Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices last week ranged from $118-$120 in the Southern Plains to $121 in the Northern Plains to $120-$122 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $2-$4 lower at $192.
The five-area direct fed steer price was 67¢ lower on a live basis last week at $121.36/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $3.43 lower at $192.11.
Cattle futures closed mixed Monday as another surge in Corn futures weighed on Feeder Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ higher (35¢ to $1.10 higher).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower (15¢ to $1.10 lower), except for an average of 31¢ higher in two contracts.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.43 higher Monday afternoon at $285.20/cwt. Select was $2.22 higher at $274.35
Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 665,000 head was 20,000 head more than the previous week, according to USDA. Total estimated beef production was 20 million lbs. more at 550.2 million lbs.
Corn futures closed 15¢ to limit up 25¢ higher through Jly ‘22, and then mostly 8¢ to 9¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 21¢ to 26¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Monday, with investors awaiting one of the busiest weeks of the season for quarterly corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 61 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 7 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 121 points.
“Fed cattle prices have been disappointingly stagnant thus far in 2021, largely under the pressure of ample feedlot supplies,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Fed cattle price improvement is expected in the second half of the year but progress has been slower than expected due to residual effects of pandemic disruptions and the February winter storm. Fed prices are expected to be higher year over year for the remainder of the year, mostly when compared to pandemic-reduced prices last year, but also due to improving fed cattle market fundamentals as the year progresses.”
Relative to the cattle cycle, Peel explains pandemic impacts extended the pipeline of cattle supplies, delaying the reduction of fed cattle numbers last year and pushing more cattle into the first half of 2021.
“While feedlot inventories dropped seasonally in March and April, it may be into the second half of the year before feedlot inventories drop cyclically below year earlier levels,” Peel says.
Reflecting on Friday Cattle on Feed report, Peel points out numbers are less than two years earlier. More specifically, he says the Apr. 1 feedlot inventory is 0.5% less than in 2019, March feedlot placements were 0.8% less and March feedlot marketings were 14.8% more than the same time in 2019.
“The March placement total likely did include some increase in placements pushed into March by the February winter storm. Nevertheless, the placement total was not only smaller than pre-report expectations but was somewhat bullish in an absolute sense,” Peel says.