Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska and the Western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. It was at a standstill in the Southern Plains.
For the week, live prices were steady to $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $120-$122/cwt. and unevenly steady in the North at $124-$126. Dressed prices were steady to $1 higher at $197-$198.
Stagnant cash trade and lower wholesale beef prices pressured Live Cattle futures Friday.
Live Cattle futures closed mostly lower, from 2¢ lower toward the back to $1.57 lower in spot Aug, except for unchanged to 2¢ higher in three contracts.
Softer Corn futures helped Feeder Cattle futures close an average of 70¢ higher, except for 50¢ lower at the back.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.21 lower Friday afternoon at $285.44/cwt. Select was $2.52 lower at $264.41.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 623,000 head, according to USDA, which was 38,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 16.71 million head is 865,000 head more (+5.5%) than last year. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 13.85 billion lbs. is 784.7 million lbs. more (+6.0%).
Thin trade volume and positive weather pressured Corn and Soybean futures.
Corn futures closed 22¢ lower in spot Jly and then 8¢ and 9¢ lower in new crop contracts. Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ higher.
For the week, though, Corn futures closed an average of 59¢ higher through the front six contracts, while Soybean futures closed an average of $1.27 higher through the front six contracts.
That had everything to do with USDA’s Acreage report issued on Wednesday. USDA estimated corn planted area for all purposes to be 1.87 million acres more than last year at 92.7 million acres, and soybean planted area 5% more at 87.6 million acres. That was significantly less than analysts expected for both crops.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, buoyed by the positive employment outlook. Total non-farm payroll employment increased 850,000 in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9%. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased 10¢ to $30.40.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 153 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 32 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 117 points.
Members of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) are proving their willingness and ability to increase cash trade on a voluntary basis. According to the most recent weekly TCFA newsletter, members are exceeding regional quarterly cash trade goals outlined by what’s termed the industry’s 75% plan, a voluntary framework adopted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
“TCFA members have surpassed levels established in the NCBA plan. More specifically, our members averaged 13,681 head per week in Q2 2021; 10,893 head per week in Q1 2021 and 9,593 head per week in Q4 2020 compared to the TCFA goal of 9,750 head in the NCBA plan,” says TCFA Chairman, Scott Anderson. “By any measure, we have proven that an industry solution to increasing negotiated trade will work. We do not need a government mandate and all the unintended consequences that could result. Our members have clearly demonstrated their commitment to increasing negotiated trade and improving price discovery. We want the market to work and will continue to also focus on leverage and competition issues that are negatively impacting the market.”