Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, live prices were $1 lower to $1 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $110-$112/cwt. They were $1 lower in Kansas at $110. Live prices were steady to $1 lower in Nebraska at $109-$110 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $109. Dressed trade was steady to $2 lower at $172-$174.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average steer price was $109.77 on a live basis, which was 40¢ lower than the previous week and $9.18 less than the same week last year. The average steer price in the beef was $1.10 lower week to week at $172.29; $15.45 lower year over year.
Cattle futures mostly closed lower on Friday, but found some footing in the wake of the previous session’s strong decline.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ lower except for an average of 12¢ higher in the back two contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from an average of 14¢ lower to an average of 8¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.17 lower Friday afternoon at $235.02/cwt. Select was $2.42 lower at $217.51.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 6¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ lower through Jan ’22 and then fractionally higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, despite a less robust national employment report than the trade expected.
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 245,000 in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate edged lower to 6.7%.
There was some speculation the optimistic trade for the day was based on the weaker employment numbers increasing odds for the government to come up with a more robust stimulus package.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 248 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 32 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 87 points.
Despite and because of the pandemic, USDA’s Economic Research Service estimated net farm income and net cash farm income to be significantly higher this year. Reasons for the shift higher include reduced cost, increased crop receipts and the sharp increase in government payments.
Specifically, in its Highlights from the Farm Sector Income Forecast, ERS forecasts net farm income to increase by $36.0 billion (+43.1%) in 2020 to $119.6 billion. In inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars, net farm income is forecast to increase $35.0 billion (+41.3%) from 2019, increasing for the fourth consecutive year. If realized, net farm income in 2020 in inflation-adjusted terms would be at its highest level since 2013: 32.0% above the 2000-19 average of $90.6 billion.
ERS projects net cash farm income to be $24.7 billion higher (+22.6%) year over year in 2020 to $134.1 billion. Inflation-adjusted net cash farm income is forecast to increase $23.4 billion (+21.1%) from 2019, which would put it at its highest level since 2014: 22.5% above the 2000-19 average ($109.5 billion).
By way of definition, ERS analysts explain net cash farm income encompasses cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments, minus cash expenses. It does not include noncash items, such as inventory changes and economic depreciation, which are included in net farm income.
Cash receipts in 2020, for all commodities, are forecast to decrease $3.2 billion (-0.9%) to $366.5 billion, in nominal terms. Total animal/animal product receipts are expected to decrease $9.7 billion (-5.5%) with declines in receipts for broilers, cattle/calves, and hogs. On the other hand, total crop receipts are expected to increase $6.5 billion (+3.3%) from 2019 levels.
Direct Government farm payments are forecast at $46.5 billion in 2020, an increase of $24.0 billion in nominal terms (+107.1%), fueled by supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief.