Bearish sentiment from the sharp volatility in Choice boxed beef cutout values helped pressure negotiated cash fed cattle prices lower Wednesday. Live prices in Nebraska were $1 lower on a live basis at $156/cwt. and $1-$2 lower in the beef at $247, on slow trade and light to moderate demand.
Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Last week, live prices were $155 in the Southern Plains, $157 in Colorado and $157-$158 in the western Corn Belt, where dressed prices were $249.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $6.31 higher through Wednesday afternoon at $248.96/cwt. It was $6.62 lower on Monday. Select was 63¢ higher at $219.66/cwt.
Live Cattle futures found some footing Wednesday, while a bounce in Corn futures weighed on Feeder Cattle.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ lower (25¢ to 90¢ lower).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ higher, except for unchanged to 12¢ lower in four contracts.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 15¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed little changed Wednesday as investors retrenched and assessed the likelihood of a recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1 point higher. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 56 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.91 to $2.24 lower through the front six contracts.
U.S. beef exports remain resilient and on a record annual pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
October beef exports totaled 125,466 metric tons (mt), which was 8% more than a year ago. Export value was $929.8 million, down 3% from the large total reported in October 2021.
In the first 10 months of 2022, beef export value increased 18% from last year’s record pace to reach $10.05 billion – topping $10 billion in a single year for only the second time. January-October export volume was 1.25 million mt, up 4% from a year ago. October beef export value equated to $424.82 per head of fed slaughter, down 3% from a year ago, but the January-October average was still up 17% to $459.50.
“The October results were remarkable considering the headwinds facing U.S. beef, especially in our large Asian markets,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Key currencies such as the Japanese yen and Korean won had sunk to their lowest levels in decades versus the U.S. dollar, which obviously affected importers’ buying power. COVID lockdowns in China were also a concerning factor, especially for buyers in the foodservice sector. But despite all that, U.S. beef still performed very well in Asia and achieved solid growth in North America and the Middle East. With some recent improvement in exchange rates, beef exports are well-positioned to surpass last year’s records.”
China/Hong Kong was the leading destination for U.S. beef in October, with export value topping $240 million. Export volume to Japan was steady with last year and shipments increased to South Korea, but export value to both markets was negatively impacted by slumping currencies. October beef exports achieved strong growth to the ASEAN, Middle East and Canada.
Also of note, October’s U.S. pork exports were the most in 16 months.
Pork exports reached 238,198 mt in October, up 5% from a year ago and the largest since June 2021. Pork export value increased 13% to $697.3 million, the highest since May 2021.
Halstrom notes that the October pork results were bolstered by outstanding growth in variety meat exports, which set a new value record at $126.2 million.