Negotiated cash fed cattle prices last week ended up $2-$4 lower on a live basis at $108-$110/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $110 in Nebraska and at $113-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3-$4 lower in Nebraska at $180-$183 and $6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $178-$180.
Limit-down moves in Lean Hog futures, lower cash fed cattle prices, the outlook for higher feed prices and perhaps some positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below) contributed to further erosion in Cattle futures on Friday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ lower (40¢ to $1.72 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.22 lower.
Grain futures ended the week lower on apparent profit taking.
Corn futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through Jul ‘20 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 13¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 90¢ lower Friday afternoon at $219.82/cwt. Select was $1.93 lower at $199.55.
Major U.S. financial indices edged lower Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 34 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 19 points.
Markets will likely view Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report—feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity—as neutral to slightly bearish.
Placements in May of 2.06 million head were 2.82% less (-60,000 head) than the previous year, whereas expectations ahead of the report were for a decline of about 4%. In terms of placement weight, 32.71% went on feed weighing less than 699 lbs.; 50.33% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 16.95% weighing 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings in May of 2.07 million head were 0.68% more (+14,000 head) than the previous year. Expectations ahead of the report were for an increase of 0.80%.
Cattle on feed June 1 of 11.74 million head were 1.62% more (+187,000 head) more than last year, the most for the month since the data series began in 1996. Heading into the report, expectations were for an increase of 1.30%.
More positive, the monthly Cold Storage report indicates beef in freezers as of May 31 was 6% less than the previous month and 13% less than the previous year. That follows the steep decline of the previous month when supplies were 5% less month to month and 9% less year over year.
Frozen pork supplies were 1% more than the previous month and year.
Total frozen red meat supplies were 2% less than the previous month and 6% less than the prior year.
Total frozen poultry supplies were 2% less than the previous month and 6% less than the previous year.