Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Northern Plains through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were a few early live sales at $114/cwt., which was steady to $1 higher.
Last week, live prices were at $114 in the Southern Plains, $113-$114/cwt. in the Northern Plains and at $112-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $180.
Cattle futures closed mostly higher Tuesday, buoyed in part by softer Corn futures and increasing chatter that the bottom may finally be in or at least near for cattle prices.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 33¢ higher, except for an average of 16¢ lower in the back two contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.03 higher through the front three contracts, and then from 30¢ lower to 60¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.05 lower Tuesday afternoon at $229.03/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $223.80.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher, except for 1¢ to 3¢ lower in the front three contracts.
Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Tuesday, led by recently beleaguered big tech stocks, as Treasury yield rates declined.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 30 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 54 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 464 points.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased estimated beef production for this year by 40 million lbs. to 27.58 billion lbs., in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).
“First-half beef production is raised from last month as lower expected fed cattle slaughter in the first quarter is more than offset by higher first-half non-fed cattle slaughter,” according to ERS analysts. “Second-half production is adjusted to reflect a more rapid pace of first-quarter feedlot placements.”
Fed steer price forecasts were unchanged at $113/cwt. in the first and second quarters, $114 in the third quarter and $119 in the fourth quarter for an annual average of $115.
Total red meat and poultry production was reduced 127 million lbs. to 107.47 billion lbs., with expected reductions in pork, broiler and turkey production.
Among other WASDE highlights:
The 2020-21 U.S. corn supply and use outlook was unchanged from the previous month. However, international corn production was forecast higher with increases for India, South Africa, and Bangladesh. Global corn ending stocks, at 287.7 million tons, were up 1.1 million from the previous month.
The projected season-average farm price was unchanged at $4.30/bu.
U.S. soybean supply and use projections for 2020-21 were mostly unchanged. Global 2020-21 oilseed supply and demand forecasts include higher production, exports, and ending stocks.
The U.S. season-average soybean price was projected at $11.15/bu., unchanged from the prior month. Although current cash prices are significantly higher, ERS analysts explain prices received through January averaged just over $10/bu., reflecting forward pricing at lower prices. Soybean meal prices were also unchanged at $400/ton. Soybean oil price was forecast at 41.0¢/lb., up 1¢ from the prior month.
The supply and demand outlook for 2020-21 U.S. wheat was mostly unchanged. The 2020-21 global wheat outlook is for larger supplies, increased consumption, higher exports, and reduced stocks. Supplies were raised 3.5 million tons to 1,077.1 million.
The season-average farm price for wheat was unchanged at $5.00/bu.