Cattle Current Daily—April 18, 2024

Cattle Current Daily—April 18, 2024

Cattle futures faded early pressure to close mostly higher Wednesday with help from resurgent wholesale beef values.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 83¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher, except for 2¢ lower in spot Feb.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Last week, FOB live prices were $172/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $173 in Nebraska and $175 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed delivered prices were $272-$275 in Nebraska and $275 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.46 higher through Wednesday afternoon at 298.45/cwt. Select was $3.04 higher at $283.02/cwt.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 21¢ lower on weak economic news in China.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

KC HRW Wheat futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices continued lower Wednesday with pressure including the rise in bond yields.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 94 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 26 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 88 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 4¢ to 24¢ lower through the front six contracts except for 16¢ higher in spot Feb.

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Although current cattle markets and the surrounding economics are obviously different than in 2014-15, when cattle numbers were similarly snug, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says prices are poised to push higher.

“One clear price expectation from a supply and demand standpoint and a seasonal standpoint is that calf prices will increase from today through April,” Griffith says in his weekly market comments. “Despite the seasonal trend, calf prices are expected to be steady or move even higher following the grass cattle run in March and April. This will be simply due to fewer calves on the market.”

Moreover, Griffith notes higher calf prices tend to lead to higher prices for most classes of cattle.

“For instance, production sales have demonstrated a strong price for herd sires to start the year,” he says. “This will likely mean strong prices for bred females moving throughout the year, which will lead to stronger prices for slaughter cows.”

2024-01-17T18:35:07-06:00

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