Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Texas Panhandle and Colorado through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, it was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend.
For the week, despite hopes for gains, prices through Friday afternoon were generally unevenly steady.
Southern Plains: steady at $112/cwt.
Nebraska: steady to $1 lower on a live basis at $110-$111; steady to $1 higher in the beef at $176.
Colorado: Steady to $1 higher on a live basis at $112.
Western Corn Belt: steady to $2 lower on a live basis at $110; steady to $1 higher in the beef at $175-$177.
Through Thursday, the average five-area direct fed steer price was 1¢ higher on a live basis at $111.49/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 47¢ higher at $176.02.
Cattle futures closed lower Friday. Pressure included demand uncertainty and continued grain market strength.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 17¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in Oct.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 99¢ higher Friday afternoon at $206.80/cwt. Select was 10¢ higher at $196.69.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 19¢ higher through Sep ‘21 and then mostly 4¢ to 8¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Friday, despite a disappointing national employment report.
Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 month to month in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The trade expected a slight gain. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased 23¢ to $29.81.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 56 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 20 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 134 points.
Although U.S. beef exports for January through November remained lower year over year, they stormed back in November, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
November beef exports totaled 115,337 metric tons (mt), up 6% from a year earlier and the most since July 2019. Export value climbed 8% year-over-year to $707.5 million. November beef muscle cut exports were the third largest on record at 91,338 mt (up 13%, trailing only July and August 2019), valued at $630.4 million (up 11%).
“Demand for U.S. beef in the global retail sector has been outstanding and we expect this to continue in 2021,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Unfortunately, foodservice continues to face COVID-related challenges. We expect a broader foodservice recovery this year, especially from mid-2021, but will likely still see interruptions in some markets.”
Among highlights for the month, November exports to China and Guatemala set new monthly records, while shipments to Mexico were the largest since 2016.
Through November, beef exports were 6% lower year-over-year in volume (1.13 million mt) and down 7% in value ($6.9 billion). January-November muscle cut exports were 3% below 2019 in volume (883,012 mt) and 6% lower in value ($6.11 billion).
As for pork, November export volume was steady year over year at 258,801 mt, with value down 2% to $697.5 million. Although China/Hong Kong remained the largest destination for U.S. pork in November, momentum continued to build in other markets including Japan, Mexico and Central America.
January-November pork exports set new annual records for both volume (2.72 million mt, up 14% from the previous year’s pace) and value ($7.03 billion, up 13%). Pork muscle cut exports also shattered previous annual records, increasing 18% year-over-year to 2.29 million mt, valued at $6.08 billion (up 15%).