Cattle Current Daily—Dec. 8, 2020

Cattle Current Daily—Dec. 8, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in the western Corn Belt through Monday afternoon. Elsewhere, it was at a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $110-$112/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $110 in Kansas and Nebraska and at $109-$110 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $172.

The average five-area direct steer price last week was $109.75 on a live basis, which was 52¢ less than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef was $172.29, which was $1.08 lower.

Cattle futures closed lower on Monday, pressured by fast-falling wholesale beef values and sluggish trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 93¢ lower except for an average of 12¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.33 lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.22 lower Monday afternoon at $230.80/cwt. Select was $8.03 lower at $209.48.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher except for fractionally lower to 4¢ lower in the front three contracts.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Monday, pressured by the continued increase in COVID-19 cases and lack of resolution for additional federal economic stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 148 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 55 points. 

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Exports of U.S. beef muscle cuts in October were higher year over year, however, reduced variety meat volumes pushed total beef exports slightly lower, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Specifically, beef muscle cut exports in October were 5% more in volume at 85,445 metric tons (mt) and 1% more in value at $573.8 million. For January-October, muscle cut exports were 5% below last year in volume (791,694 mt) and 8% lower in value ($5.48 billion).

Overall beef exports in October were slightly lower than a year ago at 107,591 mt (down 0.4%), valued at $646 million (down 0.5%). For January through October, total beef exports trailed last year’s pace by 7% in volume (1.02 million mt) and 8% in value ($6.2 billion).

There were signs of promise, though. Beef exports to China set another new record and volumes were above year-ago levels to Japan, Taiwan, Central America and Africa. While still below last year, beef exports to Mexico were the most since March.

U.S. pork exports posted broad-based gains in October, solidifying 2020’s record pace. They were up 8% year-over-year to 242,536 mt. Value was also 8% higher at $641.1 million. Through the first 10 months of the year, pork exports were 15% ahead of last year’s record pace at 2.46 million mt, with value up 16% to $6.33 billion.

“While the tight labor situation continues to limit the cut and variety meat specifications available for export, red meat demand is strengthening in many critical markets,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “October exports of bone-in hams, for example, were near the July record and up 50% from a year ago. This has been a volatile year, filled with shifts in consumer preferences and a lot of uncertainty for international buyers. But the U.S. industry has responded positively to these challenges and the demand dynamics for red meat are quite strong as we approach year’s end. When the gains made at retail over the past several months are combined with a stronger food service recovery, the prospects for export growth are very promising.”

2020-12-07T21:55:11-05:00

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