Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Southern Plains, Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices were mainly steady in the Texas Panhandle at $120/cwt. and steady to $1 lower in Kansas at $119-$120. Although too few to trend, there were some trades in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $123.
In Nebraska last week, prices were $122-$126 on a live basis and at $196 in the beef.
In the western Corn Belt last week, prices were $122-$124 on a live basis and at $194-$196 in the beef.
Live prices in Colorado last week were at $122-$123.
Cattle feeders offered 3,470 head (29 lots) in Central Stockyards’ weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. Of those, 1,517 head (7 lots) sold. Six lots from the Southern Plains brought $120/cwt., which was steady to $1 lower than negotiated trade in the region last week. One lot of 457 steers from Nebraska brought $124, which was at the mid point of last week’s negotiated price range.
Cattle futures gave back what they gained in the previous session, and then some, pressured by yet another surge in grain futures prices and disappointing early cash prices. Perhaps there was also some positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report.
As mentioned in Cattle Current Tuesday, the report will likely show March placements significantly higher than last year. Part of that has to do with anemic placements the previous year as the pandemic took hold. However, disrupted placements in February, due to the widespread winter storm and power outages will probably add to the tally.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ lower (20¢ lower at the back to $1.95 lower toward the front).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.29 lower ($1.97 to $3.17 lower), except for 15¢ lower in spot Apr.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.20 higher Wednesday afternoon at $280.46/cwt. Select was $1.41 higher at $271.88.
Corn futures closed 14¢ to 19¢ higher in the front two contracts, 6¢ to 9¢ higher through the next five and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 25¢ higher in the front four contracts, and then mostly 8¢ to 10¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Wednesday, supported by positive quarterly corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 316 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 38 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 163 points.
“We have an opportunity to take the lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and apply those to transforming our nation’s food system from the inside out, including our supply chains,” says U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
On Wednesday, Secretary Vilsack announced USDA is seeking public comments on a department-wide effort to improve and reimagine the supply chains for the production, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities and food products. The action is in response to Executive Order 14017, America’s Supply Chains, signed by President Biden Feb. 24, 2021. The request for comments is published in the Federal Register and the comment period will close on May 21, 2021.
“USDA plans to tackle this supply chain assessment holistically, looking across a full range of risks and opportunities,” says Secretary Vilsack. “From elevating the importance of local and regional food systems, to addressing the needs of socially disadvantaged and small to mid-size producers, to supporting sustainable practices to advance resilience and competitiveness, this top to bottom assessment will position USDA to make long-term, transformative changes for economic, national, and nutritional security.”
Goals of this transformation include a fairer, more competitive, and transparent system where a greater share of the food dollar goes to those growing, harvesting, and preparing the nation’s food.
“Growing consolidation in food and agriculture, the general health of our population, a growing climate crisis, and the need to ensure racial justice and equity are important factors to take into consideration as USDA looks at strengthening food and agricultural supply chains,” according to the USDA announcement.
Further, USDA is interested in comments about how to target pandemic-related stimulus relief programs and spending authorized by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) toward long term, systemic change that results in food supply chain resiliency.
The deadline for comments is May 21, 2021. More information about how to submit comments in is available in the Notice.