Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in Kansas through Friday afternoon. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices for the week were steady to 50¢ lower in the Texas Panhandle at $117.50-$119/cwt., steady in Kansas at $119, $1-$2 lower in Nebraska at $118 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at$118-$119. Dressed trade was $1-$2 lower in Nebraska at $188-$190 and steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $187-$190.
Feeder Cattle futures closed mostly higher Friday, but off of session highs, in the face of increasing front-month Corn futures. Live Cattle futures tagged along.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher in five contracts and then unchanged to 5¢ lower
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ higher through the front five contracts (27¢ to $1.25 higher) and then unchanged to 27¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 49¢ lower at $305.88/cwt. Select was 91¢ higher at $290.27
Total estimated cattle slaughter for the week ending May 7 was 638,000 head, which was 11,000 head fewer than the previous week. Total estimated beef production of 527.3 million lbs. was 10 million lbs. less week to week.
Corn futures closed mostly 11¢ to 13¢ higher through Jly ‘22, and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 15¢ to 25¢ higher through May ‘22, and then mostly 9¢ to 13¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, amid one of those frequent non-intuitive paradoxes. Presumably, much of the support stemmed from investors betting the Federal Reserve will maintain dovish monetary policy longer, due to April employment numbers falling far short of expectations.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased 266,000 in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Various reports pegged pre-report estimates at closer to 1 million.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls were $30.17 in April, up 21¢ from the previous month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 229 points higher. The S&P 500 was up closed 30 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 119 points.
“Timely rains remain critical to being able to stock cattle through the summer,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). “ Drought continues to intensify across the U.S. and is looking dismal in key areas. The Western half of the U.S. is in the worst stages of drought (65%-D0-D4, 47% D3-D4), a situation that has persisted since last year and is escalating.”
As noted in Cattle Current last week, USDA’s first seasonal assessment ranked just 22% of the nation’s pasture and range as Good or Excellent, versus 46% at the same time last year. Conversely, 47% was rated as Poor or Very Poor, compared to 16% a year earlier.
“One of the newer developments in the Drought Monitor has been the spread of dryness across the Corn Belt,” say LMIC analysts, in the latest Livestock Monitor. The Drought Monitor indicates that 44% of this region is in some level of drought. Dryness is less of a concern when planting, and typically means faster acres planted…The problem is more about soil moisture and growing phases which can affect crop yields.”
Based on USDA’s Crop Progress report last week, LMIC analysts point out top soil moisture conditions are rated as Short or Very short across 37% of cropland in the continental U.S. About 55% of cropland is reporting adequate moisture compared to 65% in 2020
“These figures are worrisome but with most of the growing season ahead of us, it’s early to be calling for yield declines just yet,” say LMIC analysts.