Negotiated cash fed cattle prices Wednesday were steady to $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $95/cwt. on a live basis; steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $95-$96. Dressed trade for the week is $1 lower in Nebraska at $154-$155; steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $152-$155.
Cattle feeders offered 1,814 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction. There were 144 head—one lot of Kansas steers—selling for a weighted average price of $95/cwt., for delivery at 1-9 days. Two other lots were passed out at $93.
Cattle futures wobbled to start the day but picked up steam as the day progressed. Depending on your leanings, Live Cattle seem to be looking past the current backlog of fed cattle, or largely priced it in a ways back.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.31 higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 80¢ higher (22¢ higher in spot Aug to $1.42 higher).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.59 lower Wednesday afternoon at $205.38/cwt. Select was $1.47 lower at $198.43.
Grain futures extended gains Wednesday, buoyed by USDA’s recent reports.
Corn futures closed 8¢ to 10¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 16¢ to 19¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed on Wednesday, with nervousness about the economy’s start-and-stop reopening countered by positive employment news.
Private sector employment increased by 2.37 million in June, according to the ADP National Employment Report®.
“As the economy slowly continues to recover, we are seeing a significant
rebound in industries that once experienced the greatest job losses. In fact, 70% of the jobs added this month were in the leisure and hospitality, trade and construction industries,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 77 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 15 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 95 points higher.
“Slaughter cow prices have been one of the few bright spots for cattle producers over the past few months. Slaughter cow prices in the Southern Plains averaged $57.84/cwt. over the past six weeks of available data, which is 19.5% above the same period in 2019. Generally, cull cow markets are most directly related with ground beef demand,” says Josh Maples, Extension livestock economist at Mississippi State University, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets.
Total cow slaughter so far this year is about par with 2019, with beef cow slaughter up about 2% and dairy cow slaughter down about 2%, according to Maples. He notes the 6.7% increase in beef cow slaughter during the first two weeks of June is likely due in part to delayed marketing by some producers.
“Lower calf prices could drive increased beef cow culling later in the year,” Maples says. “Dairy slaughter is near the seasonal low point and milk prices have rebounded, which may prevent significant dairy cow culling. While the supply picture is becoming a little clearer, ground beef demand will continue to be key for support of beef cow cull prices.”