Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up mostly $1-$2 higher on a live basis last week at $128/cwt. in the South and $129 in the North (up to $131 in the western Corn Belt). Dressed trade was mainly $4 higher at mostly $208.
The 5-area weighted average for fed steers last week was $1.82 higher at $128.96/cwt. Heifers were $1.66 higher on a live basis at $128.61. In the beef, steers were $3.39 higher at $207.64. Heifers were $3.50 higher at $207.59.
Cattle futures closed sharply lower, though, pressured by more feedlot placements than expected in Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Placements in February were 2.20% more than the previous year. The average of estimates ahead of the report projected a decline of about 4%.
“The February placement total is the largest for the month since 2000,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Over the last 12 months, the average feedlot inventory was 11.529 million head, the largest 12-month moving average since January 2000.” See more comments from Peel below.
Live Cattle futures closed an average $1.25 lower (40¢ lower at the back to $2.37 lower in near Jun).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.56 lower (40¢ to $3.35 lower).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ lower Monday afternoon at $229.00/cwt. Select was 9¢ higher at $218.73.
Major U.S. financial indices basically hovered in place Monday. Support included the weekend announcement that investigators found no collusion between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Pressure included ongoing worries about slowing global economic growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 14 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 5 points.
The long, cold, wet winter, and now flooding, will likely reverberate throughout crop and livestock markets for months to come, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments.
“On the crop side, losses of stored grain, hay and other products will have immediate impacts on the producers affected and perhaps on broader markets,” Peel explains. “Disruptions to transportation may be the biggest impact with truck, rail and river transportation all impacted by the floods and associated damage, and likely to be affected for weeks ahead.”
As for cattle, in addition to weather-depressed carcass weights and less beef production than originally anticipated, Peel says the recent floods most assuredly increased cattle morbidity and mortality.
“The timing of the floods are particularly insidious given that it is calving season for many cow-calf operations. This is likely to result in cattle losses even greater than would be expected during floods,” Peel says. “It will take many weeks to fully assess the cattle losses due to winter weather and the floods…Calf losses this spring will not really become apparent until fall and may possibly be big enough to affect the overall 2019 calf crop.”