Corn futures dredged 15¢ to 16¢ lower through new-crop contracts and then mostly 12¢ to 13¢ lower, pressured by favorable weather and reports suggesting Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN would sign an agreement Friday that would enable resumption of Ukraine Black Sea grain exports.
Soybean futures closed mostly 24¢ to 30¢ lower, also pressured by lower Crude Oil.
Feeder Cattle futures gained an average of 49¢ with the lower Corn futures, although reluctantly.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ lower, except for 20¢ higher in the back contract, on the week’s lower cash tone and perhaps with some deference to Friday’s semiannual Cattle report and monthly Cattle on Feed report.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light trade through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were some live trades in Kansas at $136/cwt. and a few dressed sales in the western Corn Belt at $232.
In established trade for the week, live prices are $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136 and $1.00-$1.50 lower in Nebraska at $139.00-$143.50, where dressed prices are $3 lower at $227.
Last week, live prices were $137 in Kansas and $143.50-$145.00 in the western Corn Belt, where dressed prices were $228-$230.
Wholesale beef values resumed the seasonal decline. Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.77 lower Thursday afternoon at $267.76/cwt. Select was $1.72 lower at $240.53/cwt.
U.S. net beef export sales of 23,800 metric tons for the week of July 14 were up noticeably from the previous week and were 97% more than the prior four-week average, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, China, Mexico and Hong Kong.
Major U.S. financial indices extended gains Thursday, buoyed by tech stocks and despite a negative labor report. Initial weekly unemployment insurance claims for the week ending July 16 were 7,000 more than the previous week at 251,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 162 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 39 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 161 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed $2.11 to $3.53 lower through the front six contracts.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) agrees with those in the cattle business who oppose the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act circulating in Congress, which would mandate minimum regional cash fed cattle trade.
“…the cattle price bill would displace free market fundamentals with government-controlled pricing. In a nutshell, the bill would require cattle feeders to sell cattle to packers, and packers to buy from feeders a mandatory minimum of fed cattle on a cash, spot market. As a result, the bill would reduce the ability of all levels of the supply chain to negotiate freely through formula and contract sales, also known as alternative marketing arrangements—a system that has helped to increase consumer demand and improve beef quality by effectively transmitting market signals about consumers’ preferences to producers,” says Sean Heather, USCC senior vice president of international regulatory affairs and antitrust, in a recent blog.
“In other words, the bill would replace a market structure that has evolved naturally over time with one created and managed by bureaucrats in Washington,” Heather continued. “When has that ever been a good idea? Instead, Congress should let these post-COVID markets adjust naturally. Indeed, fed cattle prices reached a seven-year high earlier this year, benefitting suppliers up and down the chain, and these price signals ultimately will work to expand production and keep prices in check for consumers.”