Weekly Market Highlights

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 8, 2019

Calves and feeder cattle traded mixed last week with heavier receipts and a firmer tone across much of the key trade areas.

Steers and heifers sold from steady to $2/cwt. lower in the North Central part of the country. Prices were to steady to $4 higher in the Southeast and South Central areas, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Some auctions in the southern areas reported spots up to as much as $10

higher on what would be considered cattle suitable for grazing. Demand for those kind is expected to be good in anticipation of grass,” say AMS analysts. “Most grazing areas are not showing any signs of drought stress currently.”

However, there appears to be less wheat pasture than originally anticipated.

Winter wheat planted area for harvest in 2019 is estimated at 31.3 million acres, down 4% from last year and down 4% from 2017, according to the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings report.

“This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record,” say analysts with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). “Seedings, which began in early September, fell behind the 5-year average seeding pace in early October and remained behind the 5-year average seeding pace for the duration of the planting season. Seeding was mostly complete by November 11.”

Year to year, winter wheat area seeded is 6% less in Kansas, 5% less in Oklahoma but on par in Texas.

“Despite the optimism in the cash market, there continues to be some trepidation in the futures market,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The market has been moving sideways for three straight months and there is no sign of it breaking out in either direction. Moving from March through August, the seasonal expectation is priced in the market with August feeder cattle futures trading $7 higher than the March contract. This does provide a little solace, but it does not provide many opportunities for price risk management.”

Week to week on Friday Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.74 higher (62¢ to $2.30 higher).

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

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.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (95¢ to $1.95 higher).

“Live cattle futures would suggest prices will continue to move sideways into April, but untethered optimism holds the hope that prices will increase a few more dollars heading towards grilling season,” Griffith says.

In the meantime, the recent reopening of USDA’s data spigot offers some indication of how much winter weather is impacting carcass 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. 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.

Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service project fed steer prices for at $122-$126/cwt. for the first quarter, $119-$127 in the second, $109-$119 in the third and at $108-$118 in the fourth. That’s from the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Wholesale beef values were mixed. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher at $215.35/cwt. Select was $1.98 lower at $211.17.

Total beef production for last year was revised down 75 million lbs. from the December estimate to 26.86 billion lbs., according to WASDE. That’s just shy of the historic record, but still 677 million lbs. more than the previous year (+2.6%).

Likewise, estimated beef production for this year was revised down by 175 million lbs. to a record-large 27.61 billion lbs.

“Preliminary Yearly Federally Inspected Slaughter cattle numbers for 2018 showed a 2.6% increase over 2017 and a 7.2% larger harvest over the previous five-year average,” say AMS analysts. “Total cow slaughter in 2018 was 7.0% over year ago and 10.4% over the previous five-year average. Beef cow slaughter showed the way with an 8.6% larger number than a year ago and 14.1% larger than the previous five-year average.”

“Prices of calves, feeder cattle, and slaughter cows are in no way considered strong by those who are selling, but the prices are showing improvement which brings optimism,” Griffith says. “The most favorable aspect of the market may be that seasonal price trends continue to work their way into the market, which can aid producers in decision making because they can use seasonal expectations for purchasing and selling. This is important because seasonal trends for many classes of cattle were shot out of the air during the marketing years 2014 through 2016.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 8

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

259,700

(+49,000)

56,100

(+2,200)

22,300

(+18,800)

338,100

(+13,700)

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 7 Change
$141.69  –  $0.17

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8  Change
600-700 lbs. $159.44 –    1.84
700-800 lbs. $147.62 –    1.66
800-900 lbs. $142.40 +   0.10

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $166.92 +   3.19
600-700 lbs. $151.52 +   3.02
700-800 lbs. $142.22 +   1.04

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $160.36 +   0.82
500-600 lbs. $148.72 –    0.80
600-700 lbs. $138.60 +   0.19

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $215.35 +  $1.09
Select $211.17 –   $1.98  
Ch-Se Spread $4.18 +  $3.07

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 8 Change
Mar $144.100 +   $1.575
Apr $145.900 +   $1.900
May $146.900 +   $2.300
Aug $150.900 +   $2.200
Sep $151.125 +   $2.025
Oct $150.950 +   $1.775
Nov $150.500 +   $1.500
Jan ’20 $147.600 +   $0.625
Live Cattle   Feb. 8 Change
Feb ’19 $127.375 +   $1.925
Apr $127.925 +   $1.650
Jun $118.100 +   $1.950
Aug $114.575 +   $1.575
Oct $116.025 +   $1.350
Dec $118.225 +   $1.350
Feb ’20 $119.400 +   $1.125
Apr $119.700 +   $1.450
Jun $112.350 +   $0.950
Corn futures Feb. 8 Change
Mar ’19 $3.742 –  $0.040
May $3.822 –  $0.048
Jul $3.900 –  $0.046
Sep $3.934 –  $0.040
Dec $3.992 –  $0.030
Mar ’20 $4.086 –  $0.026
Oil CME-WTI Feb. 8 Change
Mar $52.72 –   $2.54
Apr $53.09 –   $2.46
May $53.55 –   $2.33
Jun $54.02 –   $2.19
Jul $54.45 –   $2.05
Aug $54.81 –   $1.90

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25106.33 +  42.44
NASDAQ     7298.20 +    34.33
S&P 500     2707.88 +       1.35
Dollar (DXY)          96.64 +       1.07
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 8, 2019 2019-02-12T11:23:00+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Feb. 1, 2019

Although winter weather continued to limit auction receipts, calf and feeder cattle prices finally bounced higher last week. Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $1-$4/cwt. higher with instances of $6 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“The big story was the Polar Vortex that encompassed 70% of the United States population with freezing and below freezing temperatures,” say AMS analysts.  “Mid-week travel was brutal on both man and beast; some auctions either rescheduled due to the cold or cancelled.”

Not counting recently minted away Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower (22¢ to $1.10 lower in spot Mar).

“The increase in auction prices this week had little to do with stronger feeder cattle futures as futures continue to trade sideways as they have done for three months,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The most likely factor that supported prices was stocker producers attempting to get a few spring grass cattle purchased prior to the seasonal price increase.”

At their annual Outlook Seminar last week, CattleFax analysts said they expect steer calf prices (550 lbs.) to average about $164/cwt. this year, about $9 less than last year. They anticipate prices could increase to the mid $180s in the spring, and could erode to $140 in the fall.

CattleFax projects feeder steer (750 lbs.) prices this year at an average $147/cwt., down about $3 from last year. They expect a trading range of $130-$160.

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

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.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower.

“Cattle feeders have their eyes set on year-ago prices, which nearly reached $130, based on the 5-area weighted average price during the third week of February and stayed near $126 or higher through the end of March,” Griffith says. “The key this year will be for cattle feeders to maintain prices in the mid $120 area or higher for April and into May. The little bit of leverage they have now will help.”

CattleFax projects the average fed steer price this year at $117/cwt., with downside risk to $100 and upside resistance at around $130.

Incidentally, CattleFax analysts say feed and grain prices are expected to remain stable this year, with corn acreage increasing an expected 2 million acres to total 91 million acres and soybeans declining 2.2 million acres to 87 million acres.

“Corn is expected to trade in a range of $3.60 to $4.10/bu. during the first half of the year,” according to CattleFax analyst Mike Murphy. He added that hay acreage isn’t expected to change significantly from last year, but increased winter precipitation across much of the United States should help provide a strong start to the 2019 hay crop.

Wholesale beef prices were mixed. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.75 lower at $214.26/cwt. Select was $1.12 higher at $213.15.

“The comprehensive cutout is 3% ahead of a year ago in the month of January, averaging $213.21/cwt.,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center, in the latest Livestock Monitor. “The end of the holiday season should have brought about seasonally higher chuck and round primal values, but in the first four weeks of the year, chuck, round, and flank primal values have been the only cuts lagging.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 1

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

210,700

(+23,900)

53,900

(+18,400)

3,500

(-28,600)

268,100

(+13,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 31 Change
  $141.86  –  $1.35

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 1  Change 
600-700 lbs. $161.28 +   3.58
700-800 lbs. $149.28 +   2.31
800-900 lbs. $142.30 +   0.88

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.73 +   1.94
600-700 lbs. $148.51 +   1.93
700-800 lbs. $141.18 +   0.36

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 1 Change 
400-500 lbs. $159.54 +   6.66
500-600 lbs. $149.52 +   4.18
600-700 lbs. $138.41 +   2.81

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 1 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.26 –   $2.75
Select $213.25 +  $1.12  
Ch-Se Spread $1.11 –   $3.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 1 Change
Mar $142.525 –    $1.100
Apr $144.000 –    $0.725
May $144.600 –    $0.475
Aug $148.700 –    $0.675
Sep $149.100 –    $0.725
Oct $149.175 –    $0.425
Nov $149.000 –    $0.225
Mar $146.975       n/a

 

Live Cattle   Feb. 1 Change
Feb ’19 $125.450 –   $0.600
Apr $126.275 –   $0.575
Jun $116.150 –   $0.550
Aug $113.000 –   $0.500
Oct $114.675 –   $0.400
Dec $116.875 –   $0.400
Feb ’20 $118.275 –   $0.375
Apr $118.250 –   $0.450
Jun $111.400 –   $0.400

 

Corn futures Feb. 1 Change
Mar ’19 $3.782 –  $0.020
May $3.870 –  $0.016
Jul $3.946 –  $0.018
Sep $3.974 –  $0.016
Dec $4.022 –  $0.010
Mar ’20 $4.112 –  $0.008

 

Oil CME-WTI Feb. 1 Change
Mar $55.26 +  $1.57
Apr $55.55 +  $1.57
May $55.88 +  $1.57
Jun $56.21 +  $1.55
Jul $56.50 +  $1.54
Aug $56.71 +  $1.55

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 1 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25063.89 +  326.69
NASDAQ     7263.87 +    99.01
S&P 500     2706.53 +    41.77
Dollar (DXY)          95.57 –       1.01
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Feb. 1, 2019 2019-02-04T18:46:19+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 25, 2019

Although winter weather continued to soften feedlot demand in some areas, calf and feeder cattle prices gained some spark after the middle of the week.

Overall, analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) quoted prices steady to $5 lower early in the week and then steady to $5 higher.

“Those early-week sales all had a downward trend that was spillover from the previous week, followed by lower futures on Tuesday,” AMS analysts say. “Buyer interest waned early in the week due to the winter weather that came in over the weekend. Between mud, snow, ice, or a mixture of all the above, transporting cattle proved to be difficult and sales either cancelled or continued on with lighter receipts.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.86 higher in the front two contracts, an average of 5¢ lower in the back two contracts, and an average of 19¢ higher in between.

Besides the weather and wobbly futures market, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee explains auction receipts may be diluted by the lack of price bounce that typically occurs in January.

“Many producers have become accustomed to holding calves through December and marketing them in January. This has become a common practice for some due to tax reasons and more so for others to capitalize on a price increase that has occurred nine out of the last 10 years (2008-2017 data) from December to January,” Griffith says, in his weekly market comments. “The expectation would be for calf values to begin increasing slowly over the next couple of months and peak once spring grass is ready to graze. However, calf grazing operations may be hesitant to bid up grass cattle prices with the soft feeder cattle prices that are a drag on the market.”

Although there wasn’t a monthly Cattle on Feed report issued Friday, due to the government shutdown, several analysts estimated December placements and the Jan. 1 cattle on feed inventory about 2% higher year over year. Most projected December marketings a little on either side of even.

Speaking of the which, the White House and Congress announced Friday a resolution to reopen the government, at least until Feb. 15, the new deadline for all involved to reach agreement on a budget and border security. While welcome, a cloud of uncertainty remains over which missing market data and reports, if any, USDA will release. For that matter, there’s no telling which February reports will be prioritized, given the possibility of the government shutting down again at the middle of the month.

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

Negotiated cash fed cattle sales sold steady in the beef on Friday at $197/cwt. Live sales were steady to mostly $1 lower at $123 in Kansas and Nebraska and at $123.00 to $125.50 in the western Corn Belt. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members selling steers at $123, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Although the deep winter conditions are taking a toll on cattle performance, Griffith points out, “The same conditions could be one factor contributing to strong finished cattle prices as slaughter weights are sure to be declining.”

Wholesale beef values also continue to be supportive.

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.86 higher at $217.01/cwt. Select was $2.58 higher at $212.03.

“Wholesale beef markets are starting 2019 with a continuation of generally strong prices seen last year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his recent market comments. “For the first three weeks of the year, boxed beef cutout prices are up 2.9% for Choice and 3.4% for Select compared to the same period last year.” 

“In 2018, weekly boxed beef prices averaged 2.2% higher year over year compared to 2017,” Peel explains. “Wholesale beef prices were higher in 2018 despite a projected 2.8% increase in beef production and larger pork and poultry supplies.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 25

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

186,800

(-80,900)

35,800

(-27,800)

32,100

(-28,300)

254,400

(-80,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 24 Change
  $143.21  +  $1.16

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 25  Change 
600-700 lbs. $157.70 +   0.29
700-800 lbs. $146.97 +   0.14
800-900 lbs. $141.42 –    0.29

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 25 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.79 +   3.67
600-700 lbs. $146.58 +   2.19
700-800 lbs. $140.82 +   3.11

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Jan. 25 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.88 +   0.18
500-600 lbs. $145.34 +   1.51
600-700 lbs. $135.60 +   0.03

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 25 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $217.01 +  $3.86
Select $212.03 +  $2.58  
Ch-Se Spread $4.98 +  $1.28

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 25 Change
Jan ’19 $143.375 +   $1.925
Mar $144.625 +   $1.800
Apr $144.725 +   $0.325
May $145.075 +   $0.025
Aug $149.375 +   $0.075
Sep $149.825 +   $0.325
Oct $149.600 –    $0.075
Nov $149.225 –    $0.025

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 25 Change
Feb ’19 $126.050 –   $0.475
Apr $126.850 –   $0.525
Jun $116.700 –   $0.750
Aug $113.500 –   $0.100
Oct $115.075 –   $0.025
Dec $117.275 –   $0.250
Feb ’20 $118.650 –   $0.025
Apr $118.700 –   $0.050
Jun $111.800 –   $0.150

 

Corn futures Jan. 25 Change
Mar ’19 $3.802 –  $0.014
May $3.886 –  $0.014
Jul $3.964 –  $0.008
Sep $3.990 –  $0.006
Dec $4.032 –  $0.004
Mar ’20 $4.120 –  $0.006

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 25 Change
Mar $53.69 –   $0.35
Apr $53.98 –   $0.32
May $54.31 –   $0.33
Jun $54.66 –   $0.33
Jul $54.96 –   $0.31
Aug $55.16 –   $0.29

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 25 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24737.20 +   30.85
NASDAQ     7164.86 +      7.63
S&P 500     2664.76 –       5.95
Dollar (DXY)          95.81 –       0.55
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 25, 2019 2019-01-26T15:42:48+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 18, 2019

Winter weather and muddy feedlot pens continued to hamper calf and feeder cattle demand last week, with steers and heifers selling $2-$6/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  

“The larger drop in the market occurred in the regions affected by Winter Storm Gia the previous weekend and the forecasted Winter Storm Harper last weekend,” explained AMS analysts. “A vast area of the Plains states are dealing with excess moisture this time of year with more on the way.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.27 lower across the front half of the board ($1.00 lower to $4.67 lower in spot Jan) and then an average of 40¢ lower.

“Feedlots are in no humor to purchase cattle and transport them through wet and icy road conditions to then run the calves off the truck into muddy pens,” says  Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “At the same time, cattle feeders are in no humor to pay big dollars for feeder cattle that will be placed against the June and August Live Cattle futures that are at a $10 and $14 discount to April, respectively.”

Locally, Griffith pointed out the aforementioned summer discount had pressured load lot prices for heavy yearlings about $5/cwt. lower in January, compared to the previous month, as much as $15 lower compared to November.

“The bright spot is that the price of a 900 lb. steer is the same as the price of an 800 lb. steer, which provides incentive to keep feeding cattle and growing them larger,” Griffith says. “The price signal on heavy feeder cattle is the market signal feedlot managers are sending to producers. At this time, the best decision may be to keep feeding 700 and 800 lb. feeder cattle and keep an eye on the cash market.”

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

Although cattle feeders with muddy lots were looking to move cattle, and presumably, packers had a need to refurbish inventory, fed cattle trade remained at an impasse through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports. However, indications suggested prices no worse than steady, perhaps a touch higher.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed 25¢ to $1.55 higher in the front three contracts and then an average of 57¢ lower.

“Since the middle of November, the February live cattle contract price has increased by $9, which amounts to approximately $120 per head value increase,” Griffith explains. “On the cash side of the business, prices increased $10/cwt. from the middle of November to the previous week and this last week’s prices appeared geared to gain another couple of dollars. Over this time period, cattle feeding margins and packer margins have been flipped as cattle feeders appear to be in control of the leverage.”

Leverage should have been supported last week by firmer wholesale beef prices. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 69¢ higher at $213.15/cwt. Select was $3.18 higher at $209.45. The Choice-Select spread was the narrowest since September of 2017 at $3.70.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 18

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

267,700

(-99,200)

63,600

(-1,400)

3,800

(-150,600)

335,100

(-251,200)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 17 Change
  $142.05   –  $3.41

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18  Change 
600-700 lbs. $157.41 –    3.29
700-800 lbs. $146.83 –    3.17
800-900 lbs. $141.71 –    1.90

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18 Change
500-600 lbs. $158.12 –    4.68
600-700 lbs. $144.39 –    $4.93
700-800 lbs. $137.71 –    $6.02

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.70 –    $5.64
500-600 lbs. $143.83 –    $4.68
600-700 lbs. $135.57 –    $4.41

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 18 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.15 +  $0.69
Select $209.45 +  $3.18  
Ch-Se Spread $3.70 –   $2.49

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 18 Change
Jan ’19 $141.450 –    $4.675
Mar $142.825 –    $2.075
Apr $144.400 –    $1.350
May $145.050 –    $1.000
Aug $149.300 –    $0.600
Sep $149.500 –    $0.400
Oct $149.675 –    $0.200
Nov $149.250 –    $0.400

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 18 Change
Feb ’19 $126.525 +   $1.550
Apr $127.375 +   $1.000
Jun $117.450 +   $0.250
Aug $113.600 –   $0.675
Oct $115.100 –   $1.025
Dec $117.525 –   $0.725
Feb ’20 $118.675 –   $0.575
Apr $118.750 –   $0.250
Jun $111.950 –   $0.150

 

Corn futures Jan. 18 Change
Mar ’19 $3.816 + $0.034
May $3.900 + $0.034
Jul $3.972 + $0.030
Sep $3.996 + $0.024
Dec $4.036 + $0.022
Mar ’20 $4.126 + $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 18 Change
Feb $53.80 +   $2.21
Mar $54.04 +   $2.13
Apr $54.30 +   $2.03
May $54.64 +   $1.94
Jun $54.99 +   $1.88
Jul $55.27 +   $1.81

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 18 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24706.35 +   710.40
NASDAQ     7157.23 +   185.75
S&P 500     2670.71 +      74.45
Dollar (DXY)          96.36 +        0.69
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 18, 2019 2019-01-19T18:12:19+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 11, 2019

Weather and heavy post-holiday volume—the most receipts since July of last year—pressured calf and feeder cattle prices last week. Steers and heifers sold from $4/cwt. lower to $1 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Heavy rain and snow has most of the trade area in very muddy conditions and these conditions are discouraging calf buyers from buying at this time,” according to the AMS reporter on hand for Monday’s auction at Oklahoma National Stockyards.

“Weather scares started mid-week when Winter Storm Gia was named and projected to move through the heart of the country later in the week and into the weekend,” explained AMS analysts. “Feedyards that were already wet will see more moisture fall from the sky, dashing any hopes that they will dry out anytime soon…Muddy feedyards in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa want to get cattle moved out of the poor pen conditions, as cattle performance has been seriously impeded due to above average moisture recently.”  

Weather impacts provided support to Cattle futures, though.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher week to week on Friday (90¢ to $2.10 higher).

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.70 higher (92¢ higher to $3.05 higher in spot Feb).

Peering a little further ahead, in his weekly market comments, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says, “Calf prices should slowly and steadily increase through March and into early April. The expectation is for 500-lb. steer prices to peak near $160/cwt. per with a first-quarter average price of $155. The $160 price is a couple of dollars lower than the 2018 apex, but the calf and feeder cattle markets may be under pressure the next three to four months as industry participants attempt to figure out the fed cattle marketing schedule. The feeder cattle market may end up receiving a more direct blow than the calf market in the near term as calf buyers continue to bet on the come. However, the calf market will not be immune to the pressure.”

Cattle feeder and packers continued their standoff through late Friday afternoon, with negotiated cash fed cattle trade undeveloped, according to USDA reports. However, according to AMS there were a few dressed sales in the Northern Plains at $197/cwt., which was $2 more than the previous week.

Cattle feeding margins are well into the black in early January and cattle feeders are setting asking prices at levels that will only improve margins,” Griffith says.

“Cattle feeders are not in any mood to bid up feeder cattle due to the severe discounts in deferred live cattle futures. The feeder and fed cattle spread is certainly the dichotomy present in today’s market. The feeder-fed cattle spread is not at a record level by any stretch of the imagination, but it has narrowed tremendously since the end of October. Part of this narrowing is due to supply and demand fundamentals while the other part is likely due to expectations. If profits continue in the feedlot then some of those dollars will eventually be passed down.”

On the other side of the trade, though packer returns remain positive, according to various sources, margins are narrowing with seasonally lower wholesale beef values and seasonally higher fed cattle prices.

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.05 lower at $212.46/cwt. Select was $1.39 lower at $206.27.

“Packer margins have no doubt shrunk in the last few months, and carcass weights coupled with lower yields will have an impact moving forward with product tonnage being available in the marketplace,” say AMS analysts.

Scant Data Adds Uncertainty

With the partial government shutdown dragging into the fourth week, the lack of publicly available market data is becoming more apparent.

“Actual slaughter data has been among the most missed weekly market data. That data is compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) but is released by the Agricultural Marketing Service. It provides valuable information on weights, production, and the number of head slaughtered,” explain analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the most recent Livestock Monitor.

There was no monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on Friday, as originally scheduled. Next week’s monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook is also in doubt.

“The next couple of weeks hold several vital reports that could affect the tone of the entire year,” say LMIC analysts. “For example, the annual Cattle Inventory is scheduled to be published at the end of this month. That report provides one of only two point estimates in the size of the beef herd, and the number of replacement animals producers are holding. The monthly Cattle on Feed report (due Jan. 25) also is at risk. Without that type of information, cattle markets will be flying blind.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 11

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

366,900

(+287,600)

65,000

(+41,800)

154,400

(+147,000)

586,300

(+476,400)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 10 Change
  $145.46   –  $0.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11  Change 
600-700 lbs. $160.70 +   $0.35
700-800 lbs. $150.00 +   $0.96
800-900 lbs. $143.61 +   $0.32

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.80 +   $0.05
600-700 lbs. $149.32 –    $4.25
700-800 lbs. $143.73 –    $3.20

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.34 +   $0.75
500-600 lbs. $148.51 –    $2.08
600-700 lbs. $139.98 +   $0.29

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 11 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.46 –   $2.05
Select $206.27 –   $1.39   
Ch-Se Spread $6.19 –   $0.66

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 11 Change
Jan ’19 $146.125 +   $1.225
Mar $144.900 +   $2.075
Apr $145.750 +   $2.100
May $146.050 +   $1.875
Aug $149.900 +   $1.400
Sep $149.900 +   $0.900
Oct $149.875 +   $1.300
Nov $149.650 +   $1.950

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 11 Change
Feb ’19 $124.975 +   $3.050
Apr $126.375 +   $2.375
Jun $117.200 +   $1.650
Aug $114.275 +   $0.925
Oct $116.125 +   $1.150
Dec $118.250 +   $1.450
Feb ’20 $119.250 +   $1.600
Apr $119.000 +   $1.800
Jun $112.100 +   $1.275

 

Corn futures Jan. 11 Change
Mar ’19 $3.782 –  $0.048
May $3.866 –  $0.044
Jul $3.942 –  $0.040
Sep $3.972 –  $0.024
Dec $4.014 –  $0.026
Mar ’20 $4.106 –  $0.026

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 11 Change
Feb $51.59 +   $3.63
Mar $51.91 +   $3.63
Apr $52.27 +   $3.62
May $52.70 +   $3.60
Jun $53.11 +   $3.55
Jul $53.46 +   $3.50

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 11 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23995.95 +   562.79
NASDAQ     6971.48 +   232.62
S&P 500     2596.26 +      64.32
Dollar (DXY)          95.67 –         0.53
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 11, 2019 2019-01-12T14:49:23+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 4, 2019

Calf and feeder cattle prices wobbled from the new-year gate last week.

“Muddy pen conditions, as temperatures increased in the North and with rain and snow in the South, caused concerns, especially on the placements of heavier-weight cattle,” say analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). They note receipts were hindered by heavy rains across the Southeast, winter storms in the North Central and South Central regions, as well as the fact that some auction remained closed for the holidays.

Compared to two weeks earlier, steers weighing less than 700 lbs. traded mostly $1-$4/cwt. higher, with instances of up to $9 higher in Nebraska, according to AMS. Steers weighing more than 700 lbs. sold steady to $4 lower.

“The feeder cattle market has found itself in a precarious situation due to the holiday marketing disruption, unfavorable weather conditions for moving cattle, and a potential loss of information from the partial government shutdown,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.68 lower week to week on Friday ($1.35 lower to $4.17 lower in spot Jan). Pressure included negative and volatile outside markets along with increasing grain prices.

Cash Fed Cattle Hold Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was generally steady in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $123/cwt. ($122.00-$122.50 in Nebraska). Live sales were $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $121-$122. Dressed trade was steady in Nebraska at $195; steady to $4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $194-$195.

AMS analysts note, “Poor feedlot conditions have continued to plague most feeding regions, lowering cattle performance.”

Week to week on Friday, not counting newly minted away Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.02 lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 64¢ lower.

“The finished cattle market finished off 2018 strong and has started 2019 with the same strength,” Griffith says. “The gains in the fed cattle market during December established strong profit margins for cattle on a cash-to-cash basis and likely resulted in many of these cattle profiting $100 per head or better. On the other hand, many feedlot managers likely had cattle hedged, resulting in slightly lower margins in some instances. Regardless of the situation, cattle feeders are enjoying the price escalation for finished cattle and the recouping of dollars lost on previous sets of cattle. The questions to be answered now are how long positive margins will last and how will it influence the feeder cattle market as competition develops.”

Fed cattle prices continue to be supported by firmer boxed beef cutout values than some expected.

Week to week, wholesale beef values were about steady. Choice boxed beef cutout value was at $214.51/cwt. Friday afternoon and Select was at $207.66.

“The volume (boxed beef) reported this week was slightly more than last week,” say AMS analysts. “On the Choice side, rib cuts were steady to weak, while all other cuts sold firm to higher. Ground beef prices were slightly higher on lighter volume. Forward-negotiated sales remain light but mostly steady when compared to the prior week. Beef trimmings were higher on moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 4

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

79,300

(-104,000)

23,200

(+6,300)

7,400

(+3,400)

109,900

(-94,800)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 3 Change
  $145.60   –  $1.66

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4  Change 
600-700 lbs. $160.35 +   $1.65
700-800 lbs. $149.04 –    $2.01
800-900 lbs. $143.29 –    $6.32

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.75 +   $1.33
600-700 lbs. $153.57 +   $4.75
700-800 lbs. $146.93 +   $0.91

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4 Change 
400-500 lbs. $157.59 +   $5.20
500-600 lbs. $150.59 +   $6.25
600-700 lbs. $139.69 +   $3.54

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 4 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.51 +  $0.10
Select $207.66 +  $0.14   
Ch-Se Spread $6.85 –   $0.04

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 4 Change
Jan ’19 $144.900 –    $4.175
Mar $142.825 –    $4.050
Apr $143.650 –    $3.550
May $144.175 –    $2.850
Aug $148.500 –    $2.375
Sep $149.000 –    $1.575
Oct $148.575 –    $1.350
Nov $147.700 –    $1.550

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 4 Change
Feb ’19 $121.925 –   $2.250
Apr $124.000 –   $2.400
Jun $115.550 –   $1.400
Aug $113.350 –   $0.725
Oct $114.975 –   $0.525
Dec $116.800 –   $0.425
Feb ’20 $117.650 –   $0.600
Apr $117.200 –   $0.900
Jun $110.825       n/a

 

Corn futures Jan. 4 Change
Mar ’19 $3.830 + $0.076
May $3.910 + $0.078
Jul $3.982 + $0.078
Sep $3.996 + $0.064
Dec $4.040 + $0.066
Mar ’20 $4.132 + $0.066

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 4 Change
Feb $47.96 +   $2.63
Mar $48.28 +   $2.68
Apr $48.65 +   $2.75
May $49.10 +   $2.83
Jun $49.56 +   $2.92
Jul $49.96 +   $3.01

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 4 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23433.16 +   370.89
NASDAQ     6738.86 +   154.34
S&P 500     2531.94 +      46.21
Dollar (DXY)          96.20 –         0.18
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 4, 2019 2019-01-06T14:16:18+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 28, 2018

Most auctions were closed for the holiday last week, so there were no price trends for calves and feeder cattle. When sales start in the new year, they should receive support from recently stronger cash fed cattle prices and futures prices. Snugger front-end supplies and harsh winter weather in some cattle-feeding areas suggest that support should continue for a while.

Near-term wildcards continue to include volatile equity markets, tied to worries about rising interest rates and slowing global economic growth, as well as the government shutdown.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.22 higher week to week on Friday (87¢ higher at the back to $1.72 higher in spot Jan).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon. Though too few to trend, there were a few live sales reported in the western Corn Belt on Thursday at $119.00-$121.50/cwt., which was about $1 higher than the previous week. A few dressed sales were reported steady at $190.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.81 higher through the front four contracts ($1.00 to $3.20 higher), week to week on Friday and then an average of 63¢ higher.

Week to week, wholesale beef values maintained the previous week’s sharp gains. Choice boxed beef cutout value was at $214.41/cwt. Friday afternoon and Select was at $207.52.

2018 Overview

Depending on your abacus, cattle prices this past year were unsurprising and mostly on par with the previous year. As long as weather and demand hold up, it’s hard to argue that prices will be much different in 2019.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) projected calf prices for the first quarter of 2019 at $168-$172/cwt., according to Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist at Kansas State University, in December. Yearling prices were projected at $147-$150 and fed prices at $118-$121. 

Given record large supplies of both beef and competing meats, holding the price line last year was due in large part to steady domestic demand and extraordinary international demand.

“Each of the major meats—beef, pork and poultry—are projected to reach record levels in 2018 and will combine to push total U.S meat production to a record level of 102.3 billion lbs., up 2.6% year over year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his mid-December market comments. “However, 2018 per capita meat consumption in the U.S. is projected at 218.7 lbs., up 1.0% year over year. The smaller increase in meat consumption compared to production is largely due to the net movement of meat offshore through meat exports.”

What’s more, odds favor additional beef cowherd expansion in 2018, albeit just a little.

LMIC analysts expect to see 0.2-0.4% growth as of January 1.

“The beef cow herd likely increased less than 1% year over year in 2018 to a projected Jan. 1, 2019 level of about 31.9 million head,” Peel says. “This may be the cyclical peak in herd inventory or very close to it. From the 2014 low of 29.1 million head, this cyclical expansion has increased the beef cow herd by 2.8 million head or 9.6% over five years. The last full cyclical herd expansion occurred in 1990-1996 resulting in an 8.8% herd expansion in six years.”

Moreover, Peel explains beef cowherd dynamics are finally returning to normal, following the unprecedented market forces that drove volatility during the past decade. That included drought-induced herd liquidation (2011-2013) that took more cows out of production than would otherwise be expected, followed by the recent rapid expansion.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Last available

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 27 Change
  $147.26   + $1.37

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec. 21  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.70 –    $0.09
700-800 lbs. $151.05 –    $0.08
800-900 lbs. $149.61 +   $0.50

South Central

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec.21 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.42 +   $4.69
600-700 lbs. $148.82 +   $3.35
700-800 lbs. $146.02 +   $1.90

Southeast

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec. 21 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.39 +   $4.88
500-600 lbs. $144.34 +   $2.37
600-700 lbs. $136.15 –    $2.85

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 28 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.41 +  $0.36
Select $207.52 +  $0.02   
Ch-Se Spread $6.89 +  $0.34

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 28 Change
Jan ’19 $149.075 +   $1.725
Mar $146.875 +   $1.350
Apr $147.200 +   $1.225
May $147.025 +   $0.975
Aug $150.875 +   $1.100
Sep $150.575 +   $1.075
Oct $149.925 +   $1.400
Nov $149.250 +   $0.875

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 28 Change
Dec $124.075 +   $3.200
Feb ’19 $124.175 +   $1.475
Apr $126.400 +   $1.575
Jun $116.950 +   $1.000
Aug $114.075 +   $0.775
Oct $115.500 +   $0.650
Dec $117.225 +   $0.500
Feb ’20 $118.250 +   $0.625
Apr $118.100 +   $0.600

 

Corn futures Dec. 28 Change
Mar ’19 $3.754 –  $0.030
May $3.832 –  $0.030
Jul $3.904 –  $0.030
Sep $3.932 –  $0.020
Dec $3.974 –  $0.018
Mar ’20 $4.066 –  $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 28 Change
Feb $45.33 –    $0.26
Mar $45.60 –    $0.29
Apr $45.90 –    $0.33
May $46.27 –    $0.34
Jun $46.64 –    $0.34
Jul $46.95 –    $0.33

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 28 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23062.27 +   616.90
NASDAQ     6584.52 +   251.52
S&P 500     2485.73 +      69.11
Dollar (DXY)          96.38 –         0.57
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 28, 2018 2018-12-29T15:52:29+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 21, 2018

Calf and feeder cattle prices were mostly steady to higher last week as buyers tried to shore up orders ahead of the holiday break.

Steer and heifer calves traded $4-$8/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Feeder steers sold steady to $3 higher while feeder heifers sold steady to $3 on either side of steady.

“Very few auctions will hold sales next week, causing buyers to scramble to procure cattle for wheat pasture before the holiday break,” AMS analysts explained. “Auction receipts across much of the Southeast were hampered due to wet weather conditions and the upcoming holiday interruption. This year marks the wettest December on record for many southeastern states, especially Alabama, Georgia and Florida.”

Except for 10¢ higher in September, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ lower week to week on Friday.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was steady to a touch higher than the previous week, through late Friday afternoon. For the week, live sales were steady at $119/cwt. in Kansas and Nebraska. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $3 higher at $190. Live sales in the western Corn belt were $1-$2 higher at $118-$120, while dressed sales were $3 higher at $190.

“Feedyards in Nebraska and Iowa remain plagued with muddy conditions, while another round of cold wet weather is expected,” say AMS analysts. “Northern

producers are dealing with several weeks of mud and are now reporting close to 1% yield loss. Estimated cattle harvest numbers for the week were 659,000 head.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher through the front three contracts, week to week on Friday (30¢ higher to $1.30 higher) and then an average of 35¢ lower (10¢ lower to $1.00 lower).

“Finished cattle prices are trading close to steady with year-ago prices and are trading at their highest level since the middle of May,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Cash prices have increased about $6 in the last five weeks and are about 11% higher than their summer low in late August and early September.”

Griffith expects cattle prices next year to be similar to this year, as long as domestic and international demand for U.S. beef remain strong.

“Markets could be swayed in either direction as trade deals are signed or discarded,” Griffith says. “This means there is more risk in cattle prices moving lower in 2019 than there is of cattle prices moving higher, given supply and demand fundamentals. Thus, producers should plan for lower returns the next 12 months.”

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.09 higher Friday afternoon at $214.05/cwt. Select was $4.36 higher at $207.50.

Retail beef prices continue higher than a year earlier, despite heftier supplies.

November Choice retail beef prices were $5.911/lb., up from $5.840 in October and 1.8% above the November 2017 price of $5.807, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. Through November, Choice retail beef prices averaged 0.2% more than the previous year. The all-fresh retail beef price averaged 0.7% more for the same period.

“Packer demand has accelerated the pace of fed cattle slaughter in fourth-quarter 2018, which supports a slightly higher beef production forecast for 2018,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

The aggressive slaughter pace pushed estimated beef production for this year 25 million lbs. higher to 26.9 billion lbs. ERS analysts note lighter carcass weights and less projected cow slaughter in the fourth quarter partially offset increased steer and heifer slaughter. Likewise, beef production for 2019 was reduced slightly based on the expectation of lighter carcass weights. Estimated beef production for next year was reduced by 25 million lbs. to 27.8 billion lbs.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 20 Change
  $145.89   –  $1.02

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 21  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.70 –    $0.09
700-800 lbs. $151.05 –    $0.08
800-900 lbs. $149.61 +   $0.50

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec.21 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.42 +   $4.69
600-700 lbs. $148.82 +   $3.35
700-800 lbs. $146.02 +   $1.90

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 21 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.39 +   $4.88
500-600 lbs. $144.34 +   $2.37
600-700 lbs. $136.15 –    $2.85

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 21 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.05 +  $3.09
Select $207.50 +  $4.36   
Ch-Se Spread $6.55 –   $1.27

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 21 Change
Jan ’19 $147.350 –    $0.225
Mar $145.525 –    $0.250
Apr $145.975 –    $0.275
May $146.050 –    $0.300
Aug $149.775 –    $0.050
Sep $149.500 +   $0.100
Oct $148.525 –    $0.500
Nov $148.375 –    $0.075

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 21 Change
Dec $120.875 +   $1.300
Feb ’19 $122.700 +   $0.300
Apr $124.825 +   $0.325
Jun $115.950 –   $0.125
Aug $113.300 –   $0.375
Oct $114.850 –   $0.100
Dec $116.725 –   $0.100
Feb ’20 $117.625 –   $0.400
Apr $117.500 –   $1.000

 

Corn futures Dec. 21 Change
Mar ’19 $3.784 –  $0.062
May $3.862 –  $0.060
Jul $3.934 –  $0.052
Sep $3.952 –  $0.048
Dec $3.992 –  $0.044
Mar ’20 $4.086 –  $0.040

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 21 Change
Feb $45.59 –    $5.88
Mar $45.89 –    $5.87
Apr $46.23 –    $5.83
May $46.61 –    $5.78
Jun $46.98 –    $5.70
Jul $47.28 –    $5.64

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 21 Change
Dow Industrial Average  22445.27 –   1655.24
NASDAQ     6333.00 –      577.67
S&P 500     2416.62 –      183.33
Dollar (DXY)          96.95 –           0.11
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 21, 2018 2018-12-22T15:33:46+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 14, 2018

Improving weather conditions, stronger cash fed cattle prices the previous week and firmer Cattle futures helped lift calf and feeder cattle prices

Compared to the previous week, steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). There were instances of up to $10 higher on some weight categories. Year to date, AMS analysts note auction receipts are the most since 2011.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.07 higher week to week on Friday ($2.45 to $3.90 higher).

“Order buyers had an easier time of finding orders this week as the mud started to firm up in areas that had very muddy pens since the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” say AMS analysts. “Time is of the essence as feedyards and backgrounders will soon be reluctant to receive incoming cattle during the holidays…Producers’ time to finish their marketing needs for the year are waning as many auctions take off for two full weeks around the holidays.”

Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments that feeder prices could increase early next year with resurgent demand from farmer-feeders.

“Farmer-feeders generally become active in the feeder cattle market immediately following harvest, but harvest was delayed in many areas due to precipitation, which meant farmer-feeders remained on the sidelines,” Griffith says. “As harvest is now coming to completion in many areas, farmer-feeders will begin to exercise some of their purchasing power.”

So, logic suggests atypically concentrated farmer-feeder demand later than usual. Griffith emphasizes the notion is no guarantee of higher prices after the first of the year, but adds that farmer-feeder purchasing power gains strength with low grain prices.

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices in the Southern Plains on Friday were mainly steady with the previous week at $119/cwt. Early dressed sales in Nebraska were $1 higher at $188. Though too few to trend, early live sales in the western Corn Belt were $1 higher at $117, while early dressed sales of $187 were trading at the upper end of the previous week’s trading range in the region.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.04 higher week to week on Friday (45¢ higher in the back contract to $1.45 higher).

“The December Live Cattle contract traded as low as $111 at the end of August and was still only trading in the $114-$115 range one month ago,” Griffith says. “However, prices have been slowly increasing since the middle of November with nearly a $5 move. The increase is supporting late-year finished cattle marketings, but many feedlots have turned their focus to the February and April contracts that have witnessed similar price escalations.” He notes the April contract is the focus for most of the cattle placed in October and November, as well as heavy cattle placed in December.

“Packers have a vested interest in moving every animal they can through the pipeline with positive margins and the way the holidays fall at the end of the

year,” explain AMS analysts. “With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays on a Tuesday, tempered harvest schedules are expected to almost come to a screeching halt.”

In the meantime, they note the previous week’s estimated 667,000-head cattle slaughter, if realized, would be the second largest weekly total since January of 2012.

Fed steer prices (5-area Direct) for the first quarter of 2019 are projected at $119-$125/cwt. by USDA’s Economic Research Service, in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Prices in the second quarter are projected to be $118-$128; and $109-$119 in the third.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.33 lower Friday afternoon at $210.96/cwt. Select was $2.64 higher at $203.14.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 14

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

257,900

(-72,500)

36,700

(-14,300)

26,400

(+22,800)

321,000

(-64,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 13 Change
  $146.91   + $1.84

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 14  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.79 +   $2.13
700-800 lbs. $150.97 –    $0.47
800-900 lbs. $146.11 –    $3.37

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 14 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.73 +   $1.74
600-700 lbs. $145.47 +   $0.39
700-800 lbs. $144.12 +   $1.61

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 14 Change 
400-500 lbs. $147.51 +   $0.14
500-600 lbs. $141.97 +   $2.35
600-700 lbs. $139.00 +   $5.29

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 147 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $210.96 –   $3.33
Select $203.14 +  $2.64   
Ch-Se Spread $7.82 –   $5.97

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 14 Change
Jan ’19 $147.575 +   $3.190
Mar $145.775 +   $3.900
Apr $146.250 +   $3.725
May $146.350 +   $3.500
Aug $149.825 +   $2.725
Sep $149.400 +   $2.625
Oct $149.025 +   $2.450
Nov $148.450 –    $2.475

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 14 Change
Dec $119.175 +   $1.275
Feb ’19 $122.400 +   $0.875
Apr $124.500 +   $0.975
Jun $116.075 +   $1.450
Aug $113.675 +   $1.325
Oct $114.950 +   $1.200
Dec $116.825 +   $0.325
Feb ’20 $118.025 +   $0.950
Apr $118.500 +   $0.450

 

Corn futures Dec.14 Change
Dec $3.766 + $0.026
Mar ’19 $3.846 –  $0.008
May $3.922 –  $0.004
Jul $3.986 –  $0.006
Sep $4.000 + $0.008
Dec $4.036 + $0.006

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 14 Change
Jan ’19 $51.20 –    $1.41
Feb $51.47 –    $1.34
Mar $51.76 –    $1.29
Apr $52.06 –    $1.25
May $52.39 –    $1.19
Jun $52.68 –    $1.14

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 14 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24100.51 –     288.44
NASDAQ     6910.67 –        58.58
S&P 500     2599.95 –         33.13
Dollar (DXY)          97.06 +          0.35
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 14, 2018 2018-12-16T18:36:25+00:00

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 07, 2018

Last week’s cattle markets unfolded against the backdrop of extreme volatility on Wall Street, tied in part to inversion of the yield curve, which some fear points to domestic economic recession sooner rather than later. Otherpressures included lingering, unresolved trade issues, and signs of slowing global economic growth.

Calf and feeder cattle prices came under pressure from hectic volume the previous week, wobbly cattle futures and a market channel clogged by winter weather the previous weekend.

Overall, steers and heifers traded $3-$8/cwt. lower in most areas, but held to unevenly steady in the North Central states, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Feedyards took money off orders as areas that were snowy last week

have awfully muddy pen conditions,” AMS analysts explained. “Prior to the large snowstorm that moved across the Plains last week, temperatures weren’t cold enough to get the ground frozen before the snow flew…Daily gains are greatly affected and those cattle that are in the latest stages of finish will have expected out-dates adjusted.” 

Heading into the most recent weekend, widespread snow, ice, rain and freezing rain were expected across the Southern Plains and Southwest.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.00 lower week to week on Friday, likely pressured some from the steady increase in grain prices the last couple of weeks. Spot Dec corn on the CME, for instance closed the week 15¢ higher compared to two weeks earlier.

“Given that calf prices have been sluggish this fall, producers still hanging on to the calf crop may benefit from hanging on a little longer, as January generally brings slightly higher prices,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Fed Prices Firm

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped through Friday afternoon, according to USDA reports, but early indications were for steady to higher money than the previous week’s higher prices.

For instance, there was some light to moderate trade in the western Corn Belt at $115-$117/cwt., which was $1 higher than the previous week. Early dressed sales were steady at $183-$185. By late in the day, AMS reported some dressed trade in Nebraska at $187, which was $2-$4 more than the previous week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.27 higher week to week on Friday across the front half of the board and then an average of 40¢ higher (7¢ to 65¢ higher) except for 65¢ lower in the back contract.

Wholesale beef prices provided a modicum of support for at least one more week.

“Boxed-beef cutout values continue to hold together, for the most part, but have started to feel some pressure as last-minute buying for upcoming holidays is happening,” said AMS analysts. 

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.68 higher Friday afternoon at $214.29/cwt. Select was $2.09 higher at $200.50.

“The domestic cattle markets continue to be supported by international beef demand, based on strong October export quantities and values,” Griffith says. From January through October, the United States has exported 1.91 billion lbs. of beef (not including variety meats), which was 12% higher than the same 10 months one year ago. Similarly, the value of beef exports from January through October of 2018 was 19% greater than the same months in 2017 and totaled $6.19 billion.”

October beef exports totaled 117,838 metric tons (mt), up 6% from a year ago, valued at $727.4 million, which was 10% more year over year and the second-highest monthly total on record. That’s according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef export value equated to $317.53 per head of fed slaughter in October, up 5% from a year ago. For January through October, the per-head average was up 15% to $320.50.

“Demand for U.S. beef continues to climb in nearly every region of the world, with annual records already falling in some markets,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Per-head export value will also easily set a new record in 2018, which illustrates the strong returns exports are delivering for cattle producers and for the entire supply chain.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 07

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

330,400

(+40,900)

51,000

(+1,600)

3,600

(-40,200)

385,000

(+2,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 05 Change
  $145.53   –  $1.94

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 07  Change 
600-700 lbs. $156.66 +   $1.60
700-800 lbs. $151.44 –    $0.99
800-900 lbs. $149.48 –    $2.41

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 7 Change
500-600 lbs. $154.99 –    $3.60
600-700 lbs. $145.08 –    $3.25
700-800 lbs. $142.51 –    $4.64

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 07 Change 
400-500 lbs. $147.37 –    $9.40
500-600 lbs. $139.62 –    $6.73
600-700 lbs. $133.71 –    $2.82

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 07 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.29 +  $1.68
Select $200.50 +  $2.09   
Ch-Se Spread $13.79 –   $0.41

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 07 Change
Jan ’19 $144.375 –    $0.850
Mar $141.875 –    $0.975
Apr $142.525 –    $1.100
May $142.850 –    $1.100
Aug $147.100 –    $1.075
Sep $146.775 –    $1.000
Oct $146.575 –    $0.950
Nov $145.975 –    $0.950

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 07 Change
Dec $117.900 +   $0.975
Feb ’19 $121.525 +   $1.025
Apr $123.625 +   $1.625
Jun $115.100 +   $1.450
Aug $112.225 +   $0.650
Oct $113.625 +   $0.550
Dec $115.625 +   $0.325
Feb ’20 $117.075 +   $0.075
Apr $118.050 –    $0.650

 

Corn futures Dec.07 Change
Dec $3.740 + $0.076
Mar ’19 $3.854 + $0.078
May $3.926 + $0.076
Jul $3.992 + $0.078
Sep $3.992 + $0.052
Dec $4.030 + $0.034

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 07 Change
Jan ’19 $52.61 +   $1.68
Feb $52.81 +   $1.72
Mar $53.05 +   $1.82
Apr $53.31 +   $1.95
May $53.58 +   $2.08
Jun $53.82 +   $2.22

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 07 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24388.95 –       949.51
NASDAQ     6969.25 –       361.29
S&P 500     2633.08 –       127.09
Dollar (DXY)          96.71 –           0.49
Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 07, 2018 2018-12-08T19:42:39+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.