Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in the western Corn Belt through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill.
Regionally, prices last week were mainly $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $114/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $114 in Nebraska and at $112-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $178-$180.
The five-area direct steer price was $113.64/cwt. last week on a live basis, which was $1.00 more than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef of $179.26 was $1.70 higher.
Live Cattle futures mostly edged higher Monday, helped along by the higher cash prices and prospects of higher money this week as the coldest temperatures of the year erode cattle performance.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ higher, except for 15¢ lower and 10¢ lower at either end of the board.
Feeder Cattle futures closed lower beneath the weight of grain futures, which likely got a boost from positioning ahead of Tuesday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 lower, from 72¢ lower toward the front to $2.15 lower at the back.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.62 higher Monday afternoon at $236.20/cwt. Select was 18¢ lower at $220.61.
Corn futures closed 11¢ to 15¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 6¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 14¢ to 21¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Monday, with support from resurgent energy prices and optimism about the vaccination rollout getting the economy reopened sooner than later.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME were $1.08 to $1.15 higher through the front six contracts on Monday. That’s a little more than $5 higher week to week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 237 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 28 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 131 points.
Although U.S. beef exports were 5% lower last year, in volume (1.25 million metric tons—mt) and value ($7.65 billion), they finished 2020 with a near record December, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
December beef exports totaled 119,892 mt, up 8% from December 2019 and the largest in nearly 10 years. Export value in December was $744 million, up 9% from a year ago and the second highest total on record. Fourth-quarter volume was 4.5% more year over year. Beef exports to China were record-large in 2020. A new volume record was also achieved in Taiwan.
Foodservice restrictions in many major markets impacted beef exports significantly, but they trended higher late in the year, bolstered by very strong retail and holiday demand.
“Consumers across the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by seeking high-quality products they could enjoy at home, and U.S. beef and pork definitely met this need,” Says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “We expect these retail and home-delivery demand trends to continue even as sit-down restaurant dining recovers, creating robust opportunities for U.S. red meat export growth.”
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter was $349.19 in December, up 9% year over year and the highest level since April. For the year, beef export value per head of fed slaughter was down 2% at $302.31.
U.S. pork exports reached nearly 3 million mt in 2020, topping the 2019 record by 11%. Pork export value climbed 11% to a record $7.71 billion. Exports set new annual records in China/Hong Kong, Central America, Vietnam and Chile, and achieved strong fourth quarter growth in Japan and Mexico.