Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow with light to moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Although there were too few to trend, early dressed sales in Nebraska were at $180/cwt., which was $2 more than last week. Live sales there last week were at $112-$113.
In the western Corn Belt, early dressed sales were steady to $2 higher than last week at $178-$180, but too few to trend. Early live sales were 50¢ to $3 higher at $113, but too few to trend.
Trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in the Southern Plains. Live prices there last week were at $113.
Cattle futures closed higher Thursday, extending gains from the previous session, with moderating grain futures prices and the outlook for higher cash fed cattle prices.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher, from 12¢ higher to $1.30 higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.03 lower Thursday afternoon at $234.25/cwt. Select was $2.95 lower at $220.44.
Corn futures closed fractionally mixed to 2¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher through Sep ‘21, and then mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, buoyed by positive quarterly corporate earnings reports and more optimism about the labor situation.
Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Jan. 30 were 779,000, which was 33,000 fewer than the previous week and less than the trade expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 332 points higher. The S&P 500 was up 41 points. The NASDAQ was up 167 points.
Potentially, moisture chances could improve this spring and summer for some of the nation’s driest areas. That’s due to early indications that the current La Niña is weakening and could become neutral by summer.
That was one of the key messages from Allen Dutcher, Extension agricultural climatologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, during Thursday’s Virtual BEEF Experience.
Likewise, according to the latest update from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, “La Niña is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter with a potential transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during the spring.
Even if more moisture returns more quickly than originally anticipated, Dutcher explained the 2020 drought left no moisture for most of the High Plains, meaning that it will take a least a year for native pastures in the region to recover.
Snowpack will drive drought risk in the High Plains, Dutcher said, adding that so far this year it’s significantly more than the same time in 2020.
Finally, with the way weather conditions are shaping up, Dutcher Expects late winter storms followed by an active severe weather season. Shorter term, he says conditions for the next 30 days are conducive to some powerful storms.