Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 9, 2024

Cattle Current Daily—Feb. 9, 2024

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher Thursday (5¢ higher at the back to $1.77 higher toward the front), supported by friendly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below) and prospects of higher cash prices this week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 53¢ higher through the front five contracts (2¢ to $1.30 higher) to an average of 27¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were a few early FOB live trades at $179/cwt.

Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill.

Last week, FOB live prices were $178 in the Texas Panhandle, $178-$179 in Kansas,  $176-$178.75 in Nebraska and $177-$179 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed delivered prices were $280.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 3¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $295.01/cwt. Select was $1.30 lower at $284.13/cwt.

Corn futures closed 1¢ lower.

KC HRW Wheat futures closed 13¢ to 17¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 8¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Thursday, buoyed by more strong quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 49 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 37 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.82 to $2.36 higher through the front six contracts.

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USDA increased the forecast annual five-area direct average fed steer price for this year by $2 to $180/cwt., in the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). Prices were projected at $176 in the first quarter, $180 in the second and third quarters and $184 in the fourth quarter.

USDA analysts say prices were raised on expected strength in first-half demand for fed cattle in the face of tightening feedlot numbers.

At the same time, estimated beef production for this year was estimated slightly higher, up 75 million pounds from the previous report to 26.2. billion pounds. The total would be 778 million pounds less than last year (-2.9%).

“Slaughter is lowered for the first half, reflecting a slower pace of cattle slaughter,” say USDA analysts. “For the second half, steer and heifer slaughter is raised as USDA’s January Cattle report implied a smaller decline in cattle outside feedlots than previously expected and to the extent these cattle are placed on feed in the first half, they will likely be marketed and slaughtered in the second half.”

Among other WASDE highlights…

Corn

U.S. corn ending stocks were projected 10 million bushels more than last month. The season-average corn price received by producers was unchanged at $4.80 per bushel.

Wheat

Projected ending stocks were raised 10 million bushels to 658 million. The 2023/24 season-average farm price forecast was unchanged at $7.20 per bushel.

Soybeans

Ending stocks were forecast at 315 million bushels, up 35 million from the prior month.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2023/24 was forecast at 10¢ less at $12.65 per bushel. The soybean meal price forecast was unchanged at $380 per short ton. The soybean oil price was forecast 3¢ less at 51¢ per pound.

2024-02-08T20:11:02-05:00

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