Negotiated cash fed cattle trade had a firmer feel through Friday afternoon.
Live prices in the Texas Panhandle were $1 higher at $156/cwt.
Although too few to trend, there were some live sales in Kansas at $156 and at $157 in the western Corn Belt. Prices the previous week were $155 in Kansas and $155-$157 in the western Corn Belt where dressed prices were $248.
For the week, dressed prices in Nebraska were $1 higher at $249. Live prices there the previous week were $155-$157.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $6.74 higher Friday afternoon at $271.95/cwt. Select was $3.66 higher at $245.47/cwt. Both were helped by packers throttling back production.
Total weekly estimated cattle slaughter was 562,000 head, which was 63,000 head fewer than the previous week. However, the estimated total was 75,000 head more than the same week last year. Year-to-date total estimated cattle slaughter of 33.13 million head was 479,000 head more (+1.5%) more than a year earlier. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 27.40 billion lbs. was 363 million lbs. more (+1.3%) than the same time last year.
Cattle futures closed mainly higher Friday, supported by the higher tone to cash prices and the bounce in wholesale beef prices.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ higher (20¢ to $1.00 higher), except for unchanged and 17¢ lower in the back two contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ higher, except for an average of 18¢ lower in the back two contracts.
Grain and Soybean futures found some technical support Friday with positive export news and positioning ahead of the holiday.
Corn futures closed 3¢ to of 5¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly fractionally higher.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to of 14¢ higher through Jan ‘24 and then mostly 6¢ to 8¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices recovered some lost ground Friday with likely week-end positioning and despite another gauge suggesting more work lies ahead to curb inflation.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index increased 0.1% in November, compared to the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That was more than expected. Year over year, the index was up 5.5%. Excluding food and energy, the index was 0.2% higher month to month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 176 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 22 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 21 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $2.07 to $2.46 higher through the front six contracts, supported by chatter that Russia will cut production.
Markets will likely view Friday’s Cattle on Feed report as neutral to a touch bearish, with slightly more feedlot placements than analysts expected ahead of the report. Keep in mind the report accounts for feedlots with 1,000 head or more one-time capacity.
Placements in November of 1.92 million head were 42,000 head less (-2.1%) than the previous year. Average expectations ahead of the report were for a decline of about 4%.
In terms of placement weights, 52% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less, 36% weighing 700-899 lbs. and 12% weighing 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings in November of 1.89 million head were 22,000 head more (+1.2%), which was in line with estimates. Marketings were the most for the month since the series began in 1996, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Cattle on feed Dec. 1 of 11.67 million head were 312,000 head less (-2.6%) than the same time last year, which was close to pre-report projections.