Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Texas Panhandle and Colorado through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend.
So far this week, live prices in the Texas Panhandle are $1-$2 lower than last week in the Southern Plains at $118-$119/cwt., $2-$4 lower in the Northern Plains at $119-$120 and $1-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $119. Dressed trade is $1-$4 lower in Nebraska at $188-$191 and $1-$2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $191-$192.
Another day of softer Corn futures prices, after the front of the board, helped Cattle futures mostly extend gains on Thursday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher, except for an average of 14¢ lower in three contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 72¢ higher.
Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 5¢ lower, except for 15¢ and 4¢ higher in the front two contracts.
Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 15¢ lower through Jan ‘22, and then mostly 2¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, boosted by mostly positive economic new that included tech giant, Facebook, smashing quarterly revenue estimates and McDonald’s reporting sales higher than before the pandemic.
As well, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of this year, reflecting continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial weekly unemployment insurance claims were slightly more than anticipated, though. For the week and Apr. 24, claims were 553,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 239 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 28 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 31 points.
Net U.S. beef export sales for 2021 were 23,600 metric tons the week ending Apr. 22, according to weekly U.S. Export Sales report. That was down 4% from the previous week, but up 22% from the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong.
Since 2000, beef exports accounted for about 9% of U.S. production, while beef imports represented about 11%, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
“U.S. beef trade is largely dependent on domestic production, and shocks to production can lead to a boost in import demand and a reduction in supplies available for export,” say ERS analysts.
For illustration those analysts point to the 2003 discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada and then in the United States. U.S. beef exports plummeted. At the same time, U.S. beef imports grew to record high levels in 2004 and 2005. The latter had to do with the fact there were more cattle to slaughter here, in need of more lean trim from outside the country, in order to maximize value.
More recently, of course, weekly beef production plunged as much as 34% year over year in the second quarter of last year as the pandemic forced temporary closures and reduced operations at processing facilities. Consumer beef purchasing patterns shifted dramatically toward retail.
ERS projects U.S. beef exports to grow as a percent of production this year, while imports are expected to decline.