Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. For the week, FOB live prices were steady in both regions at $188/cwt. and dressed-delivered prices were also steady at $295.
Trade in the Southern Plains ranged from inactive on light demand in Kansas to a standstill in the Texas Panhandle. The previous week, FOB live prices were $180 in the Southern Plains.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 58¢ higher Friday afternoon at $302.61/cwt. Select was 57¢ lower at $277.23/cwt.
Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 603,000 head was 10,000 head fewer than the previous week and 42,000 head fewer (-6.5%) than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 19.3 million was 830,000 head fewer (-4.0%) than the same time last year. Estimate year-to-date beef production of 16.3 billion pounds was 836.9 million pounds less (-4.9%) than the same time last year.
Cattle futures closed lower Friday on likely profit taking ahead of the weekend.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ lower.
Live Cattle futures an average of 84¢ lower.
Grain and Soybean closed lower Friday, pressured by the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates coming in with expected yield cuts (see below).
Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 8¢ lower.
KC HRW Wheat closed 11¢ to 13¢ lower through May ‘24 and then mostly 5¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed on Friday with pressure from another inflation gauge that was higher than expected. The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.3% in July (seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand advanced 0.8% for the 12 months ended in July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 105 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 4 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 93 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 12¢ to 37¢ higher through the front six contracts.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased the anticipated fed steer price for the remainder of this year and next, in the August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
Based on strong packer demand, ERS increased the projected third-quarter five-area direct fed steer price by $6 compared to the previous month to $184/cwt., and the fourth-quarter price by $7 to $190 for an annual average of $178.50, which was $3.20 more than the previous estimate. Projected fed steer prices increased $2 for next year at $188 in the first quarter, $186 in the second quarter and $186 for the 2024 average.
Beef production for 2023 was lowered on less steer and heifer slaughter and lighter dressed weights, although projected cow slaughter increased. For 2024, forecast beef production increased, reflecting higher expected placements in late 2023 and early 2024. Cow slaughter was also raised for the first part of 2024.
ERS estimated total beef production this year at 26.98 billion pounds, which would be 1.3 billion pounds less (-4.6%) than last year. Beef production in 2024 was forecast at 25.17 billion pounds, which would be 1.81 billion pounds less (-6.7%) than this year’s estimate.