Negotiated cash fed cattle trade had yet to fully develop through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, but early prices are mostly $3 higher, with established trade in the Southern Plains at mostly $100/cwt. Although too few to trend, there were some early trades in Nebraska ($163 dressed) and in the western Corn Belt at $103 on a live basis and at $163 in the beef.
Cattle futures were mixed but mostly softer. The latest U.S. Export sales report offered no support. Net beef export sales for the week ending July 30 were down 55% from the previous week and down 35% percent from the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. June exports were down hard (see below).
Except for 32¢ and 42¢ higher on either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ lower.
Except for 15¢ lower in Sep, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 87¢ lower (52¢ to $1.32 lower).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher Thursday afternoon at $204.66/cwt. Select was $1.19 higher at $192.01.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 25 was 903 lbs., which was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 34 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. was the same as the previous week but 29 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Total cattle slaughter for the week of 639,971 head was 11,692 head fewer than the same week last year, but beef production of 533.7 million lbs. was 7.8 million lbs. more.
Corn futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed.
Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, led by tech stocks and supported by fewer weekly initial jobless claims than anticipated.
Initial claims for the week of Aug. 1 were 249,000 fewer than the prior week at 1.19 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 185 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 21 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 109 points higher.
Supply disruptions, restrictions on foodservice and weakening economies in major import markets helped confound U.S. beef exports in June, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
June beef exports were close to the May lows, down 33% from a year ago to 79,013 metric tons (mt), with value falling 32% to $492.3 million. Exports were below year-ago levels to most markets but trended higher to Canada, China and South Africa. For January through June, beef exports fell 9% below last year’s pace in volume (591,609 mt) and were 10% lower in value ($3.63 billion).
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $219.53 in June, down 32% year over year. The first-half average was $300.43 per head, down 4%.
“We expected that the interruptions in red meat production would continue to weigh on June exports, but anticipated more of a rebound from the low May totals, particularly for beef,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “But, it takes time for the entire chain to adjust to supply shocks, and thus it was another difficult month for exports. However, weekly U.S. export data suggest an upward trend in demand in most markets, and with production recovering, the U.S. has regained its supply advantage. So, we expect beef and pork exports to regain momentum in the second half of the year.”
June pork exports totaled 207,181 mt, which were 3% less than a year ago, while export value fell 9% to $516.3 million. Exports continued to trend higher than a year ago to China/Hong Kong, but were the lowest since October.