Cattle Current Daily—March 24, 2021

Cattle Current Daily—March 24, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in the western Corn Belt through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, it was at a standstill.

Last week, prices were at $114/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains and Northern Plains, and at $114-$115 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $180-$182.

Cattle futures continued higher Tuesday, supported by rising wholesale beef prices and strength in Lean Hog futures, amid light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher, from 10¢ higher at the back to $1.12 higher toward the front.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.04 higher Tuesday afternoon at $233.99/cwt. Select was $2.18 higher at $225.23.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Tuesday, pressured by increasing domestic and international COVID-19 infections, and the potential for that to create further supply chain disruptions, while further slowing economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 308 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 30 points lower. The NASDAQ down 149 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $3.12 to $3.80 lower through the front six contracts.

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The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) soared to 71.9 in March—the highest level since the data series began in January of 2006—up from 53.8 the previous month. The index was above growth neutral (50.0) for the fifth time in six months.

“Sharp gains in grain prices, federal farm support, and the Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” says Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

“Only 3.1% of bank CEOs indicated economic conditions worsened from the previous month. Even so, current rural economic activity remains below pre-pandemic levels,” according to Goss.

The RMI is borne by a monthly survey of community bank presidents and CEOs in non-urban agricultural and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are included.

Approximately, 68.8% of bank CEOs reported that their local economy was expanding; the remaining 31.2% indicated little or no growth.

Highlights from the March survey include:

The farmland price index climbed to 71.9 in March, up from 60.0 the previous month and the highest level since November 2012. March was the sixth consecutive month the index was above growth neutral. Bankers reported that approximately 12.3% of farmland sales were cash sales, which is down from 17.3% recorded in February 2020.

The March farm equipment sales index rose to 63.5, its highest reading since February 2013, and up from 62.7 in February. After 86 straight months of readings below growth neutral, farm equipment bounced into growth territory for the last four months.

For the first time since September of last year, bankers reported an expansion in loan volumes. The March loan volume index increased to 60.9 from February’s 46.1.

The confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, rose to 76.7 and up from 64.0.

“Looming federal farm support payments, improving grain prices, and advancing exports have supported confidence, offsetting negatives from pandemic-ravaged retail and leisure and hospitality companies in the rural economy,” Goss says.

2021-03-23T20:12:47-05:00

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