Strong cash demand for calves and feeder cattle, with snugger supplies looming, helped boost
Feeder Cattle futures an average of $2.09 higher Monday ($1.60 higher toward the back to $3.15 higher in spot Aug).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 higher (82¢ higher toward the back to $2.20 higher in spot Aug), helped along by firm wholesale beef values.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value 25¢ higher through Monday afternoon at $268.14/cwt. Select was $1.15 higher at $243.00.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged between mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were steady to $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $137/cwt., $1-$2 lower in Nebraska at $144-$149 and steady in the western Corn Belt at $147-$150. Dressed prices were $2 lower at $232.
The average five-area direct fed steer price last week was $144.35/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.81 less than the previous week. The average price in the beef was $1.74 less at $232.22.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through new-crop contracts on Monday and then mostly 6¢ to 8¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower as investors appeared to be skittish at the start of earnings season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 164 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 44 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 262 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed narrowly mixed through the front six contracts
Auction receipts will likely continue down the seasonal path this year — dipping in July and then growing through the end of the year — but with fewer numbers, says Josh Maples, Extension livestock economist at Mississippi State University. In the latest Cattle Market Notes Weekly, he points out year-to-date stocker and feeder cattle auction receipts are about 3% less than the same time last year, according to
“While the drop in auction receipts for 2022 is one indicator of tighter supplies, the mix of steers and heifers is also of interest,” Maples explains. “The percentage of heifers (in the auction mix) has ticked higher in recent years, which is another signal that herd expansion is not occurring. The average weekly heifer percentage is 44% so far in 2022. For reference, this average was 39% during the first six months of 2015 when the U.S. herd was in a rapid expansion phase and more heifers were being retained for breeding.”
The next USDA Cattle report July 22 should provide more clarity to the number of calves born this year.