Weaker grain futures and strong country trade helped Feeder Cattle futures take another step higher Friday.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.57 higher, while Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.14 higher (55¢ to $2.62 higher).
Grain and Soybean futures were down again on extended fund liquidation and plummeting open interest.
Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 12¢ lower. Soybean futures closed 47¢ to 62¢ lower through Aug. ‘23 and then mostly 25¢ to 37¢ lower.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade Friday ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week (last established) live prices were $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $137/cwt., steady to $1 higher in Kansas at $138, steady in Colorado at $145, steady to $3 higher in Nebraska at $145-$151 and unevenly steady ($2 lower to $3 higher) in the western Corn Belt at $148. Dressed prices were steady in Nebraska at $234 and steady to $6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $234.
The average five-area direct fed steer price was $1.60 higher on a live basis at $146.10/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 97¢ lower at $233.94.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 18¢ lower Friday afternoon at $263.82/cwt. Select was 10¢ lower at $240.47.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 636,000 head was 30,000 head fewer than the previous week but 8,000 more than the same week last year, according to USDA. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 16.9 million head was 168,000 head more than the same time last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 13.96 billion lbs. was 127.6 million lbs. more (+0.9%) than last year.
Major U.S. financial indices rallied late in Friday’s session to close higher, despite the lowest Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index since June of 2020, according to the Institute of Supply Management.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 321 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 39 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 99 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed $1.60 to $2.67 higher through the front six contracts.
Opponents to the nation’s beef checkoff came up short in their latest multi-year challenge.
The Supreme Court of the United States last week denied R-CALF’s lawsuit against 13 state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff. This ruling effectively ends yet another R-CALF attack on the Beef Checkoff and prevents the activist attorneys at Public Justice, from further diverting Checkoff and beef industry resources.
“For too long we have allowed R-CALF and their attorneys to divide our industry and draw attention away from the important job of beef promotion and research. The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program,” says NCBA CEO Colin Woodall.
NCBA intervened in the lawsuit in its early days to help defend state beef councils from R-CALF and their activist attorneys, who falsely attacked state beef councils and the cattlemen and women who volunteer their time to support the industry as Checkoff leaders. Multiple court decisions rejected these allegations and reaffirmed the work and direction of the Beef Checkoff and those who guide it.
“R-CALF has repeatedly attacked the Beef Checkoff, engaging lawyers who are closely aligned with extremist animal rights groups like PETA and others, in an attempt to further their efforts,” Woodall says. “It’s time that our industry stands up to R-CALF and insists that they end these attacks on the Beef Checkoff and the volunteer cattle producers who direct it.”
As an editorial aside, folks can always find details of a program they disagree with, but when you look at how much the beef checkoff accomplishes each year and over time, its mind boggling that anyone would want to derail the program. Never mind the promotion, naysayers should look at the long list of necessary product research, which has helped create new products and beef demand, and describe an alternative that would have done more.