Cattle futures continued lower Thursday with follow-through pressure from stronger Corn futures, steady to lower cash fed cattle prices, declining open interest and perhaps some defensiveness ahead of Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.51 lower.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 72¢ lower.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light to moderate demand to light on moderate demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
So far this week, FOB live prices are $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $179/cwt., steady to mostly $2 lower in Nebraska at $185-$188 and steady to mostly $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at mainly $187.
Last week, dressed delivered prices were $295.
Wholesale beef prices continued to trend higher. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.15 higher Thursday afternoon at $314.14/cwt. Select was $1.49 higher at $286.26/cwt.
Hotter, drier weather helped Corn futures firm further Thursday; fractionally higher to 4¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 4¢ to 11¢ lower through May ‘25 and then fractionally higher.
Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 9¢ higher through May ‘24 and then 10¢ to 15¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Thursday, supported by rising Treasury-note yields, in response to the Fed’s continued wariness about upside inflation risk.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 290 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 33 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 157 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 58¢ to $1.01 higher through the front six contracts.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) raised the expected feeder steer price for the remainder of this year and next, in the August Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. That basis 750-800-pound steers selling at Oklahoma City.
Based on recent price strength, ERS increased the forecast price by $9 to $250/cwt. in the third quarter and $255 in the fourth quarter. The 2023 annual average price increased $4.50 to $224.99. Prices for next year were forecast $3 higher in the first and second quarter at $248 and $247, respectively. The 2024 annual average price was also estimated $3 higher at $253.25.
As noted recently in Cattle Current, 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.
“Second-half 2023 production is forecast to decline 180 million pounds from last month on a slower pace of fed cattle marketings, which is only partially offset by higher expected cow slaughter. This resulted in a temporal shift of marketings from late 2023 to 2024,” ERS analysts explain. “Higher projected placements in late 2023 and early 2024 raises anticipated marketings next year. Projected 2024 production is increased 465 million pounds based on the shift in marketings from 2023 to 2024 and an increase in placements.”