Bullish traders won the light-traded standoff in Cattle futures on Tuesday, as wholesale beef values continued to drift lower. Cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill.
Live Cattle futures closed $1.14 higher through the front five contracts and then 15¢-62¢ higher.
Except for 47¢ and 55¢ higher in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.99 higher ($1.47 to $2.57 higher).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.30 lower Tuesday afternoon at $215.24/cwt. Select was $2.16 lower at $200.51.
Major financial indices treaded water again on Tuesday, with investors apparently content to wait for more economic news later in the week, which will include the start of quarterly earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed fractionally higher. The S&P 500 closed 1 point lower. The NASDAQ closed 16 points higher.
“Regional feeder steer prices are showing some effects of the declining forage conditions,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center, in the latest Livestock Monitor. “South Dakota feeder steer prices reported by USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service were much weaker for lighter weight cattle than in Nebraska markets. Steers weighing 600 lbs. in South Dakota in mid-June were priced $9/cwt. lower than a month earlier. Over the same time span in Nebraska, the price comparison for similar steers was up $10, Oklahoma City prices were $3 higher and Montana’s were down $4.”
According to the most recent USDA Crop Progress report, 54% of pasture and range is rated as Good (45%) or Excellent (9%) compared to 57% at the same time a year ago. 17% is rated as Poor (11%) or Very Poor (6%), which is 4% more than last year.
North Dakota and South Dakota are struggling the most with 69% and 59%, respectively, of the pasture and range in those states reported in Poor or Very Poor condition. Conditions continue to deteriorate in Montana with 51% in Poor or Very Poor condition.
The AMS reporter at Ft. Pierre Livestock Auction in South Dakota last week noted, “Short pasture conditions have pushed some producers into marketing cattle earlier than normal. A large offering of cow-calf pairs and fall-bred cows followed the feeder cattle sale.”
Other Crop Conditions
19% of the corn crop is silking, which is 11% less than last year and 8% behind the 5-year average. 65% is rated in Good (52%) or Excellent condition (13%), compared to 76% last year. 10% is rated as Poor (7%) or Very Poor (3%) compared to 5% a year ago.
34% of soybeans are blooming, which is 3% less than last year but 2% more than average. 7% are setting pods, which is 1% more than last year and 2% more than average. 62% of the crop is rated as Good (52%) or Excellent (10%) compared to 71% last year. 11% is rated as Poor (8%) or Very Poor (3%) compared to 6% last year.
67% of winter wheat is harvested, which is 2% more than last year and the 5-year average.
79% of spring wheat is headed, which is 10% less than last year, but 5% more than average. Only 35% is rated in Good (29%) or Excellent (6%) condition, compared to 70% last year. 39% is rated Poor (20%) or Very Poor (19%), compared to 7% the previous year.