Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive with very light demand in Nebraska and the western Corn belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill.
For the week, live prices were steady to 50¢ higher in the Texas Panhandle at $119-$120/cwt., $1 lower in Kansas at $119, steady in Nebraska at $120 and mostly steady in the western Corn Belt at $120. Dressed prices were steady to $1 lower at $190-$191 in Nebraska and at $188-$191 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle futures closed mainly higher Friday, with a late surge after two-sided trading. Support included softer, more stable Corn futures, along with continued demand strength.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.69 higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher, (27¢ to $1.07 higher), except for and average of 30¢ lower in the back to contracts.
How the market reacts to the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below) is anybody’s guess.
Boxed beef cutout value (p.m.): Choice boxed beef cutout value was 99¢ higher Friday afternoon at $325.17/cwt. Select was 70¢ higher at $302.31.
Estimated total cattle slaughter of 669,000 head last week was 29,000 head more than the previous week. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 12.9 million head is 757,000 head more (+6.2%) than last year’s pandemic-ravaged pace. Estimated beef production last week was 550.7 million lbs., which was 23.1 million lbs. more than the previous week.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 14¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Friday, with most of the pressure on big tech stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 123 points higher. The S&P 500 3 points lower. The NASDAQ down 64 points.
Reaction to the monthly Cattle on Feed report for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity could range from neutral to widely diverse.
April placements of 1.82 million head were 389,000 head more (27.16%) more than the previous year, which was about 6.3% more than the average of analyst expectations ahead of the report. However, comparing to last year’s pandemic blip seems a fool’s errand. Compared to 2019, April placements were 21,000 head fewer (-1.14%).
In terms of placement weight, 35% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less, 49% weighing 700-899 lbs. and 16% weighing 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings in April of 1.94 million head were 479,000 head more (32.83% more) than a year earlier, about even with the average of analyst expectation. The number was 10,000 head more (0.5%) than the same month in 2019.
Cattle on Feed May 1 of 11.73 million head were 525,000 head more (4.69%) more than last year and the second most for the date since the data series began in 1996. That was about 1% more than what analysts expected, on average. Compared to two years earlier, there were 93,000 head fewer (-0.79%) cattle on feed.