Cattle Current Daily-Dec. 31 to Jan. 2-2019

Cattle Current Daily-Dec. 31 to Jan. 2-2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon. Though too few to trend, there were a few live sales reported in the western Corn Belt on Thursday at $119.00-$121.50/cwt., which was about $1 higher than the previous week.

Front-month Live Cattle set the tone for firm to higher futures prices, supported by expectations of steady to higher cash fed cattle prices.

Except for $1.15 higher in spot Dec and 22¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (10¢ lower to 22¢ higher).

Corn futures closed 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ higher through March ’20 and then 8¢ to 9¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 89¢ lower Friday afternoon at $214.41/cwt. Select was 30¢ higher at $207.52.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly lower Friday, amid another day of volatile trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 76 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 5 points.

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Most auctions were closed for the holiday last week, so there were no price trends for calves and feeder cattle. When sales start in the new year, they should receive support from recently stronger cash fed cattle and futures prices. Snugger front-end supplies and harsh winter weather in some cattle-feeding areas suggest that support should continue for a while.

Near-term wildcards continue to include volatile equity markets, tied to worries about rising interest rates and slowing global economic growth, as well as the government shutdown.

Depending on your abacus, cattle prices this past year were unsurprising and mostly on par with the previous year. As long as weather and demand hold up, it’s hard to argue that prices will be much different in 2019.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) projected calf prices for the first quarter of 2019 at $168-$172/cwt., according to Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist at Kansas State University, in December. Yearling prices were projected at $147-$150 and fed prices at $118-$121.

2018-12-29T15:31:11-05:00

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