Cattle Current Daily—Dec. 29, 2021

Cattle Current Daily—Dec. 29, 2021

Although it was slow trade and light demand, negotiated cash fed cattle prices began the week $2 higher on a live basis at $140/cwt. in the western Corn Belt through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed prices there last week were at mainly $217.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from a standstill to limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend. Last week, live prices were at $135/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dressed trade was at $217-$218.

The stronger cash outlook and recently higher boxed beef prices helped Live Cattle futures firm. They closed an average of 24¢ higher (from 5¢ higher to $1.17 higher in almost-spent Dec).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 18¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $264.66/cwt. Select was 91¢ higher at $256.09/cwt.

Lower Corn futures prices helped Feeder Cattle close an average of $1.19 higher.

Corn futures closed lower on likely profit taking. Prices were 8¢ to 10¢ lower through May ‘23 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures paused from steep gains in the previous session, closing mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Tuesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 95 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 4 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 89 points.

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Consumer food prices continue to charge higher.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items in November was 6.8% higher year over year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Although the rate of growth is the fastest in nearly four decades, it is still below levels seen during the late 1970s and early 1980s, which were well above 6% and several months recorded double digit growth,” according to analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) in a mid-December Livestock Monitor.

The Food CPI was 6.1% higher year over year, apparently driven by surging meat and poultry prices.

“The Meat CPI continued its double-digit growth with November 16.0% above last year. During the pandemic the Meat CPI grew 16.7%, which is still below growth rates of the late 1970s which reached into the 20% range for several months. The Poultry CPI grew 8.4%, which was just below increase of 8.7% in June 2020 during the pandemic,” say LMIC analysts.

Although less startling, the annual year-to-date average monthly CPI was significantly higher through November compared to history.

The year-to-date Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all food increased an average of 3.6% through November, according to the December Food Price Outlook from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). Food-at-home prices were up an average of 3.1% and food-away-from-home prices were 4.2% higher.

“Of all the CPI food-at-home categories tracked by the USDA-ERS, the beef and veal category has had the largest relative price increase (8.7%) and the fresh vegetables category the smallest (0.9%). No food categories have decreased in price in 2021 compared with 2020,” according to ERS analysts.

In 2022, ERS analysts project food-at-home prices to increase 1.5% to 2.5% and food-away-from-home prices to increase between 3.0% to 4.0%.

By way of comparison, food-at-home prices increased 3.5% in 2020 and 0.9% in 2019. The 20-year average is 2.0%.

“November Choice retail beef prices were $7.85 per pound which eased slightly (5 cents) from the prior month’s record high of $7.90. Prices for ground beef, roast, round, and sirloin all remained elevated at in November at $4.72, $7.27, $7.40, and $11.51 per pound, respectively,” according to LMIC analysts. “Retail pork prices continued to climb in November reaching $4.82 per pound, which marks the eighth consecutive month that retail pork prices set a new record. Boneless hams reached a record of $4.94 per pound while bacon and chops remain elevated at $7.27 and $4.43, respectively. The broiler composite retail price hit a record of $2.21 per pound, the fifth consecutive month for a record price.”

2021-12-28T18:36:08-06:00

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