Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in the western Corn Belt through Tuesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were at $114/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado, $113-$114 in Nebraska and $112-$113 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $178-$180.
Cattle futures closed mixed Tuesday. There was no cash direction, but Lean Hog futures continue to offer support, as does expanding open interest.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ higher, except for an average of 62¢ lower in the front two contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 39¢ lower to an average of 9¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.16 higher Tuesday afternoon at $226.93/cwt. Select was 72¢ higher at $218.77.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ higher through the front three contracts and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly narrowly mixed Tuesday as investors awaited further direction from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting statement Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 127 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 11 points.
Beef imports to the United States in January were 8.1% less than the previous year, driven by the least volume from Australia since 2005.
“Exportable beef supplies in Australia have become limited as more heifers and cows are held back for breeding and expanding the herd,” explain analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “Australia shipped 31 million lbs. less beef year over year…The second-largest reduction of 8.9 million lbs. came from Mexico; imports were at the lowest volume shipped to the United States in January since 2016.”
Overall, ERS reduced its forecast for U.S. beef imports for this year, by 70 million lbs. to 2.94 billion lbs., due to less expected volume from Australia and New Zealand, as well as increased beef demand competition from Asia.
On the other side of the trade ledger, ERS projects U.S. beef exports for this year to be 3.145 billion lbs., just less than the record level in 2018.