Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices in the Texas Panhandle Prices were steady to $3 lower than last week at $116-$120/cwt., steady to $1 higher in Kansas at $119-$120 and steady in Nebraska at $120. Dressed trade was steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $191.
Although there were too few transactions to trend in the western Corn Belt, early live trades were steady at $120, while dressed sales were steady to $3 higher at $191.
Cattle futures edged lower Wednesday. Pressure included softer cash prices in the south and a deceleration in wholesale beef values.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ lower (5¢ to $1.47 lower), except for an average of 24¢ higher in two contracts.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 34¢ lower.
Corn futures edged mostly 2¢ to 5¢ higher Wednesday, following the previous day’s steep break.
Front-month Soybeans continued to soften with the lack of follow-through export sales. Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 8¢ lower through Jly ‘22 and then mostly 7¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly flat Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 10 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 7 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 80 points.
USDA projects U.S. beef exports this year to be record large for both volume and value at $7.6 billion, according to the latest quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade. That’s $200 million more than forecast three months earlier, based on both increased volume and unit values.
For that matter, USDA forecasts record-high levels of exports for other red meats and poultry, as well as for U.S. agricultural products overall. Total value of U.S. farm exports for fiscal year 2021 is projected to be $164 billion, which would be $28 billion more (+21%) than the previous year and the highest total on record. The annual export record of $152.3 billion was set in 2014.
“U.S. agricultural trade has proven extraordinarily resilient in the face of a global pandemic and economic contraction,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Today’s estimate shows that our agricultural trading partners are responding to a return to certainty and reliability from the United States.”
Key drivers of the surge in projected U.S. agricultural exports include a record outlook for China, record export volumes and values for a number of key products, sharply higher commodity prices, and reduced foreign competition.
China is poised to be back on top as the United States’ number one customer, with U.S. exports to that nation forecast at $35 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $29.6 billion set in 2014.
“The comparatively early post-pandemic re-emergence of the manufacturing sector in China facilitated the boost in global demand for goods, helping China’s GDP to grow by 2.3% in 2020,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). GDP in China this year is projected to be 8.2%.
As the global economy emerges from the pandemic, ERS analysts note the significant price increase for commodities, such as lumber and copper, used in manufacturing and construction.
“The current level of backwardation or inversion of commodity future contracts, where the nearby delivery contract is priced above more distant delivery dates, suggests the price boom is in part due to near-term supply constraints,” say ERS analysts. “The U.S. dollar is expected to depreciate by 2.4% in 2021, which is likely to continue to support higher commodity demand and prices into next year.”