Cattle futures continued to bounce back Friday with another day of higher wholesale beef values and perhaps some positioning ahead of the long weekend.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 higher. They were an average of 92¢ higher week to week.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher (42¢ to $1.02 higher). Week to week on Friday, they closed an average of $3.56 lower ($3.20 to $4.07 lower).
That was with Corn and Soybean futures continuing to chug higher, riding the rails of drought worries.
Corn futures closed mostly 13¢ to 24¢ higher through Sep ‘24 and then mostly 9¢ to 11¢ higher. Week to week, they were an average of 58’9¢ higher through the front six contracts.
Soybean futures closed 31¢ to 50¢ higher through Aug ‘24 and then mostly 20¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, there were about $1.20 higher through the front six contracts.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 21¢ to 31¢ higher on Friday.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Friday afternoon.
Although too few to trend, there were some live sales in the Southern Plains at $182/cwt. on limited trade and light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Prices there the previous week were $185-$186.
Live prices in the western Corn Belt the previous week were $190 on a live basis and $298-$300 in the beef.
Established regional trade for the week occurred in Nebraska with live prices $5-$6 lower at $185 and dressed prices $4 lower at $296.
The five-area direct weighted average fed steer price was $186.78 on a live basis week to week on Thursday, which was $2.28 lower. The weighted average in the beef was $3.06 lower at $396.08.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.02 higher Friday afternoon at $343.09/cwt. Select was $1.37 higher at $310.95/cwt. Week to week on Friday, Choice was up $10.16 and Select was $5.24 higher.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 634,000 head was 18,000 head more than the previous week but 34,000 fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date cattle slaughter of 15.0 million was 571,000 head fewer (-3.7%) than a year earlier. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 12.3 billion pounds was 623.5 million pounds less (-4.8%).
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday with likely profit taking ahead of the three-day weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 108 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 16 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 93 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 96¢ to $1.16 higher through the front six contracts.
USDA announced last week that it is ramping up efforts to strengthen the substantiation of animal-raising claims.
Animal-raising claims, such as “grass-fed” and “free-range,” are voluntary marketing claims highlighting certain aspects of how the source animals for meat and poultry products are raised. These claims must be approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before they can be included on the labels of meat and poultry products sold to consumers.
“FSIS has received several petitions, comments, and letters from a wide range of stakeholders asking the agency to reevaluate its oversight of animal-raising claims, specifically, how they are substantiated,” according to the announcement. “In addition, the veracity of “negative” antibiotics claims (e.g., “raised without antibiotics” or “no antibiotics ever”) has come into question.”
FSIS, in partnership with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), will conduct a sampling project to assess antibiotic residues in cattle destined for the “raised without antibiotics” market. The results of this project will help inform whether FSIS should require that laboratory testing results be submitted for the “raised without antibiotics” claim or start a new verification sampling program.
FSIS will also be issuing a revised industry guideline to recommend that companies strengthen the documentation they submit to the agency to substantiate animal-raising claims. The agency plans to strongly encourage use of third-party certification to verify these claims.