Cattle futures ran out of steam Thursday amid higher Corn futures, softer cash fed cattle prices and continued volatility in outside markets. Perhaps the possibility of a U.S. railroad strike on Monday also played a role.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 lower (87¢ to $1.90 lower).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.33 lower through the front four contracts, then an average of 79¢ lower.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $137/cwt., steady to $4 lower in Nebraska at $144-$145 and $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at $145. Dressed prices are $2 lower in Nebraska at $230 and $2-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $228-$230.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 30¢ lower through Thursday afternoon at $267.75/cwt. Select was 65¢ lower at $241.91/cwt.
A hotter, drier forecast helped lift Corn futures mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher, except for 45¢ lower in spot Jly. However, declining oil prices weighed on Soybean futures, which were mostly 7¢ to 13¢ lower, except for 22¢ higher in spot Jly.
So far Friday, Cattle futures are trending lower.
Major U.S. financial indices finished mixed on Thursday, with investors processing the unexpected inflation increase, and the real possibility of a more aggressive rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 143 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 4 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed 52¢ to $1.43 lower through the front six contracts.
Consumers returned to spending more money for food away from home than at home last year, according to the Weekly Spotlight from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
Annual food spending (real or inflation-adjusted) in the United States increased every year since 1997, except in 2008, 2009 and 2020, according to ERS. Sales for food at home (FAH) and food away from home (FAFH) increased from 1997 to 2019. During the same period, real FAH spending increased at a slower rate (43.5%) than for FAFH (73.9%). In 2020, during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, real total food expenditures declined 6.6% year over year.
“U.S. consumers’ food-spending patterns changed as efforts were made to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included stay-at-home orders,” ERS analysts explain. “FAFH spending decreased by 15.8% in 2020, while FAH spending increased by 3.9%. In 2021, real total food expenditures increased 12.2% from 2020. With increased household income during the economic recovery and relaxed safety measures around indoor dining and social distancing, FAFH spending increased by 21.1% in 2021 from the previous year and was the primary driver of the overall food spending increase.” FAH spending increased by 4% during the same period.