Through late Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices for the week were mostly $2-$3 less on a live basis at $125-$126/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $126 in Nebraska and mostly $128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was also $2-$3 lower at $206 in Nebraska and at $205 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle futures softened Friday with pressure from Lean Hog futures, lower cash prices and positioning for the end of the month and quarter.
Except for 62¢ higher in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower.
Except for 85¢ and $1.70 higher in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower.
Corn futures closed 8¢ to 17¢ lower through Jul ’20, and then 3¢ to 5¢ lower. Planting intentions and grain stocks (see below) applied heavy pressure to the front contracts.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ 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 $1.40 lower Friday afternoon at $226.04/cwt. Select was 63¢ lower at $218.89.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, with support including optimism regarding trade talks between the U.S. and China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 211 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 18 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 60 points.
Corn stocks Mar. 1 were 3% less year over year at 8.60 billion bu., according to USDA’s Grain Stocks report issued Friday. That was significantly more than the trade expected. Likewise, the 92.8 million acres farmers intend to plant, in the Prospective Plantings report, is 4% more than last year (+3.66 million acres) and more than expected.
Keep in mind, the Prospective Plantings report is based on surveys conducted before or mostly before the bomb cyclone and subsequent flooding. No doubt, intentions and possibilities changed since then. Still, Corn futures dropped hard Friday in response to the reports.
Soybeans stored in all positions on Mar. 1 totaled 2.72 billion bu., up 29% from the previous year, reflecting the relative dearth of exports so far this year.
Soybean planted area for this year is estimated at 84.6 million acres, down 5% from last year.
All wheat stored in all positions on Mar. 1 totaled 1.59 billion bu., which was 6% more than a year earlier.
All wheat planted area for 2019 is estimated at 45.8 million acres, down 4% from last year and the least since records began in 1919. The 2019 winter wheat planted area of 31.5 million acres is 3% less than last year but 1% more than the previous estimate.