Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mainly $1 higher last week, with live prices in the Southern Plains at $119/cwt. and at $118-119 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $1 higher at $188.
Cattle futures closed higher Friday, supported by stronger cash trade and higher outside markets.
Other than 17¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.04 lower Friday afternoon at $224.56/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $207.30.
Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ higher through Sep ’21 and then fractionally higher.
Over the weekend, various reports suggested China will reduce or waive import tariffs on some agricultural products imported from the U.S., including some shipments of pork and soybeans. If that’s true, then both markets could see some bounce to start the week. On the other hand, with additional U.S. tariffs scheduled to be imposed on Chinese imports Dec. 15, the move may create more uncertainty.
Major U.S. financial indices closed strongly higher on Friday, buoyed by positive jobs data.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was stronger than the trade expected. The unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5%.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose 7¢ in November to $28.29. Average hourly earnings are 3.1% higher over the last 12 months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 337 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 28 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 85 points.
Although still strong, U.S. beef exports softened in October in terms of both value and tonnage, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Beef exports in October of 108,017 metric tons were 8% less than a year earlier; value was 11% less at $649.1 million. Through the first 10 months of the year, export volume was 2.5% less and value was 2.5% less than last year’s record pace.
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $284.56 in October, down 10% from a year ago. The January-October average was down 4% to $308.04.
The Japanese Parliament’s recent ratification of the trade agreement with the U.S. should help bolster beef exports to that value-leading customer.
According to USMEF, the rate for U.S. beef muscle cuts is 38.5% but will drop by nearly one-third when the agreement enters into force, mirroring the 26.6% rate imposed on Australian, Canadian, Mexican and New Zealand beef. Another rate reduction will come April 1, when the Japanese fiscal year begins.