Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon.
Cattle futures mostly tread water, pressured early by sharply lower Lean Hog futures, but recovering as trade picked up.
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (17¢ lower to 11¢ higher).
Except for unchanged in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ higher.
Corn and soybean futures came under pressure Thursday, perhaps in part to negative rhetoric regarding a trade resolution with China, as well as defensive positioning ahead of USDA reports Friday that will provide the first glimpse at grain stocks and usage estimates in more than a month.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 8¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 86¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $216.71/cwt. Select was 84¢ lower at $211.53.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Thursday, pressured mostly by renewed concerns about global economic growth. Worries were spurred by reports that the U.S. and China are still wide apart in trade negotiations. Pressure also came from the European Commission (EU) lowering its projections for economic growth to 1.5% for this year.
“Our forecast is revised downwards, in particular for the largest euro area economies,” says Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. “This reflects external factors, such as trade tensions and the slowdown in emerging markets, notably in China. Concerns about the sovereign-bank loop and debt sustainability are resurfacing in some euro area countries. The possibility of a disruptive Brexit creates additional uncertainty…”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 220 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 25 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 86 points.
U.S. beef exports continued on a record pace in November according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Note that these are the latest statistics, about a month late, due to the government shutdown.
Beef exports totaled 112,842 metric tons (mt) in November, up 1% from a year earlier, while value climbed 6% to $709.2 million. For January through November of last year, exports reached 1.24 million mt, up 8% year-over-year and 6% above the record pace of 2011. At $7.63 billion, beef export value was up 16% and broke the full-year record set in 2017 ($7.27 billion).
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter is also on a record pace, averaging $322.97 in November, which was 5% more than a year earlier. Value per head of fed slaughter through the first 11 months of 2018 was $320.72, which was 14% more than the same period a year earlier.