Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. Current indications continue to suggest steady to higher prices when it does occur. Wet, muddy condition in major cattle feeding areas continue to hinder cattle performance and add support to the market.
Cattle futures traded mainly sideways.
Except for 25¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 11¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed 10¢ lower to 20¢ higher.
Grains closed lower on the day, presumably on a less bearish outlook than traders expected to see for soybeans in South America. Chatter also picked up a notch regarding the growing dearth of publicly available market data, due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.
Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 17¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and higher on Select with moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 12¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $213.96/cwt. Select was $1.30 higher at $207.77.
Major U.S. financial indices edged higher again on Thursday, with follow-through support regarding the potential pause for interest rate increases, along with lingering hopes of a trade resolution with China. Pressure on retail stocks helped cap gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 122 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 11 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 28 points.
Despite the fact that there are fewer farms and ranches today, and a growing generational gap between the general population and agriculture, the children of Baby Boomers are more likely than their parents to know much about agriculture. That’s according to the latest Feed4Thought survey from Cargill.
Specifically, Cargill found that twice as many Generation Y respondents (ages 18–34) in the U.S. and China reported knowing a livestock or seafood farmer, compared to those over 55 years old. Trends were similar in Mexico and France. While 81% of 18-to-34-year-old Chinese participants said they have visited a livestock or seafood farm during their lifetime, only 50% of their older compatriots had. Young respondents in every country surveyed were more likely to have visited a farm than those over 55.
Generation Y (born between the early 1980s and about 2000) is also acting on what they learn about farming practices, according to the survey. Almost three times as many Gen Y participants (52%) said they had changed their eating habits for sustainability reasons in the past year versus older U.S. respondents (19%). Mexico, France and China showed a similar age correlation, with 80% of young Chinese reporting changes. Having kids at home made participants in all four sample countries more likely to make values-based changes.
“We know people increasingly care about animal welfare, the healthfulness of foods and sustainability,” says Marina Crocker, head of Cargill Animal Nutrition market insights. “By pairing Cargill’s understanding of what our customers need with state-of-the-art analytics about what people want, we can anticipate and serve emerging consumer expectations in the solutions we provide our customers.”
More than 80% of survey respondents said the way an animal is raised is important, and almost half of them were willing to pay more as a result. Chinese survey participants (59%) were the most open to paying a premium based on factors such as animal feed and housing; Americans (31%) the least.