Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Texas Panhandle through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were steady with last week at $120/cwt.
Elsewhere, trade was slow with moderate demand.
Live prices were steady to $1 higher in Kansas at $120-$121 and steady to $3 higher in Nebraska at $123-$126. Dressed trade was steady to $1 higher at $196.
Live trade was at $120-$123 in Colorado last week; $123-$125 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle futures closed lower again Thursday, pressured by feed costs, disappointing early cash fed cattle prices and limit down moves in Lean Hog futures.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.04 lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.71 higher Thursday afternoon at $276.62/cwt. Select was $1.12 higher at $268.43.
The average dressed steer weight was 894 lbs., the week ending April 3, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 5 lbs. lighter than the previous week but 5 lbs. heavier than the prior year. The average dressed heifer weight of 832 lbs. was 2 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 7 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Net U.S. beef export sales of 15,700 metric tons (MT) were 14% less than the prior week and 23% less than the previous four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report for the week ending April 8. Increases were primarily for Japan , China, South Korea and Mexico.
Corn futures closed mixed, mostly 1¢ higher to 2¢ lower.
Net U.S. corn export sales (2020-21) of 327,700 mt were down 57% from the previous week and 81% from the prior four-week average.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 9¢ higher through Aug ‘22, and then mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower, except for 8¢ higher in the back three contracts.
Net U.S. soybean export sales (2020-21) of 1,500 mt were a market-year low, down noticeably from the previous week and from the prior four-week average.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, buoyed by positive economic news, including a 9.8% jump in retail sales last month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau . That was significantly more than the trade anticipated.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 305 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 45 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 180 points.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased forecast feeder steer prices for the remainder of this year, based on recent price strength. Compared to the previous month, projected feeder steer prices (basis Oklahoma City) increased $6 in the second quarter to $140.00/cwt., $3 in the third and fourth quarters to $143. The annual average feeder steer price was projected $3.50 higher at $140.
ERS also elevated expectation for the five-area direct fed steer price. Projected prices increased $4 in the second quarter to $117/cwt., $1 in the third quarter to $115 and $1 in the fourth quarter to $120. The expected annual fed steer average price rose to $116.
“In March, cow slaughter was higher than anticipated, while steer and heifer slaughter was lower,” say ERS analysts, in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “This change in slaughter proportions—an effect of the February storm—had the additional effect of lowering carcass weights. As a result, expected first-quarter beef production was lowered 35 million lbs. from last month. Fed cattle marketings and carcass weights were lowered for the second quarter on current data. An increase in fed cattle marketings is anticipated in the third and fourth quarters and is expected to expand 2021 beef production in the second half of the year for a full-year increase of 60 million lbs. (compared to the prior month) to 27.640 billion lbs.