Daily Market Highlights

Cattle Current Daily—July 4-5, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed Wednesday on moderate trade and demand. Live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $109/cwt., steady to $1.50 higher in Nebraska at $111-$113 and $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $112-$113. Although too few to trend, early dressed sales were steady to higher at $178-$180.

Likewise, 53 Kansas heifers sold for a weighted average price of $109 (1-17 day delivery) in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. That was out of an offering of 392 head.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher, from 40¢ higher at the back to $1.35 higher in spot Aug.

Feeder Cattle futures closed sharply lower, though, beaten down by light trade and the surge in grain futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 lower.

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 $1.22 lower Wednesday afternoon at $219.25/cwt. Select was 63¢ lower at $195.36.

Corn futures closed mostly 12¢ to 19¢ higher through Jul ‘20, and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 10¢ higher though Aug ’20 and then mostly 6¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply higher Wednesday—record high for the DJIA and NASDAQ—as investors seemed to think weaker labor data will hasten the Fed’s decision to cut rates.

Private sector, non-farm employment increased by 102,000 in June, according to the closely watched ADP National Employment report. That was about 24% less than the trade expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 179 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 22 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 61 points.

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“Financial stress for many in agriculture continues to build amid unprecedented uncertainty from trade disputes and weather disasters,” say analysts with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division (KED), in that organization’s Quarterly U.S. Economic Rural Review. “Nearly all sectors of agriculture were affected last quarter by the inundation of spring rains that kept farmers out of fields throughout the U.S. The amount of acreage lost to prevented planting will remain the major unknown in the months ahead for ag commodities markets.”

In fact, the KED folks say elevated corn prices could alter the modest beef cow herd growth previously expected.

On the other side of the ledger, U.S. beef exports and other meat exports could benefit from African Swine Fever in Southeast Asia.

“An expected decline in Chinese pork production will spur a surge of beef, pork, and chicken imports into China as it tries to fill a shortfall in animal protein supply that no single pork-producing country will be able to fill,” say KED analysts.

Among other highlights from the KED Quarterly Review:

Global economic development continues to slide as tariffs drag on global trade and manufacturing.

Despite domestic GDP growth of 3.1% in the first quarter, the pace of investment spending, manufacturing, and demand for capital goods have eased in recent months, and the slowdown trend is widely expected to persist through the remainder of the year.

Cattle Current Daily—July 4-5, 2019 2019-07-03T18:44:23-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—July 3, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon.

Feeder Cattle futures continued to rebound, despite slightly higher Corn futures, and helping deferred Live Cattle.

Except for unchanged in Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 higher.

Except for unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 23¢ lower across the front half of the board to an average of 40¢ higher across the back half.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 75¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $220.47/cwt. Select was 35¢ higher at $195.99.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher, perhaps getting some support from crop conditions (see below).

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ lower though Jul. ’20 and then mostly 5¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Tuesday after spending most of the session sideways. Tech stocks provided support, countered by threats of more U.S. tariffs on EU imports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 69 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 8 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 17 points.

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Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher, perhaps getting some support from crop conditions.

For the week ending June 30, according to USDA most recent Crop Progress report,

56% of the corn crop was in Good or Excellent condition, which was 20% less than last year. 12% was in Poor or Very Poor condition, compared to 6% a year earlier. For this time of year, that’s second worst crop condition for corn since 1995; the worst was in excessively dry 2012.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ lower though Jul. ’20 and then mostly 5¢ lower, pressured by heavy supplies and the lack of trade progress and despite current crop condition also being the second worst since 1995.

54% of the soybean crop was rated in Good or Excellent condition, compared to 71% a year earlier. 11% was in Poor or Very Poor condition, which was 5% more than a year earlier.

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Agricultural producer sentiment rebounded in June with farmers expressing more optimism, according to the most recent Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The June barometer was 126, up 25 points from the previous month. It’s based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S.

“This year, farmers faced an extremely wet planting season and uncertainty surrounding trade discussions, however, a crop price rally, coupled with USDA’s announcement of its 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and Congress’ passage of the Disaster Aid Bill, made farmers more optimistic,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “While this combination provided a boost to a struggling ag economy, it remains a challenging economic environment for farmers.” 

Both of the Ag Barometer’s sub-indices increased. The Index of Current Conditions rose 13 points from May, to a reading of 97. The Index of Future Expectations jumped 33 points, to a reading of 141 in June.

Given historic delays for corn and soybean planting, producers who planted either crop last year were asked whether the MFP announcement affected their decision to take a prevented planting payment this year. Ten percent of corn and soybean producers said the announcement did impact their prevented planting decision. One out of five farmers within that group said they intended to plant more corn, while one out of 10 farmers within that group said they intended to plant more soybeans, because of the MFP program.

Nearly one-third (32%) of corn/soybean farmers in the survey said they intended to take prevented planting payments on some of their corn acres. Of those who intend to take a prevented planting payment, just over half (51%) said they intend to take prevented planting on more than 15% of their intended corn acreage.

Cattle Current Daily—July 3, 2019 2019-07-02T19:34:39-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—July 2, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade last week ended up mostly steady to higher on a live basis at $109/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $111.00-$111.50 in Nebraska and at $111-$112 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade in the North was steady to $3 lower at $178-$180.

Cattle futures closed mostly higher Monday, supported by the bounce in Feeder Cattle, tied to lower Corn futures, as well as higher Lean Hog futures and improved overall market optimism regarding trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

Except for 17¢ higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher.

Except for 25¢ lower in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 58¢ higher, (10¢ higher to 95¢ higher at the back).

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 6¢ higher Monday afternoon at $219.72/cwt. Select was 8¢ higher at $195.64.

Friday’s bearish Acreage report weighed on grains.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then fractionally higher to 3¢ lower. That made for a decline of 19¢-30¢ for the front six contracts in the last two sessions.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ lower though Nov. ’20 and then 8¢ to 9¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Monday, buoyed by news that the U.S. and China agreed to shelve additional tariffs and counter-tariffs for the time being, paving the way to resumed trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 117 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 22 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 84 points.

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“As long as beef demand does not weaken appreciably in the reminder of the year, fed cattle prices are expected to average about equal to 2018 levels for an annual average,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in is weekly market comments. “Fed prices are expected to be slightly lower year over year in the third quarter before strengthening in the fourth quarter. Feeder prices are generally expected to average 3-5% below 2018 levels for the remainder of the year and for an annual average.”

Part of that has to do with carcass weights continuing to be lighter year over year. If they remain at or below previous-year levels, Peel says beef production for 2019 would be just a little more than 1% higher than last year. 

Peel points out steer carcass weights ebbed to 842 lbs. the last two weeks of May, which was 4 lbs. light than last year’s low. Heifer carcass weights likely reached the low at 779 lbs. in late May, he says, which was 3 lbs. lighter than the low in 2018. He adds that steer and heifer carcass weights typically increase from the recent low to a seasonal peak in the fourth quarter of the year.

“With feed costs destined to be somewhat higher in the second half of the year, feedlots will have some incentive to trim back days on feed suggesting lighter finished and, thus, carcass weights,” Peel says. “However, feedlots do this largely by placing heavier feeder cattle, which need fewer days to finish. Heavier placement weights imply heavier finish weights. Feedlot data shows that every one pound increase in placement weight results in about one-half pound increase in finished weight. Thus, the impact of higher feed prices on carcass weights is unclear but is unlikely to have a major impact.”

Cattle Current Daily—July 2, 2019 2019-07-01T18:39:41-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—July 1, 2019

USDA shocked the market Friday with its latest Acreage report (see below), which sent Corn futures diving hard. That fueled gains in Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of 50¢ higher (12¢ higher to $1.05 higher in spot Aug). Prices at the close were well off of session highs with likely week-end and month-end position squaring. 

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from 71¢ lower across the front half of the board—not counting expiring June—to an average of 13¢ higher across the back half, not counting newly minted Dec ’20.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade began to develop by late Friday afternoon, but there were too few transactions to trend in any region.

Early live sales in the Southern Plains were at $109/cwt. on a live basis, in the middle of the previous week’s trading range. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association also reported its members trading at $109. Early live sales in Nebraska were steady to higher at $109.00-$111.50. In the western Corn Belt, though, the $109-$112 for early live sales was $1-$3 less than the previous week. Earlier week dressed sales in the latter two regions were at $180, which was steady in Nebraska and steady to lower in the western Corn Belt.

Through Thursday, the 5-area direct weighted average price for steers was $110.58/cwt.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ higher Friday afternoon at $219.03/cwt. Select was $1.34 lower at $195.56. At $24.10, the Choice-Select spread Friday afternoon was the highest since May of last year.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Friday, led by stronger prices for shares of the nation’s largest banks, after they passed the federal stress test administered each year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 73 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 16 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 38 points.

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USDA’s Acreage report issued on Friday always was going to raise questions, given the uncertainty borne by late and prevented planting, the timing of the survey process and whatnot. Even so, few expected to see so many corn acres.

USDA estimated corn acreage at 91.7 million acres, up 3% from last year. That’s less than the 92.8 million acres estimated in the March Prospective Plantings report, but more than the 89.8 million acres estimated by the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB ) in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, and about 5 million acres more than average estimates ahead of the report. Keep in mind, the acreage report is based on producer surveys, whereas the WAOB estimate is model-based.

USDA’s Grain Stocks report provided some corn market support, with USDA estimating corn stocks in all positions June 1 at 5.20 billion bu., which was 2% less than the previous year.

Of the total corn stocks, 2.95 billion bu. are stored on farms, up 7% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.25 billion bu., are down 12% from a year ago.

Corn futures closed 13¢ to 21¢ lower through Jul ’20 on Friday and then 2¢ to 6¢ lower.

News was as bullish for soybeans as it was bearish for corn, at least in terms of acreage. USDA estimated 80.0 million acres of soybeans, which would be 10% less than last year and the fewest U.S. acreage since 2013. That’s far less than the 84.6 million acres forecast in the Prospective Plantings report and June WASDE.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 12¢ higher.

Soybean stocks were more bearish, with soybeans stored in all positions estimated at 1.79 billion bu., which would be 47% more than a year ago, as a variety of factors, including trade issues and impacts from African Swine Fever weigh on U.S. soybean exports.

On-farm soybean stocks totaled 730 million bu., up 94% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks of 1.06 billion bu., were 26% more than a year ago.

USDA pegs the all wheat planted area at 45.6 million acres, which would be 5% less than last year and just slightly less than the 45.8 million acres estimated in March’s Prospective Plantings report and the June WASDE.

Old crop all wheat stored in all positions June 1 totaled 1.07 billion bu., down 2% from a year earlier. On-farm stocks are estimated at 207 million bu., up 58% from last year. Off-farm stocks of 865 million bu. were 11% less than a year ago.

According to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), USDA will re-survey producers in 14 states next month regarding acres planted to corn, cotton, sorghum and soybeans.

“If the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the Crop Production report to be released Aug. 12,” AMS analysts explain.

Cattle Current Daily—July 1, 2019 2019-06-29T16:42:35-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 28, 2019

Cattle futures held on to most of the previous session’s gains, but closed marginally lower Thursday.

Except for $1.57 higher in expiring Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 30¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ lower.

Grains mainly tread water Thursday, ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated Stocks and Acreage reports from USDA.

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

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower through Aug ’20 and then unchanged to fractionally higher.

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 67¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $219.03/cwt. Select was $1.66 lower at $196.90.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed again Thursday, as investors await clues from the meeting scheduled between President Trump and China’s leader at the G20 Summit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 10 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 57 points.

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Carcass weights continue pointing to marketing currentness, according to USDA’s most recent Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report.

Dressed steer weights of 849 lbs. for the week ending June 15 were 7 lbs. lighter than a year earlier. Dressed heifer weights were 4 lbs. lighter at 787 lbs.

There were 19,994 head more fed slaughter for the week, compared to a year earlier, and 21,005 head more total slaughter. Beef production for the week of 531.1 million lbs. was 13.3 million lbs. more than the same week a year earlier.

Cattle Current Daily—June 28, 2019 2019-06-27T19:57:18-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 27, 2019

Cattle futures rocketed higher Wednesday, led by Feeder Cattle, apparently buoyed by technical buying and the simple fact they were so oversold.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.43 higher ($1.10 higher at the back to $2.12 higher).

Although still a touch lower week to week, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.22 higher.

Cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped. There were only 315 head (three lots) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no sales.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 2¢ to 5¢ lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 6¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $219.70/cwt. Select was 39¢ lower at $198.56.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed and little changed on Wednesday, following the previous session’s decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 11 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 25 points.

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Over time and in dichotomous terms, depending on one’s perspective, Feeder Cattle futures provide necessary price discovery and a valuable tool to manage price risk. Or, they’re too thinly traded and cash-settled against an index too divorced from daily reality to be of much use to producers.

Researchers at Kansas State University (KSU) tackle the facts in Overview of the CME Group Feeder Cattle Futures Contract by Ted Schroeder, KSU agricultural economist and Justin Bina, a Student Fellow of KSU’s Center for Risk Management Education and Research.

There are no definitive answers.

“Our research provides a better understanding of the issues surrounding the Feeder Cattle futures contract and the contract’s performance over time. However, more extensive research and, especially, discussion with industry users must be conducted to definitively gauge performance of the contract,” say Schroeder and Bina. “Moving forward, increased communication between contract users and CME Group about industry needs and feasibility issues is essential to guarantee successful future use of the contract for price discovery and price risk management purposes.”

The study provides invaluable insight for those conversations. Among the conclusions:

“Cash and nearby futures prices remain highly correlated across time and geographic locations. In addition, basis variation generally decreased in 2014–2018, an era of historically high feeder cattle prices and increased volatility. This implies that the feeder futures contract is a valid price discovery tool and generally tracks cash market conditions across numerous locations.”

“…Feeder Cattle futures trade volume—both front month and deferred contracts—has increased drastically in the last 15 years, but still pales in comparison to similar agricultural products. Discussions with industry users is necessary to determine if the contract should be considered ‘illiquid’ or ‘thinly traded,’ but it appears to be relative to other derivative products in the agricultural complex.”

“Recent volatility in the feeder cattle futures contract is not out of line with certain historical periods, though it has been more sustained in the last five years. Comparison to the other cattle crush inputs shows that feeder cattle volatility is similar across time to that of live cattle and substantially less than corn. However, Feeder Cattle volatility has increased disproportionately since around 2015. Speculative trade activity was assessed to determine its role in increased volatility in Feeder Cattle futures; however, we conclude that volatility does not increase due to an influx of speculative activity, but rather that speculators enter a market as a result of the risk (opportunity) already inherent in that market due to other economic factors.”

Cattle Current Daily—June 27, 2019 2019-06-26T19:59:06-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 26, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon. There were a few early dressed sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $180/cwt., but too few to trend.

A reversal higher in Lean Hog futures and apparent short covering helped Live Cattle futures gain some, while Feeder Cattle continued marginally lower amid light trade.

Except for 2¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ higher (10¢ to 82¢ higher).

Except for 25¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower (7¢ to 47¢ lower).

Corn futures closed mixed from 1¢ higher to 3¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 8¢ lower.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 10¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $219.64/cwt. Select was 86¢ lower at $198.95.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday. Pressure included reports that the Fed may take its time cutting rates, whereas plenty of recent market steam was tied to the notion the central bank would start shaving rates as soon as next month.

More fundamentally, consumer confidence declined to it lowest level this month in almost two years.

“After two consecutive months of improvement, Consumer Confidence declined in June to its lowest level since September 2017 (Index, 120.6),” says Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined to 121.5 in June from 131.3 in May. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—decreased from 170.7 to 162.6. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions—decreased from 105.0 last month to 94.1 this month.

 “The decrease in the Present Situation Index was driven by a less favorable assessment of business and labor market conditions. Consumers’ expectations regarding the short-term outlook also retreated,” Franco explains. “The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence. Although the Index remains at a high level, continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 179 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 27 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 120 points.

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Drought in Canada may continue pushing more feeder cattle into the U.S., according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC).

Although much of the U.S. continues to deal with too much moisture, the LMIC folks explain, in the latest Livestock Monitor, producers in Alberta are contending with several seasons of dry conditions, although the province received some rain earlier this month. Similarly, there had been no rain in Saskatchewan since April, until some recent moisture.

“The implications for the U.S. is that at this point it remains likely there will be cattle that move off summer grazing earlier than normal and early weaning of spring-born calves,” LMIC analysts explain. “Canadian feedlots have been showing a higher year-over-year count since May of 2018. Potentially lower feed costs in the U.S. and the exchange rate could factor into more feeder cattle coming south this year.”

Moreover, cattle on feed in Canada is approaching 1 million head, an inventory level seldom eclipsed, according to LMIC.

“There could also be a capacity factor that limits how many of those early removals could end up in Canadian feedlots. Even with timely rainfall, pasture and range conditions remain delicate and support watching,” say LMIC analysts.

Cattle Current Daily—June 26, 2019 2019-06-25T19:18:16-05:00

Cattle Current—June 25, 2019

Follow through pressure in Lean Hogs, higher Corn futures and Friday’s Cattle on Feed report helped pressure Feeder Cattle futures sharply lower on Monday, while Live Cattle were narrowly mixed but mostly lower.

Except for an average of 29¢ higher in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.05 lower ($1.70 to $2.45 lower).

After a profit-taking breather on Friday, grain futures continued higher on Monday with the latest Crop Progress report (see below) documenting the significant delay in development compared to the average.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jul ‘20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 6¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

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 8¢ lower Monday afternoon at $219.74/cwt. Select was 26¢ higher at $199.81.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Monday, with traders apparently waiting for more direction from trade talks. President Trump and the Chinese leader are scheduled to meet at the G20 Summit that begins later this week. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 8 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 5 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 26 points.

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“The lack of summer thus far has limited seasonal beef demand,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “After early beef buying in April for Memorial Day, boxed beef cutout values have weakened, averaging 3.8% lower year over year for the last six weeks. The daily boxed beef price last Friday was down 6.2% from the peak price in late April. The weakness has been most pronounced in the high value middle meats, with loin primals averaging 7.9% lower year over year for the last six weeks and rib primals averaging 5.5% lower year over year for the same period. Chuck and round primals have fared somewhat better with round primals down only 1.8% year over year and chuck primals up an average of 1.3% over the last six weeks, compared to the same period last year. Both chuck and round values have showed more strength in the latest weekly data. Encouragingly, the ground beef market is showing a little life with both lean trimmings and 50% trimmings currently priced a bit higher compared to last year.”

Although there will likely be pent up demand for the 4th of July, Peel notes current weather forecasts indicate large swaths of the nation will still be experiencing below normal temperatures.

“Moreover, continued flooding and swollen rivers and lakes in some regions will limit recreational activities for some time yet,” Peel says.

Cattle Current—June 25, 2019 2019-06-24T20:34:30-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 24, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices last week ended up $2-$4 lower on a live basis at $108-$110/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $110 in Nebraska and at $113-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3-$4 lower in Nebraska at $180-$183 and $6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $178-$180.

Limit-down moves in Lean Hog futures, lower cash fed cattle prices, the outlook for higher feed prices and perhaps some positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below) contributed to further erosion in Cattle futures on Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ lower (40¢ to $1.72 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.22 lower.

Grain futures ended the week lower on apparent profit taking.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through Jul ‘20 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 13¢ lower. 

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 90¢ lower Friday afternoon at $219.82/cwt. Select was $1.93 lower at $199.55.

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Major U.S. financial indices edged lower Friday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 34 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 19 points.

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Markets will likely view Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report—feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity—as neutral to slightly bearish.

Placements in May of 2.06 million head were 2.82% less (-60,000 head) than the previous year, whereas expectations ahead of the report were for a decline of about 4%. In terms of placement weight, 32.71% went on feed weighing less than 699 lbs.; 50.33% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 16.95% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in May of 2.07 million head were 0.68% more (+14,000 head) than the previous year. Expectations ahead of the report were for an increase of 0.80%.

Cattle on feed June 1 of 11.74 million head were 1.62% more (+187,000 head) more than last year, the most for the month since the data series began in 1996. Heading into the report, expectations were for an increase of 1.30%.

More positive, the monthly Cold Storage report indicates beef in freezers as of May 31 was 6% less than the previous month and 13% less than the previous year. That follows the steep decline of the previous month when supplies were 5% less month to month and 9% less year over year.

Frozen pork supplies were 1% more than the previous month and year.

Total frozen red meat supplies were 2% less than the previous month and 6% less than the prior year.

Total frozen poultry supplies were 2% less than the previous month and 6% less than the previous year.

Cattle Current Daily—June 24, 2019 2019-06-22T18:54:35-05:00

Cattle Current Daily—June 21, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed Thursday at mostly decidedly lower money. Except for mostly steady in Kansas at $110/cwt., live trade was $2-$4 lower at $110 in Nebraska and the Texas Panhandle; $110-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3-$4 lower at $180-$183.

Resurgent corn prices—after a couple of days of repositioning—weighed heavy on Cattle futures Thursday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 lower.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ higher through Jul ‘20 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ higher through Jan ‘21 and then mostly 9¢ higher.

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

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 87¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $220.72/cwt. Select was 76¢ lower at $201.48.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply higher Thursday. Support included follow through optimism that the Fed will cut interest rates, as well as a bounce in energy.

Crude oil prices (WTI-CME) jumped $2.87 to $3.10 on 2019 contracts with reports that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone flying over international waters. Along with recent tanker bombings in the Gulf of Oman, the move could escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran. By some calculations, about 20% of global oil consumption must move from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz to get to open water. Iranian territorial waters lie within the Strait.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 249 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 27 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 64 points.

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Commercial red meat production of 4.57 billion lbs. in May was 1% more than the previous year and record-large, according to USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report issued yesterday.

Beef production of 2.33 billion lbs. was up 1% year over year, as was total cattle slaughter of 2.94 million head.

For January through May of this year, commercial red meat production of 22.4 billion lbs. was 2% more than the same period last year.

At 847 lbs., the average dressed steer weight in May was 12 lbs. less than the previous month and 1 lb. less than the previous year. Average dressed heifer weight was 788 lbs., which was 11 lbs. less than the previous month and 2 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Lower year-over-year carcass weights continued through the first week of June, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Average dressed weights for both steers (846 lbs.) and heifers (782 lbs.) were 5 lbs. lighter year over year (week ending June 8).

Cattle Current Daily—June 21, 2019 2019-06-20T19:21:13-05:00

This Is A Custom Widget

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

This Is A Custom Widget

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

This Is A Custom Widget

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

This Is A Custom Widget

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