Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were lower to sharply lower last week, with significantly heavier carcasses than a year ago and the continued backlog of market-ready cattle.
Based on reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service, the last established market in the Texas Panhandle was at $98/cwt., which was $6-$10 less than the previous week. Until then, prices were about $5 less at around $100, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Live prices were $4-$6 lower in Kansas at mostly $100-$102, steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $98-$102 and $3-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $99-$102. Dressed trade was steady to $12 lower at $158-$160.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average price for steers on a live basis was $100.82/cwt., which was $4.02 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.74, which was $5.91 less. Prices at the same time last year were at $110.43 and $180.56, respectively. Keep in mind that carcass weights are contra-seasonal and significantly heavier than last year.
Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed Friday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower through the front five contracts (10¢ lower to $1.37 lower in spot Jun) and then an average of 16¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 24¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ higher Friday afternoon at $213.72/cwt. Select was 17¢ lower at $203.91.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly lower on Friday, following a volatile session. Key pressure appeared to stem from the spike in COVID cases in some states, leading to worries about the path of economic reopening.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 208 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 17 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 3 points higher.
If anything, Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report from USDA will likely be viewed as at least a touch bearish, with more cattle placed, fewer cattle marketed and slightly more cattle on feed June 1 than the trade expected. That’s for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.
Placements in May of 2.04 million head were 26,000 head fewer (-1.26%) than the previous year. Average analyst estimates ahead of the report expected placements to be 2.3% less.
In terms of placement weights: 33.38% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 49.93% weighed 700-899 lbs.; 16.69% weighed 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings in May of 1.5 million head were 570,000 head fewer (-27.54%) than a year earlier. That’s the least marketings for the month since the data series began in 1996. Ahead of the report, on average, analysts expected marketings to be down 26.4%.
There were 11.67 million head on feed June 1, which was 57,000 head fewer (-0.49%) than a year earlier. That’s the second highest June inventory since the data series began in 1996. Average analyst expectations were for a decline of 1%.