Negotiated cash fed cattle traded ended up mostly $1 higher on a live basis last week at $124/cwt. in Nebraska and the Southern Plains; $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $122-$124. Dressed trade was $2-$3 higher at $197.
Early support in grain futures helped pressure Feeder Cattle, while stronger cash prices and the weather helped cap losses in Live Cattle.
Except for an average of 37¢ higher in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.
Except for $1.27 lower in spot Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower.
Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 6¢ lower (8¢ lower in spot Jan).
Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 44¢ lower Monday afternoon at $212.02/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $205.46.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Monday, led by tech stocks. Depending on the analysts you listen to, pressure included lingering uncertainty about trade issues and the government shutdown, as well as queasiness about the next round of corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 86 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 13 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 65 points.
In lieu of USDA market reports derailed by the partial government shutdown, markets will make assumptions about the missing data, says Brenda Boetel, Extension agricultural economist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
“The longer the lack of information prevails, the greater the market correction may be when the reports resume, especially if the reports say something different than the market assumed,” Boetel explains, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “The cattle markets care about last week’s missing reports, because they gave the final information on the size of the 2018 corn harvest, the speed in which corn is being used, and the first hint of information regarding how many acres of each crop will be planted in 2019. The market is trading on old information, a less than desirable situation.”
Specifically, she’s referring to the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) that were supposed to be issued last week, along with Quarterly Grain Stocks, Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings and weekly export sales.
“The WASDE report likely would have shown a decrease in 2018 corn yield,” Boetel says. “Additionally, poor harvest conditions affected acreage as well as yield. The USDA would likely have lowered 2018 corn production from 14.626 billion bu. to around 14.545 billion bu. The February report will begin to adjust the demand side of the equation and examine more closely whether usage estimates for ethanol or exports needs to be adjusted.”