Recently firm wholesale beef values, near-steady cash prices and continued performance-dampening weather helped Cattle futures gain some ground Monday, led by Feeder Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 33¢ higher.
After 10¢ higher in spot Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher.
Corn futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and weak on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 39¢ higher Monday afternoon at $217.40/cwt. Select was 42¢ lower at $211.61.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Monday, basically retracing upward steps taken in the previous session. Pressure included the likes of Caterpillar and chipmaker Nvidia attributing part of their weaker forecasts to softer Chinese trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 208 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 20 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 79 points.
The federal government is open for business again, at least temporarily, meaning USDA agencies can begin providing market data. The exception during the shutdown was price data that continued to flow from the Agricultural Marketing Service. That information is why some livestock economists attribute little market impact to the missing data up to this point.
But, in his weekly market comments, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University says, “Among many repercussions of the federal government shutdown, agricultural data has been severely disrupted. Some reports will resume after a delay and some may be completely skipped. Numerous crop, livestock and trade reports were missed in January, which are important for cattle and beef markets.
“Missing from delayed or skipped January reports are the monthly crop production (including the December 1 hay stocks by state) and the annual crop production report that will confirm 2018 production of corn and other feed grains, soybeans and hay. The grain stocks report provides information about crop market conditions for the current marketing year. The winter wheat/canola seedings report will provide information about winter wheat pasture.”
During the shutdown, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for January, actual daily slaughter data and the January Cattle on Feed report went missing. The Jan 1 Cattle inventory report was originally scheduled to go out the end of this week; presumably it will be delayed, at the least.
“As well, the January livestock trade data (for November) was not reported and will be important to close out 2018 livestock and meat import and export totals,” Peel says. “Detailed weekly cattle slaughter data has not been reported since early December, along with carcass weights by slaughter class. These are important to finalize 2018 beef production totals and also to assess the current status of cattle markets, including weather impacts.”