Negotiated cash fed cattle prices stepped $3-$5 higher in the western Corn Belt Tuesday at $190/cwt. according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Trade was slow on light to moderate demand. Dressed prices there last week were $288-$292.
There were a few early sales in Nebraska through Tuesday afternoon at $190 on a live basis and $300 in the beef, but too few to trend. Last week, live prices were $183-$189 and dressed prices were $285-$292.
Trade in the Southern Plains was mostly inactive with very light demand. Last week, live prices were $175-$180 in the Texas Panhandle and $178-$180 in Kansas.
Stronger cash fed cattle prices helped lift Cattle futures.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher (97¢ higher toward the back to $2.67 higher in spot Jun).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.27 higher (65¢ higher in spot Aug to $1.57 higher at the back).
Resurgent wholesale beef values added support. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.21 higher Tuesday afternoon at $321.40/cwt. Select was $2.71 higher at $299.44/cwt.
Corn futures closed 3¢ to 10¢ higher through Jly ‘24 Tuesday on a more bearish weather outlook.
KC HRW Wheat closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through May’24 and then 9¢ to 13¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices mainly paddled water Tuesday with investors looking for direction.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 10 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 46 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 39¢ to 41¢ lower through the front six contracts.
Agricultural producer sentiment grew more bearish last month, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. It fell 19 points in May to 104, the weakest level since July 2022. The Index of Future Expectations was down 22 points to a 98, while the Index of Current Conditions was down 13 points at 116.
Weaker crop prices likely fueled declining producer optimism. In mid-May, compared to a month earlier, new-crop wheat bids for June-Jly delivery were down 50¢ per bushel, soybean bids were $1 per bushel less and Eastern Corn Belt fall delivery bids for corn declined more than 50¢ per bushel.
“Producers are feeling the squeeze from weakened crop prices which has reduced their expectations for strong financial performance in the coming year,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.
In May, 38% of respondents said they expected weaker financial performance for their farm this year, compared to 23% who felt that way in April. Higher input cost remains the top concern among producers in the year ahead; however, concern over the risk of lower crop and/or livestock prices is growing.
Producers’ expectations for short-term farmland values fell 13 points to 110 in May, the weakest short-term index reading since August 2020. Just 29% of respondents said they expected farmland values to rise over the next 12 months compared to 54% who felt that way a year earlier.
The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted between May 15-19.