Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up steady in the Southern Plains last week at $109/cwt. on a live basis. Prices were $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $113.00-$113.50 and at $112-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $180.
Likewise, the 5-area direct weekly average price for steers was $1.11 higher week to week on Monday at $111.24/cwt. on a live basis. Live heifers traded $1.25 higher at $110.82.
Cattle futures closed mainly narrowly mixed on Monday after early follow through support.
Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 66¢ lower in the front three contracts to an average of 23¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from 17¢ lower to 7¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 21¢ lower Monday afternoon at $217.46/cwt. Select was 39¢ lower at $194.41.
Corn futures closed mixed, from fractionally higher to 4¢ higher through Jul ‘20, and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Monday, led by tech stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 115 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 14 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 63 points.
U.S. beef exports continue to reflect resilience in the face of ongoing trade barriers, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
U.S. beef exports in May were steady year-over-year in volume at 117,541 metric tons (mt), but 1% more in value at $727.6 million—the second-highest on record.
For January through May, beef exports were 3% below last year’s record pace in volume (530,088 mt) but only slightly lower in value at $3.3 billion.
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $312.85 in May, down slightly from a year ago. For January through May, beef export value averaged $309.33 per head, down 3%.
Korea and Taiwan Set the Pace
Beef exports to South Korea remained on a record pace in May, climbing 11% to 23,004 mt and 13% in value to $165 million. January-May exports to Korea were 11% above last year in volume (101,761 mt) and 15% higher in value ($743.5 million).
Beef exports to Taiwan also strengthened for the second straight month at 5,873 mt in May (up 27% from a year ago), valued at $52.6 million (up 28%). Through May, exports to Taiwan were 11% above last year’s record pace in volume (24,478 mt) and 4% higher in value ($218.2 million).
May export volume to leading market Japan also bounced back, despite the U.S. disadvantage borne by the lack of a trade agreement with that nation.
According to USMEF, all of U.S. pork and beef’s major competitors gained tariff relief in Japan this year through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union.
“The explosive growth U.S. beef has achieved in Korea and Taiwan is a testament to the quality of the product and the outstanding customer base the U.S. industry has established over the years,” explains Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “That same dynamic is present in Japan, on an even larger scale. But for Japan to remain in the ‘strong growth’ column, it is essential that we have market access comparable to our key competitors.”
Pork Exports Show Signs of Renewed Strength
U.S. pork exports in May were also steady with the previous year at 217,999 mt. Value was 1% higher at 567.8 million—the highest monthly value total since April 2018. For January through May, however, pork exports were 4% below last year in volume (1.035 million mt) and 10% less in value at $2.57 billion.
Although pork exports to Mexico remained slow—the 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork entering that nation wasn’t removed until May 20—exports to China/Hong Kong rebounded, despite the ongoing 50% retaliatory duty on U.S. pork going to China. U.S. pork exports to the region were 33% more year over year for volume (45,422 mt) and 5% more in value at $84 million. Through the first five months of 2019, though, exports to the region trailed last year by 7% in volume (173,642 mt) and 25% in value ($326 million).
“May export results for U.S. pork were very encouraging, especially the renewed momentum in Japan and China/Hong Kong,” Halstrom says. “When exports to Mexico get back on track and trade talks with Japan and China show progress, this will be a very welcome lift for the U.S. pork industry.”