Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week so far is generally $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $96/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $98 in the Northern Plains and $99-$100 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trades are mostly $1 higher at $158.
Cattle futures softened a touch Thursday, despite firmer cash fed cattle and wholesale beef prices, and ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report and the semiannual Cattle inventory report.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower (20¢ at the back to $1.12 lower toward the front).
Except for 50¢ higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed from unchanged to an average of 14¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 higher Thursday afternoon at $202.26/cwt. Select was $1.51 higher at $190.79.
The average dressed heifer weight for the week ending July 11 was 902 lbs. which was 6 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 37 lbs. heavier than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. was 3 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 38 lbs. more than the prior year.
Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Thursday, led by tech stocks and pressured by indicators of ongoing COVID-based unemployment.
Initial unemployment claims for the week ending July 18 were 1.42 million, which was up 109,000 from the previous week, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 353 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 40 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 244 points lower.
USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report for June underscores the massive recovery in cattle slaughter, as well as the impact of continued heavier carcass weights. What follows is slaughter and production under federal inspection.
June fed cattle slaughter of 2.4 million head was 542,900 head more (+31.94%) than in May, and 13,000 head more (+0.58%) than the same month last year.
Keep in mind there were 26 business days, counting Saturdays, versus 25 last year.
However, year to date, fed cattle slaughter through June of 12.08 million was 772,600 head fewer (-6.01%) than the same time last year.
Total cattle slaughter in June of 2.82 million head was 597,600 head more (+26.89%) than in May and 51,300 head more than last year (+1.85%).
Year to date, total cattle slaughter through June of 15.50 million was 769,200 head fewer (-4.73%) than the same time last year.
Federally inspected beef production in June of 2.33 billion lbs. was 507 million lbs. more (+27.74%) than in May, and 134.9 million lbs. more (+6.13%) than a year earlier.
Year to date through June, however, beef production of 12.78 billion lbs. was 279.7 million lbs. less (-2.14%) than the same time last year.
Heavier carcass weights continue to close the gap between beef production and the number of cattle harvested. For instance, the average dressed steer weight in June of 893 lbs. was 42 lbs. heavier year over year. Year to date through June, the average dressed steer weight of 897 lbs. is 33 lbs. heavier.
Likewise, the average dressed heifer weight in June of 824 lbs. was 37 lbs. heavier than the previous year. Year to date through June, the average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. is 25 lbs. heavier.
Total red meat production in June under federal inspection of 4.74 billion lbs. was 1.03 billion lbs. more than in May (+27.71%) and 403.50 million lbs. more than a year earlier (+9.31%).
Year to date through June, total red meat production of 26.55 billion lbs. is just 14.7 million lbs. less (-0.06%) than the same time a year ago.