Early dressed sales in the western Corn Belt on Monday were $5-$7 higher than last week at $160/cwt., according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were some live sales in Kansas at $93-$95 (steady to $2 lower) and some dressed sales in Nebraska at $155-$160 ($5-$6 higher).
Cattle futures built on the previous session’s gains, supported by surging outside markets and likely helped along by technicals.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher (40¢ higher to $1.25 higher).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher (55¢ to $1.37 higher).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 2¢ higher Monday afternoon at $205.46/cwt. Select was $1.79 lower at $196.97.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed solidly higher Monday, led by tech stocks and despite the continuing escalation in COVID-19 infections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 459 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 49 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 226 points higher.
Recent export demand underscores the negative global impact of COVID-19.
U.S. beef exports in May were 33% less in may than a year earlier at 79,280 metric tons (mt)—the lowest monthly total in 10 years—according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Value was 34% less than the same time last year at $480.1 million.
For January through May, beef exports fell 3% below last year’s pace in volume (512,596 mt) and were 5% lower in value ($3.14 billion).
“As protective measures related to COVID-19 were being implemented, plant disruptions peaked in early May with a corresponding temporary slowdown in exports,” explains USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Unfortunately, the impact was quite severe, especially on the beef side. Exports also faced some significant economic headwinds, especially in our Western Hemisphere markets, as stay-at-home orders were implemented in key destinations and several trading partners dealt with slumping currencies.”
Halstrom notes that the recent rebound in beef and pork production will help exports regain momentum in the second half of 2020. The global economic outlook is challenging, but he looks for export volumes to recover quickly in most markets as U.S. red meat remains an important staple, not only in the United States but for many international consumers as well.
“In what has been a remarkably turbulent year, consumer demand for U.S. red meat has proven very resilient,” Halstrom says. “Now that production has substantially recovered, the U.S. industry is better able to meet the needs of both domestic and international customers. While the foodservice and hospitality sectors face enormous challenges, they are on the path to recovery in some markets while retail demand remains strong. Retail sales have also been bolstered by a surge in e-commerce and innovations in home meal replacement, as convenience remains paramount.”
May U.S. pork exports of 243,823 mt were 12% more than a year earlier but down 13% from the monthly average for the first quarter of 2020. Export value was $620.9 million, up 9% year-over-year but 16% below the first quarter monthly average.