Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light to moderate demand in Colorado and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon. Elsewhere, trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, established trade was steady on a live basis at $114/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Northern Plains. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $180. The previous week, live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $114, with dressed trade at $182.
Total estimated cattle slaughter the week ending March 6 was 665,000 head, which was 1,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 5.83 million head is 213,000 head fewer (-3.52%) than the same period last year. Estimated beef production so far this year is 4.93 billion lbs., which is 73.8 million lbs. less (-1.48%) year over year.
Cattle futures closed higher Friday, supported by higher outside markets and despite the increase in grain futures. Perhaps support also included expectations that cash fed cattle prices next week will likely edge higher, given the dearth of cash purchases by packers the past two weeks.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (5¢ to $2.50 higher), except for 50¢ lower in spot Mar.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.55 lower Friday afternoon at $231.33/cwt. Select was 83¢ lower at $220.85.
Grain futures closed higher Friday, likely supported by positioning ahead of the next World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates due out Tuesday.
Corn futures closed 11¢ to 15¢ higher in the front three contracts, and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 19¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher at the end of a volatile trading session Friday. Primary support seemed to stem from easing Treasury yield rates and significantly more new jobs than the trade expected.
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 379,000 in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nation’s unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2%. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 7¢ to $30.01.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Futures on the CME were an average of $4.63 higher week to week on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 572 points higher on Friday. The S&P 500 closed 73 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 196 points.
Total beef cows in Canada and the U.S. totaled 34.69 million head Jan. 1, which was 194,300 head fewer (-0.56%) than the previous year, according to the United States and Canadian Cattle and Sheep report. Beef cows in the U.S. were 31.16 million head, which were 181,100 fewer (-0.58%). Beef cows in Canada of 3.53 million head were 13,200 head fewer (-0.37%).
The inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. and Canada Jan. 1 was 104.74 million head, which was 313,800 head fewer year over year (-0.30%). Inventory in the U.S. of 93.59 million head were 198,800 head fewer (-0.21%). Canadian inventory of all cattle and calves was 11.15 million head, down 115,000 head (-1.02%); the least since 1989, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the most recent Livestock Monitor.
Between a smaller calf crop (-0.8%) north of the border and 4.1% more heifers retained for replacement, LMIC analysts say there will likely be a smaller number of cattle available in Canada for feedlots in 2021.