

As for inflation, according to the Beige Book, “…With pervasive resource shortages, input price pressures continued to be widespread. Most Districts noted substantial escalation in the cost of metals and metal-based products, freight and transportation services, and construction materials, with the notable exception of lumber whose cost has retreated from exceptionally high levels. Even at greatly increased prices, many businesses reported having trouble sourcing key inputs. Some Districts reported that businesses are finding it easier to pass along more cost increases through higher prices. Several Districts indicated that businesses anticipate significant hikes in their selling prices in the months ahead.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 68 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 5 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 87 points.

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“Weather is and will clearly play a role as to the timing and availability of calf numbers. And will also impact the distribution of calf weight,” says Stephen Koontz, agricultural economist at Colorado State University. “There is the potential for an interesting dynamic between regional calf marketings and weights and then the resulting placement into feedlots, which may bunch marketing of fed animals well into next year. There are also interesting opportunities for retaining calves across the different regions. All are worth following.”

In the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets, Koontz explains weather — drought specifically — is creating regional variation in heifer trade.

“There is modest evidence of heifers being sold into the meat supply chain as opposed to being used as replacements into the beef production system. This is especially the case in the North and West,” Koontz says. “In the South and East there is very modest evidence – supported by discussions with producers – about retaining and actually purchasing of heifers. The regional dynamics will likely play out well into next year as the late summer saw only some drought relief for the Southern Plains and desert Southwest.”

As for recent declines in Cattle futures, from a technical standpoint, Koontz says market optimism that pushed contracts higher over the last four months is broken or simply exhausted.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 9, 2021 2021-09-08T20:04:13-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 8, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Last week, live sales were at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle $123-$124 in Kansas, $125-$126 in Nebraska and $125 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $200-$203.

Although seemingly plumb oversold, Cattle futures continued to melt down Tuesday. Many other commodity and equity markets suffered, too, as growing cases of the cover delta variant sap risk appetite. For Cattle, that’s on top of everything from cash market leverage woes to post-Labor Day demand uncertainty to the weekend announcement about atypical BSE confirmed in Brazil (see below).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.20 lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 lower, amid active trade.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.23 lower Tuesday afternoon at $335.19/cwt. Select was $2.23 lower at $301.90.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ lower through new-crop contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday on follow-through pressure and worries about the impact of the covid variant on global economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 269 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 15 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 11 points higher.

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“Over the weekend, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply confirmed two atypical cases of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Atypical cases are very rare and are believed to occur spontaneously. These cases occurred outside the United States and do not pose a risk to American consumers—U.S. beef is safe,” according to Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

You might recall that USDA prohibited importing fresh Brazilian beef into the U.S. in 2017, based on persistent food safety concerns. The ban was lifted in 2020 after Brazilian exporters demonstrated the ability and willingness to meet U.S. protocols.

“Given Brazil’s history of failing to report BSE cases in a timely manner, we must remain vigilant in enforcing our safeguards and holding them accountable,” Woodall says. “The U.S. has the highest animal health and food safety standards in the world. We must make sure that all countries wishing to export beef to the U.S. continue to meet our standards—even a country with a small footprint like Brazil. We have full faith and confidence in the abilities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to enforce our safety standards and trade rules to protect America’s cattle producers and consumers.”

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U.S. beef exports set another new value record in July, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). July beef exports were 45% more than the previous year at $939.1 million. Beef export volume was the third largest of the post-BSE era at 122,743 metric tons (mt), up 14% year-over-year.

“Beef exports were really outstanding in July, especially with COVID-related challenges still impacting global foodservice as well as persistent obstacles in shipping and logistics,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Retail demand continues to be tremendous, as evidenced by the new beef value record.”

July beef exports to the mainstay Asian markets of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were relatively steady with last year, but at significantly higher value. Record-large shipments to China and a strong year-over-year rebound in Western Hemisphere markets drove export volume growth.

For January through July, U.S. beef exports increased 18% from a year ago to 822,830 mt, with value up 30% to $5.58 billion. Compared to the pace established in 2018, the record year for U.S. beef exports, shipments were up 6% in volume and 17% in value.

July beef export value equated to $425.68 per head of fed slaughter, up 52% from a year ago. Through July, export value was $369.15 per head, up 24%.

Pork exports in July were steady with last year at 221,809 mt, but export value jumped 20% to $657.3 million. Pork variety meat exports were especially strong at 49,092 mt, up 54% from the low total posted a year ago and 16% above July 2019. Variety meat export value was the second highest on record at $116.7 million, up 69% from a year ago and 39% above 2019.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 8, 2021 2021-09-07T20:56:14-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 6-7, 2021

Cattle futures took it on the chin Friday as traders seemed to grow more concerned about post-Labor Day beef demand and the continued apparent inability of cattle feeders to gain currentness, given the anemic packing pace.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.04 lower Friday ($1.00 to $2.57 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.02 lower (45¢ to $1.27 lower) amid expanding open interest.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade has was mostly inactive on very light demand in all major feeding regions through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

For the week, AMS reported live prices $2 lower in Nebraska at $126/cwt. and $2-$3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $125-$126. Dressed trade was $2-$5 lower in Nebraska at $200-$203.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading steers at an average of $123.94/cwt., which was $1.57 more than the previous week. They traded heifers for $1.67 more at $123.80.

Corn futures closed 8¢ lower in spot Sep, then fractionally lower to 2¢ lower through Dec ’22, and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 8¢ to 10¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

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Wholesale beef values continued to erode.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.50 lower Friday afternoon at $336.42/cwt. Select was 84¢ lower at $304.13.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 624,000 head was 27,000 head fewer than the previous week and 11,000 fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 22.46 million head is 836,000 head more (+3.86%) than last year. Total estimated year-to-date beef production of 18.56 billion lbs. is 659.9 million lbs. more (+3.69%) than the same time last year.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Aug. 21 was 903 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 5 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 7 lbs. lighter than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight of 820 lbs. was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 13 lbs. lighter than the prior year.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Friday on a disappointing jobs report – only 235,000 new non-farm jobs were added in August, the smallest gain in the last seven months. Some analysts say this news may slow down the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 17¢ to $30.73 in August, following increases in the prior four months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 74 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 1 point lower. The NASDAQ closed 32 points higher.

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The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,380 per acre for 2021, up $220 per acre (+7.0%) from 2020, according to USDA’s Land Values 2021 Summary.

The United States cropland value averaged $4,420 per acre, an increase of $320 per acre (+7.8%) from the previous year.

The United States pasture value averaged $1,480 per acre, an increase of $80 per acre (+5.7%) from 2020. For broader perspective, average pasture value increased $150 per acre (+11.3%) since 2017.

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 6-7, 2021 2021-09-05T19:16:17-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 3, 2021

There were too few negotiated cash fed cattle transactions to trend in any major cattle feeding region through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. So far this week, amid anemic trade, live prices are $2 lower in Nebraska at $126/cwt. and $2-$3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $125-$126. Dressed trade in Nebraska is $2-$5 lower at $200-$203.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 53¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $337.92/cwt. Select was $2.60 lower at $304.97.

Cattle futures continued to sag lower Thursday amid sluggish interest ahead of the long holiday weekend, declining wholesale beef values and the lackluster packing pace. Feeder Cattle led the charge lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.42 lower ($1.65 to $3.00).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.38 lower ($1.05 to $1.60).

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher through new-crop contracts, then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through new-crop contracts, then mostly unchanged to fractionally higher

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 hitting another record. Weekly initial unemployment insurance claims the week ending Aug. 28 were 340,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level. That’s the lowest level since March 14, 2020. The number was also more positive than the trade expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 131 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 22 points.

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USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Thursday to solicit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from animals under FSIS jurisdiction. FSIS will use these comments to inform future regulatory requirements for the labeling of such food products.

In 2019, USDA and FDA announced a formal agreement to jointly oversee the production of human food products made using animal cell culture technology and derived from the cells of livestock and poultry to ensure that such products brought to market are safe, unadulterated and truthfully labeled. Under the agreement, FDA will oversee cell collection, growth, and differentiation of cells. FDA will transfer oversight at the cell harvest stage to FSIS. FSIS will then oversee the cell harvest, processing, packaging, and labeling of products. FDA and FSIS also agreed to develop joint principles for the labeling of products made using cell culture technology under their respective labeling jurisdictions. Seafood, other than Siluriformes fish, falls under FDA’s jurisdiction, whereas meat, including Siluriformes fish, and poultry are under FSIS’ jurisdiction.

Other than new labeling regulations concerning this product, FSIS does not intend to issue any other new food safety regulations for the cell-cultured food products under its jurisdiction. According to FSIS, “Current FSIS regulations requiring sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems are immediately applicable and sufficient to ensure the safety of products cultured from the cells of livestock and poultry.”

Cattle Current Daily—Sept. 3, 2021 2021-09-02T20:13:37-05:00

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