Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. A few live trades were reported in the western Corn Belt at $124/cwt., but too few to trend.
Cattle futures leaked mostly slightly higher, apparently tied to expectations of further cash support for fed cattle. Lower grain prices also provided support to Feeder Cattle.
Except for 5¢ and 17¢ lower in Dec and away Feb, respectively, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher (5¢ to 60¢ higher).
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ lower through Jul ‘20, and then 8¢ to 9¢ lower, amid chatter about fewer year-over-year exports to China and early expectations for the next domestic crop weighing on stocks.
Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 37¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $216.07/cwt. Select was $1.60 lower at $210.41.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Thursday. Pressure included a month-to-month decline in retail sales of 1.2% in December, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 103 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 6 points.
Despite expectations of falling land values over the past few surveys, quality farmland values rose 3.4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the latest Agricultural Finance Monitor published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Ranchland or pastureland values increased by 6.5% in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.5% in the third quarter. Cash rents for quality farmland rose 2.9% in the fourth quarter, following a 2% gain in the third quarter. Cash rents for ranchland or pastureland rose by 1.3%, after increasing by 0.8% in the third quarter.
At the same time, lenders continue to report declines in farm income relative to a year earlier. The current index value marks the 20th consecutive quarter with a value below 100. Results above 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report higher income compared with the same quarter a year ago, while results lower than 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report lower income from a year earlier.
The fourth-quarter index value for farm income was 41. Expectations for farm income in the first quarter of 2019 were slightly more optimistic with an index value of 48.
The survey was conducted from Dec. 15-31 last year. The results are based on responses from 22 agricultural banks within the boundaries of the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all or parts of: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.