Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through USDA’s late-afternoon report Friday. There were some live sales in the western Corn Belt at $115/cwt., unevenly steady with Wednesday’s $114-$116, which was $1-$2 higher than the previous week. There was some early dressed trade in Nebraska at $183, but too few transactions to trend; prices the previous week were at $180-$185, mostly $185.
Live Cattle futures firmed on Friday (17¢ lower to 32¢ higher), supported by the steady to higher feel in the cash market.
Feeder Cattle futures softened amid continued lackluster trade and perhaps some month-end position squaring. Except for 7¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ lower.
Though futures prices remain channel-bound, there continue to be expectations for a secondary boost, if and when China and the U.S. settle their trade differences. The notion is that China’s ongoing problems with African Swine Fever mean that nation needs to import lots more pork, potentially significantly more from the U.S. President Trump and China’s President Xi Jingping were scheduled to meet over the weekend during the G20 Summit.
Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was even with the previous day Thursday afternoon at $212.61/cwt. Select was 12¢ lower at $198.41.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, apparently boosted by optimism that the U.S. and China would make headway in solving their trade issues when leaders meet during the G20 Summit in Argentina over the weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 199 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 22 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 57 points.
Leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Friday, during the G-20 meeting in Argentina. The USMCA maintains unrestricted, duty-free trade for beef and cattle in North America. It also maintains science-based trade standards.
All three countries must complete their own domestic processes before the USMCA comes into force. In the U.S., Congress will need to pass legislation to implement the deal. The U.S. International Trade Commission is currently conducting an investigation into the likely impacts of USMCA.
“With the signing of the, U.S. beef producers are one step closer to knowing that unrestricted, science-based trade will continue in North America,” says Kevin Kester, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “The agreement brings the trading relationship with our neighbors into the 21st century – and clearly rejects the failed beef and cattle trade policies of the past. Open markets have helped U.S. producers flourish and created billion-dollar markets for U.S. beef. We look forward to working with Congress to get USMCA passed into law as quickly as possible.”