Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Thursday afternoon, based on USDA reports. However, although too few to trend, there were some early dressed sales in Nebraska at $170-$178/cwt., which was $2 lower to $6 higher than last week. There were also a few dressed trades in the western Corn Belt at $178, which was $6-$8 higher than the previous week.
Despite more pressure in Lean Hogs, Cattle futures on Thursday took another measured step closer to where they were before the Tyson fire.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher (40¢ higher at the back to $2.30 higher in spot Aug at $104.975).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 82¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.46 lower Thursday afternoon at $239.28/cwt. Select was 21¢ higher at $215.91.
Corn futures closed fractionally higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Thursday, with investors apparently content to wait for the much-anticipated speech from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 49 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 1 point lower. The NASDAQ was down 28 points.
Commercial red meat production in July was record high for the month at 4.59 billion lbs., which was 8% more than the same time last year, according to USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report released yesterday. Keep in mind there was an extra weekday in July this year.
The total included beef production for the month of 2.36 billion lbs., which was 6% more than last year. Average steer carcass weight for July was 866 lbs., which was 4 lbs. less than the same time a year earlier. The average carcass weight for heifers was 796 lbs., which was 7 lbs. less than the previous year.
Total cattle slaughter in July was 2.90 million head, which was 120,600 head more than the same month last year.
For January through July, commercial red meat production of 31.4 billion lbs. was 3% more than the same period last year. Accumulated beef production was 1% higher; pork production was up 5%.
Total pounds of beef in freezers as of July 31 were 12% more than the previous month, but 6% less than the previous year, according to the monthly USDA Cold Storage report.
Frozen pork supplies were down 3% from the previous month but were 9% more than last year.
Total red meat supplies in freezers were up 3% from the previous month and up 1% from last year.
Total frozen poultry supplies were 2% more than the previous month but 4% less than a year earlier.