Negotiated fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon, but Cattle futures suggest steady to higher prices for the week. They closed sharply higher, especially Feeder Cattle, buoyed by increasing open interest and trade activity.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher (40¢ higher to $2.10 higher in spot Feb), with the most active trade since September.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 higher, with the most active trade since October.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 6¢ lower through Jan ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 30¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $213.98/cwt. Select was 95¢ lower at $207.26.
Major U.S. financial indices close higher for the third consecutive day as investors seemed to grow more optimistic that ongoing trade talks with China may bear fruit. Resurgent tech stocks added support, as did the recent rebound in oil prices. Crude Oil futures (CME-WTI) are about $3 higher since last Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 256 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 24 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 73 points.
Agricultural producer sentiment declined in December as farmers’ perception of both current and future economic conditions weakened, according to results from the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The December barometer reading of 127 was 7 points lower than November. The barometer is based on 400 survey responses from agricultural producers across the country.
Both of the barometer’s two sub-indices declined in December. The Index of Current Conditions fell 6 points to 109, which was 30 points less than a year earlier. The Index of Future Expectations fell 8 points in December to 135, but was 15 points higher than a year earlier.
“Over the course of the last year, producers’ impression of current economic conditions on their farms has declined markedly,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “But at the same time, their expectations for future economic conditions have held steady. As a result of this mixed view, farmers appear to be cautious about making large investments in their farming operations.”
Mintert points to December’s Large Farm Investment Index as an example. That index measures whether producers feel this is a good time to make large farm investments. It dropped 5 points month to month at 51 and was 29 points lower than a year earlier.
Similarly, 42% said now was a good time to bring a new generation of family into the business, versus about 50% during the past two years. Looking ahead five years, 65% expect conditions to be more favorable for bringing in a new generation.