Cattle futures closed lower Thursday, with pressure from the continued lack of cash fed cattle direction and the Corn-friendly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below).
Corn futures closed to 13¢ to 15¢ higher through the front three contracts, then 5¢ to 7¢ higher through Jly ’24.
Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 25¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 lower through the front half of the board, and then unchanged to an average of 17¢ higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower, except for unchanged and 7¢ higher in two away contracts.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand in the Southern Plains to limited on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Although too few to trend, there were some early dressed sales in Nebraska at $252/cwt. and a few on a live basis in the western Corn Belt at $158-$159.
Live prices last week were $157/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and $158-$160 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $252.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.24 lower Thursday afternoon at $277.49/cwt. Select was $1.09 lower at $257.01/cwt.
Major U.S. financial indices rose Thursday with support from the monthly Consumer Price Index, which indicated easing inflation.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The all items index increased 6.5% over the last 12 months before seasonal adjustment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 216 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 69 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 88¢ to 98¢ higher through the front six contracts.
ERS projected the annual average five-area direct fed steer price for this year at $158.50/cwt., in the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. That was $2.50 more than the previous month’s estimate, based on expected demand strength. The price would be $14.10 more than the projected annual average last year. By quarter and compared to the previous month, ERS increased projected prices by $4 to $157 in the first quarter, by $3 to $157 in the second quarter and by $2 to $157 in the third quarter.
Among other WASDE highlights…
The 2022/23 U.S. corn outlook was reduced for production, food, seed and industrial use, feed and residual use, exports, and ending stocks. Corn production was estimated 200 million bushels lower than the previous month’s estimate, harvested area was trimmed by 1.6 million acres and ending stocks were lowered 15 million bushels. The season-average corn price received by producers was unchanged at $6.70 per bushel.
Soybean production was estimated 69 million bushels lower with estimated harvested area 0.3 million acres less. The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2022/23 was projected 20¢ higher at $14.20 per bushel. Soybean meal was projected $15 higher at $425 per short ton. The soybean oil price was unchanged at 68¢ per pound.
The 2022/23 U.S. wheat outlook was for increased supplies, larger domestic use, unchanged exports, and lower ending stocks. The season-average farm price was unchanged at $9.10 per bushel.