So far this week, fed cattle prices are steady to $2 lower.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Prices in the Southern Plains were at $140/cwt., which was steady with the prior day but $2 lower than last week.
Although too few to trend, there were a few live sales in the western Corn Belt at $138-$140 and a few in the beef at $220. Prices there last week were $140 and $220, respectively.
Trade in Nebraska was slow on moderate demand. Dressed prices were steady with last week at $220. Although too few to trend, there were some live trades at $138-$140, compared to $140 last week.
Trade in Colorado was mostly inactive on very light demand. Live prices last week were $142.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 44¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $264.55/cwt. Select was $1.41 lower at $251.68.
Cattle futures softened amid the subdued cash trade.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower, except for 67¢ higher in spot Jan.
Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through near Jly and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices softened Thursday amid some likely retrenching and despite positive employment news.
Weekly initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Dec. 4 were 184,000, which was 43,000 less than the previous week and the least since Sept. 6, 1969.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed fractionally lower. The S&P 500 closed 33 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 269 points.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) raised the fed cattle price forecasts for this year and next year based on current price strength and expectations of continued demand strength.
In the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, ERS forecast this year’s annual average five-area direct fed steer price $1.25 higher than last month at $122.56/cwt. Next year’s average price was projected $5 higher than the previous month at $135. Prices were forecast at $138 in the first quarter, $134 in the second quarter and $132 in the third quarter.
The 2021-22 U.S. corn supply use and outlook was unchanged, as was the projected season-average price of $5.45/bu.
U.S. soybean supply use and outlook was unchanged, but soybean oil production was raised on a higher extraction rate.
The 2021-22 U.S. season-average soybean and soybean oil price forecasts were unchanged at $12.10/bu. and 65¢/lb., respectively. Soybean meal price was projected $5 higher $330/short ton.
The outlook for 2021-22 U.S. wheat was for slightly lower supplies, unchanged domestic use, reduced exports and higher ending stocks.
The projected season-average farm price was raised 15¢/bu. to $7.05 on current NASS prices and expected cash and futures prices for the remainder of 2021-22. That would be the highest season-average farm price since 2012-13.