Cattle Current Daily—March 19, 2019

Cattle Current Daily—March 19, 2019

Last week’s 5-Area direct price for steers and heifers ended up right at $1/cwt. lower on a live basis, according to USDA data. Steers averaged $1.01 lower at $127.14. Heifers were $1.06 lower at $126.95. In the beef, steers were 82¢ lower at $204.25; heifers were 69¢ lower at $204.09.

Cattle futures meandered mostly higher Monday with continuing support from Lean Hog futures and a major question mark regarding the impact of last week’s bomb cyclone that hit a wide swath of the Plains.

Other than 77¢ lower in spot Apr and 35¢ lower in away Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average 30¢ higher.

Except for 62¢ and 12¢ lower in Apr and May, respectively, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.34 higher Monday afternoon at $228.33/cwt. Select was 87¢ higher at $218.21.

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Major U.S. financial indices extended the previous session’s gains on Monday. There was nothing fundamental pointing strongly in either direction.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 65 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 25 points.

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“For the near term, several factors support expectations that feedlot placements in 2019 will be above 2018 levels,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “The number of cattle outside feedlots Jan. 1 is up nearly 1% from a year ago. Included in the cattle outside feedlots are the cattle on small grains pastures. The Cattle report also indicated 1.9 million head were on small grains pastures in the Southern Plains (Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas). This is 27% more cattle than the same time last year. Although the increase seems large, the number of cattle on small grains pastures last year was low as producers reduced winter wheat planted area in 2017-18.”

Although last year’s calf crop was estimated a touch lower than the mid-year estimate, ERS analysts say the pool of cattle that might be expected to be placed in feedlots this year still represented 1.8% more calves than the previous year (36.4 million head), according to the most recent Cattle report.

2019-03-18T20:49:54-05:00

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