Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 25, 2019

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 25, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports, but indications were for steady to higher prices.

For instance, although too few to trend, a few early trades were reported in the Western Corn Belt at $124.50-$128.00/cwt. on a live basis and at $202 in the beef. That’s 50¢ to $2 higher on a live basis and $2-$3 more dressed.

Through Thursday, the 5-area direct price was averaging steady with the previous week at $125.

Live Cattle futures inched higher Friday, while Feeder Cattle were narrowly mixed.

After $1.05 higher in spot Feb, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 20¢ higher.

Except for an average of 26¢ higher in the back three contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 17¢ lower.

Corn futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.32 higher Friday afternoon at $219.39/cwt. Select was 94¢ higher at $212.35.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday. More than anything, the driver seemed to be increased optimism regarding trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 181 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 17 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 67 points.

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Feedlot placements (feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity) were fewer than many expected, in Friday’s Cattle on Feed (COF) report. Keep in mind, this was the delayed January COF, so placements are for December.

Placements in December of 1.77 million head were 1.78% less than a year earlier. Ahead of the report’s original publication date, most analysts expected placements to be about 2% more year to year. In terms of weights, 51.21% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 38.88% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 9.91% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in December of 1.74 million head were 0.63% less than the previous year, in line with pre-report expectations.

Fewer marketings and placements month to month likely speaks to, at least in part, this winter’s challenging pen conditions and decreased performance.

Cattle on feed Jan. 1 of 11.69 million head were 1.75% more than a year earlier (+201,000 head), on the low side of expectations.

2019-02-24T16:22:38-05:00

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