Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in Kansas and the western Corn Belt through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill. Depending on the region last week, live prices were generally $1-$2 higher at $119-$121/cwt. on a live basis and at $188-$191 in the beef.
Feeder Cattle futures gained to start the week as Corn futures maintained their lower pace, in relative terms.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.14 higher (37¢ to $1.60 higher).
Live Cattle futures were mixed on Monday, though as the slower pace of slaughter cork potential.
Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 29¢ lower to an average of 20¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.68 higher Monday afternoon at $319.62/cwt. Select was $3.70 higher at $296.89.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher, except for 8.6¢ higher in new spot Jly and 3¢ to 5¢ lower in most new crop contracts.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices softened Monday, with most of the pressure presumably coming from inflation worries.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 54 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 10 points lower. The NASDAQ was 50 points.
“Beef cow slaughter increased sharply in the latest data to levels not seen since fall cow culling last November and December,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Weekly beef cow slaughter increased 13-14% in the latest two weeks of data over the previous six-week average. It appears herd liquidation is already happening and more can be expected. Poor pasture conditions now, reduced hay stocks and limited potential for pasture and hay production all suggest that additional beef cow herd liquidation is imminent.”
Although marginally more positive week to week, 25% of the nation’s pasture and range was rated as Good or Excellent for the week ending May 16, compared to 47% a year earlier, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report. Conversely, 43% was rated as Poor or Very Poor, compared to 16% a year earlier.
The previous week, based on regional aggregation compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center, Peel explains 51% of pastures were rated Poor or Very Poor in the eight states of the western region, 43% in the seven states of the Great Plains Region and 29% in the Southern Plains states of Oklahoma and Texas.
“These three regions account for 60.6% of the total beef cow inventory,” Peel says. “Currently 40.1% of all beef cows in the country (12.67 million head) are in states with 40% or more poor to very poor pasture and range conditions.”
At the same time, Peel says May 1 hay stocks were 24.9% less year over year in the West; 34.1% less than the five-year average. Hay stocks in the Great Plains region were down 20.1% year over year and down 6.4% from the five-year average. Southern Plains hay stocks were 28.8% less than the same time a year earlier; 29.3% less than the five-year average.