Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly lower on Tuesday, awaiting cash direction. Early indications are cash fed cattle have some room to grow this week.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower.
Except for an average of 14¢ higher in two mid-board contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 42¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $204.24/cwt. Select was 5¢ higher at $190.45.
Positive crop conditions and weather weighed on grain futures, Tuesday.
Corn futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 14¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then 4¢ to 9¢ lower
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Tuesday, with increasing hopes of Congress agreeing to additional coronavirus relief.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 164 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 11 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 38 points higher.
Month-to-month farmer sentiment was virtually unchanged in July, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The index increased 1 point to a reading of 118, which was 30% lower than in February before the pandemic began.
Producers’ perspective on current versus future conditions shifted, though. The Index of Current Conditions rose 12 points from June to a reading of 111, and the Index of Future Expectations fell 5 points to a reading of 121.
“Although overall farmer sentiment in July did not change much compared to June, sentiment was still much weaker than in February before the impact of coronavirus hit,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “In July, farmers indicated they were a bit less concerned about the current economic situation on their farms than earlier this spring, but they are less optimistic about the future, perhaps as a result of the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Still, two-thirds of producers responding to this month’s survey said they believe Congress should provide additional economic assistance to farmers in 2020 to help offset the pandemic’s impact on agriculture.”
Among survey highlights:
**56% of producers said they plan to reduce their farm machinery purchases compared with a year ago; while 38% said they plan to keep machinery purchases about the same.
**16% of respondents expect farmland values to rise over the next 12 months compared with 10% in June. Looking ahead, however, 48% said they expect values to rise over the next five years compared with 55% in the previous survey.
**More than half of survey respondents said they were less likely to attend in-person educational events in 2020, as a result of COVID-19 concerns. When asked what their top information source would be in lieu of attending in-person events, 36% chose farm magazines, 19% chose online webinars, 17% chose farm radio and 17% chose websites.
The Ag Economy Barometer, based on responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers, was conducted July 20-24.