Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light to moderate on moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, but there were too few transactions to trend. Early dressed sales in both regions were at $200/cwt. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $124-$126.
Hints of steady to higher cash pries and strong fundamentals helped lift Cattle futures Friday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ higher Friday afternoon at $210.04/cwt. Select was 13¢ lower at $206.55.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then fractionally higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday, amid less robust job and wage growth than the trade expected.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.5%.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in December rose by 3¢ to $28.32. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings increased by 2.9%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 133 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 9 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 24 points.
The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reduced forecast 2020 beef production on lighter expected carcass weights. However, quarterly beef production was increased in the first half of the year and reduced in the second half of the year due to higher-than-expected cattle placements in late 2019 and a reduced placement forecast for early 2020.
WASDE estimates 2020 beef production at 27.44 billion lbs., which is 75 million lbs. less (-0.27%) than the December forecast. That would be 289 million lbs. more (+1.06%) than in 2019.
Anticipated first-quarter cattle prices were raised, reflecting current early-year price strength. Anticipated average cash fed steer prices (five-area direct) for 2020 are forecast at $125/cwt. in the first quarter, $118 in the second, $112 in the third and $114 in the fourth. The annual average price for 2020 is projected at $117.50, which is 50¢ more than the previous month’s estimate and 72¢ more than the estimated average in 2019.
Total red meat and poultry production for 2020 was estimated at 108.15 billion lbs., which would be 2.94 billion lbs. more (+2.79%) than in 2019.