Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was generally steady in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $123/cwt. ($122.00-$122.50 in Nebraska). Live sales were $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $121-$122. Dressed trade was steady in Nebraska at $195; steady to $4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $194-$195.
Higher grain prices helped pressure Feeder Cattle, while softer wholesale beef values and volatile outside markets weighed on Live Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 98¢ lower (67¢ to $1.40 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.40 lower.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher through Sep ‘20 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly 4¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.98 lower Friday afternoon at $214.51/cwt. Select was $1.72 lower at $207.66.
Major U.S. financial indices rocketed higher Friday, buoyed by a monthly jobs report that shattered expectations to the upside, as well as comments from the Fed, suggesting they may be more patient in making further increases to interest rates.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 312,000 in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left the unemployment rate at 3.9%, which was 0.2% more than the previous month.
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose 11¢ to $27.48. Over the year, average hourly earnings increased by 84¢, or 3.2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 746 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 84 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 275 points.
With the partial government shutdown dragging into the third week, analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) note the absence of some market reports and the risk of delayed key pending reports are adding to uncertainty.
“Actual slaughter data has been among the most missed weekly market data. That data is compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) but is released by the Agricultural Marketing Service. It provides valuable information on weights, production, and the number of head slaughtered,” LMIC analysts explain. “The next couple of weeks hold several vital reports that could affect the tone of the entire year. For example, the annual Cattle Inventory is scheduled to be published at the end of this month. That report provides one of only two point estimates in the size of the beef herd, and the number of replacement animals producers are holding. The monthly Cattle on Feed report also is at risk. Without that type of information, cattle markets will be flying blind.”
Other reports scheduled soon include November trade data from the Foreign Agricultural Service, as well as the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service.
“The most extended government shutdown occurred in 1995 to 1996 and lasted three weeks,” say LMIC analysts. “In the past, some data has been recovered and released at a later date. However, in cases where the data is done by survey, as with many of the USDA NASS reports, that data is usually not recoverable because the survey was not sent or collected.”