Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the North on Thursday. Dressed sales were unevenly steady with last week at mostly $169/cwt. Live sales in the western Corn Belt were $2 higher at $107-$109.
Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly lower on Thursday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for 10¢ higher in away Oct.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ lower through the front five contracts, and then 27¢ to $1.10 higher the rest of the way.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.34 higher Thursday afternoon at $225.38/cwt. Select was 66¢ higher at $206.31.
Net U.S. beef export sales of 20,000 metric tons for the week ending Aug. 13 were 69% more than the previous week and 13% more than the previous four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 9¢ lower through Mar ‘21, and then mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Thursday, supported by tech stocks and despite higher weekly unemployment claims than the trade expected. Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Aug. 15 were 1.11 million, up from 963,000 the previous week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 46 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 118 points higher.
Heavier carcass weights boosted year-over-year beef production in July, despite less cattle slaughter than in 2019, according to USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report. There were the same number of weekdays and Saturdays this year and last.
Beef production of 2.42 billion lbs. was 60.5 million lbs. more than last year (+2.56%). Total cattle slaughter under federal inspection (FI) in July was 2.87 million head, which was 37,200 head fewer (-1.28%). Fed cattle slaughter of 2.31 million head was 25,000 head fewer than last July (-1.1%).
For January through July, beef production of 15.40 billion lbs. was 187.4 million lbs. less than last year (-1.20%). Total FI cattle slaughter for that same time period was 18.37 million head, which was 806,000 head fewer (-4.20%) than last year. Total fed cattle slaughter for January through July of 14.39 million head was 797,500 head fewer (-5.25%).
Total commercial red meat production in July was 4.81 billion lbs., which was 220.9 million lbs. more than in 2019 (+4.81%). For January through July, total commercial red meat production of 31.63 billion lbs. was 247 million lbs. more than in 2019 (+0.79%).
The average dressed steer weight in July was 902 lbs., which was 36 lbs. more than last year. The average dressed heifer weight for the month of 829 lbs. was 33 lbs. heavier. For January through July, the average dressed steer weight was 34 lbs. heavier year over year at 898 lbs. The average dressed heifer weight for the same period of time was 829 lbs., which was 26 lbs. heavier year over year.