Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Southern Plains through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, trade was mostly inactive on light demand.
Regionally, negotiated prices last week were mostly steady to $1 either side of steady. Live prices were at $120/cwt. and dressed prices were at $189-$191.
Estimated total cattle slaughter for the week ending June 5 was 538,000 head, according to USDA. That was 91,000 head fewer than the previous week and 90,000 head fewer than the same week a year earlier. Estimated beef production for the week was 443.0 million lbs., which was 75 million lbs. less than the previous week.
Surging Corn futures prices hammered Feeder Cattle futures on Friday. It’s likely week-end profit taking also played a role.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.09 lower ($1.32 lower at the back to $3.02 lower in spot Aug).
Although mainly lower Friday, Live Cattle futures continued to consolidate, supported by wholesale beef values and slaughter data suggesting a return to post-pandemic normal following disruptions at JBS earlier in the week.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower, except for 5¢ and $1 higher at either end of the board and unchanged in away Aug.
Net U.S. beef export sales of 12,600 metric tons for 2021 were 55% less than the previous week and 38% less than the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s Export Sales report for the week ending May 27. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico and Chile.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.57 lower Friday afternoon at $338.98/cwt. Select was $1.43 lower at $311.73.
Grain markets were sharply higher on Friday as extreme heat gripped the Western Corn Belt and Northern Plains.
Corn futures closed up through Jul ’22 an average of 24¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed up an average of 33¢ through Jan ’22.
Major U.S. financial indices rallied on Friday despite a somewhat disappointing jobs report and downward pressure on the dollar. The S&P 500 almost hit an all-time high as investor anxiety seemed to lessen about the Federal Reserve changing rates and tapering support. NASDAQ posted its best day in three weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 179 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 37 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 200 points.
Drought continues to elevate beef cow slaughter.
“The start of pasture and range conditions (this year) was the worst since the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons. These early weeks are showing a large portion of the U.S. was already requiring supplemental feed to maintain herds,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. “For the west, this is a second year of continued hardship and will result in a second year of beef cow culling. As of this week (June 4) about 25% of the beef cowherd was in areas where pasture and range conditions were assessed as poor and very poor. This is an improvement from a few weeks ago, when 40% of the cowherd was assessed to be in those conditions. Still, pasture and range is not improving evenly.”
More specifically, utilizing regional USDA cow slaughter reports, LMIC analysts point out beef cow slaughter is 29% higher year over year in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), 12% higher in Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) and 18% higher in Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV).
“Total U.S. beef cow slaughter in federally inspected plants is up 10.1% year to date,” explain LMIC analysts. “In the last couple of weeks, beef cow slaughter accelerated, hitting above 70,000 head per week. The percent change is being amplified by below average slaughter levels of last year during April and May…In addition to the West, drought has been creeping into the Southeast, and the Northern Plains continue to struggle with limited moisture.”