Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Thursday afternoon, but early sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt point to stronger trade this week. Although there were too few transactions to trend, early dressed sales in those regions were $2-$5 higher than last week at $182-$185. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were $1-$2 higher at $114-$115.
Cattle futures drifted higher, awaiting more concrete cash direction.
Live Cattle futures closed from an average of 15¢ higher.
Other than 2¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 42¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 65¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $213.77/cwt. Select was 10¢ lower at $190.79.
Corn futures closed 6¢ to 13¢ higher though Jul ’20 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher. That was despite what most would deem bearish news in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below).
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, led by health care stocks and overall optimism surrounding the previous day’s dovish comments by Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, regarding interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 227 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 6 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 6 points.
Beef production for this year was forecast 75 million lbs. less to 27.13 billion lbs., in the latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). That’s based on lighter carcass weights and reduced third-quarter slaughter. Total beef production would still be 257 million lbs. more than last year.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) also reduced projected fed cattle prices. The projected annual 5-area Direct fed steer price for this year was lowered by $1.50 to $115.50/cwt. The third-quarter average is forecast at $107. Projections are $110 in the fourth quarter and $124 in first quarter of 2020
Compared to the previous month, total projected red meat and poultry production for this year increased by 350 million lbs. to 104.52 billion lbs., with higher forecast pork and broiler production. That would be 2.172 billion lbs. more than last year.
Corn production for 2019-20 was projected 195 million bu. higher at 13.9 billion bu., based on increased planted and harvested areas from the June 28 Acreage report. That’s with yield unchanged at 166.0 bu./acre.
The season-average corn price received by producers was lowered 10¢ to $3.70/bu.
In July, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will collect updated information on 2019 acres planted, and if the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the August Crop Production report.
Soybean production for 2019-20 was projected at 3.85 billion bu., down 305 million bu., based on lower planted and harvested area in the June 28 Acreage report and on lower projected yields of 48.5 bu./acre. Beginning and ending stocks were lowered, as well.
The 2019-20 season-average price for soybeans was forecast at $8.40/bu., up 15¢ from the previous month. Soybean meal prices were forecast $5 higher at $300 per short ton. The soybean oil price forecast was unchanged at 29.5¢/lb.
Forecast 2019-20 U.S. wheat production was raised 18 million bu. to 1,921 million. The all wheat yield was forecast 1.3 bu./acre higher at 50.0 bu. However, anticipated domestic use increased on higher feed and residual use. Ending stocks were projected 72 million bu. lower.
The projected season-average farm price for wheat is $5.20/bu., up 10¢ from the previous month.