Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the Southern Plains Wednesday at $113/cwt., which was $2 lower than last week. Trade was light to moderate on moderate demand.
There were 566 head (three lots) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction at an offer price of $114; with no takers.
Cattle futures continued joined at the hip to equity markets on Wednesday, surging higher on the day.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (50¢ to $1.17 higher).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher ($1.32 to $2.72 higher).
Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 20¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $206.82/cwt. Select was $1.19 lower at $201.51.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly unchanged to fractionally mixed.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly 6¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices soared, Monday, amid positive economic news that included a steeper increase in private payrolls than expected.
Private sector employment rose by 183,000 last month, according to the ADP National Employment Report®.
“COVID-19 will need to break through the job market firewall if it is to do significant damage to the economy,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “The firewall has some cracks, but judging by the February employment gain it should be strong enough to weather most scenarios.”
Presumably, investors also were responding to the Super Tuesday Democratic Primary won by former vice-president, Joe Biden, who is seen as the more business friendly option on that side of the ticket.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,175 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 126 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 334 points.
Agricultural producer sentiment was record high in February, according to the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which was up 1 point from the previous month to 168. Optimism stemmed from producer sentiment regarding current conditions.
“Almost across the board, producers indicated they were more optimistic about current conditions on their farms and in U.S. agriculture, and retained most of the improvement in future expectations exhibited in January,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “Optimism about the agricultural trade outlook was underpinned by recent trade agreements and appeared to be the primary driver behind the improvement in sentiment.”
The Index of Current Conditions increased 12 points from January to a reading of 154. Meanwhile, the Index of Future Expectations fell 4 points below the record high set in January to a reading of 175.
The Ag Economy Barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers.
Over three-fourths (76%) of respondents said the USMCA and the China Phase One agreements either relieved their concerns about the effect of tariffs on their farms’ income “somewhat” (69%) or “completely” (7%); 17% said, “not at all”.
Although some voiced concerns about the possible impact of the COVID-19 virus on agricultural trade in mid-February, when the survey was conducted, producers remained relatively optimistic about the resumption of trade with China.
“As the COVID-19 virus footprint continues to expand, it remains to be seen whether it will impact farmer sentiment at home,” Mintert says.
Expectations for an improvement in farmland values also rose to an all-time high in February. When asked to look ahead five years, 59% of producers said they expect farmland values to rise, up from 50% in January. This was the most positive response to the question since data collection began in 2015.