Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to limited on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week so far, live prices are $3 higher in the Southern Plains at $120/cwt., $5 higher in Nebraska at $123, $3-$5 higher in the western Corn Belt at $121-$125 and $4-$7 higher in Colorado (compared to two weeks earlier) at $120-$123. Dressed trade is $5-$7 higher at $195.
Feeder Cattle futures closed mostly slightly lower Thursday, pressured by the surge in Corn futures prices.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ lower (37¢ to $1.07 lower), except for an average of 42¢ higher in the back two contracts.
Live Cattle futures mostly extended gains, with continued support from cash prices and wholesale beef values, as well as expanding open interest.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ higher (35¢ to $1.00 higher), except for an average of 17¢ lower in two nearby contracts.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.19 higher Thursday afternoon at $270.50/cwt. Select was $8.64 higher at $263.83.
The average dressed steer weight the week ending March 27 was 899 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 8 lbs. heavier than the same week last year. The average dressed heifer weight of 830 lbs. was 6 lbs. lighter week to week but 5 lbs. heavier than a year earlier.
Front-month grain futures closed sharply higher Thursday amid likely positioning ahead of USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates due out Wednesday.
Corn futures closed 10¢ to 19¢ higher in the front three contracts, 8¢ to 9¢ higher in the next four and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher, except for 6¢ higher in the front two contracts.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, led by tech stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 57 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 17 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 140 points.
“For the economy and rural industries, there will be no going back to pre-COVID conditions. A transformed policy environment and awakened commodity markets are making way for a whole new operating environment, according to the new Quarterly report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange (CBKE).
“The policy focus in Washington is shifting from crisis management to building for the future,” says Dan Kowalski, CBKE vice president. “And the outcome of the president’s infrastructure plan will have substantial implications for rural water, power and broadband providers. Hundreds of billions of dollars in funding would reshape these industries and intensify the current focus on climate resilience and social equity.”
In terms of economic growth, CBKE analysts explain consensus forecasts point to 7% U.S. GDP growth this year, the fastest rate of expansion since 1984. They note the U.S. economy continues to outperform expectations as stimulus funds fuel robust consumer spending.
On the other side of the ledger, those analysts expect inflation to increase.
“Any inflation that results from resurgent demand will be in addition to the base-effect inflation that we are certain to have in coming months,” according to the CBKE report. “Inflation is typically measured in year-over-year terms, and base effects occur when inflation readings are skewed because of price anomalies in the prior year. In 2020, prices for many goods and services dove in the middle months of the year as demand suddenly dropped. Those 2020 price declines will widen year-over-year inflation over the next couple of quarters, and new upward price pressure should push headline inflation above 3%. We expect this burst of inflation to be short-lived as the economy recalibrates, but we could experience inflation over 2% well into 2022.”