Compared to the previous month, USDA increased projected 2021 beef production by 5 million lbs. to 27.905 billion lbs., in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). Analysts with the Economic Research Service (ERS) note higher expected cow slaughter is largely offset by lower steer and heifer slaughter.
USDA forecast the five-area direct fed steer price 70¢ higher for this year to $117/cwt., reflecting current price strength. Projected average prices are $120 in the second quarter, $115 in the third quarter and $120 in the fourth quarter.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade in the Southern Plains was at a standstill through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. For the week so far, live sales are at $119-$120/cwt.
Elsewhere, trade ranged from slow to inactive on light demand.
Live sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt earlier in the week were at $120 on a live basis and at $190-$191 in the beef.
Cattle futures traded mostly higher on Thursday, amid light trade, especially for Live Cattle.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 36¢ higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ higher, except for down an average of 10¢ in the back two contracts.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 40¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $338.25/cwt. Select was $2.53 higher at $310.40
Despite USDA lowering projecting beginning and ending corn stocks by 150 million bu. in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Corn Futures trended mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher with support from the weather outlook. The WASDE left the projected season-average corn price unchanged at $5.70/bu.
USDA forecast beginning soybean stocks (2021-22) 15 million bu. more month to month. Ending stocks were projected 15 million bu. higher at 155 million bu. The season-average soybean price remained unchanged at $13.85/bu.
Soybean futures closed mixed, with the front three contracts down fractionally to 18¢, then up between 4¢ to 11¢ through Sep ’22.
Soybean futures closed 13¢ and 18¢ lower in the front two contracts, then mainly 8¢ to 11¢ higher through new-year contracts, followed by mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower the rest of the way.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher on Thursday, despite the Consumer Price Index coming in a little stronger than expected. A wide array of analysts viewed increased consumer prices as expected in the categories bolstered by the reopening of the economy rather than a long-term rise in inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 19 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 20 points higher. The NASDAW was up 109 points.
JBS USA (JBS) announced yesterday it’s investing $130 million to increase production capacities at two of its major beef processing facilities in Nebraska. The company is on schedule to complete, in late summer, a significant expansion of its Grand Island beef production facility, including the construction of a new harvest floor and enhanced animal welfare facilities. JBS is also expanding cooler capacity and upgrading the fabrication floor at its Omaha beef production facility. The expanded facilities and upgrades will increase processing capacity by nearly 300,000 head of cattle per year, according to the company.
“At JBS USA, we recognize the importance and cultural significance of beef – from the men and women who raise cattle, to the frontline essential workers who process beef, to the families who enjoy a tender steak or hamburger as part of the family meal,” says Tim Schellpeper, President of the JBS USA Fed Beef business unit. “Our longstanding commitment to the U.S. beef industry and continued reinvestment in its success will help ensure that beef remains at the center of plates around the world for years to come.”
To ensure consistent access to a skilled workforce, JBS also increased annualized wages by $150 million over the last 12 months. This permanent yearly investment is in addition to more than $71 million in short-term incentives and non-permanent bonus payments JBS provided to its U.S. beef workforce during the pandemic.
The JBS USA Grand Island facility is a two-shift, beef-processing plant in central Nebraska employing more than 3,600 people. Grand Island has the capacity to process more than 1.4 million cattle per year and currently exports to 20 different countries. The Omaha facility is a single-shift, beef processing plant employing more than 650 people. The plant offers a range of high-end specialty beef products.