By way of recap, negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week generally $1-$2 lower on a live basis at $114-$115/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $116 in Nebraska. It was steady in the western Corn Belt at $116-$118. Dressed trade was steady to $2 lower in Nebraska at $183-$186; steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $185-$186.
Limit-down Lean Hog futures, and perhaps defensive positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below), helped pressure Cattle futures on Friday. That report ended up more favorable than expected with fewer feedlot placements than anticipated.
Except for 37¢ higher in spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower.
Except for 20¢ higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were higher on moderate to good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 85¢ higher Friday afternoon at $221.64/cwt. Select was $1.94 higher at $208.47.
Corn futures closed 7¢ to 14¢ higher through Jul ‘20 and then mostly 2¢ lower to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 8¢ higher through May ‘20 and then mostly 2¢ to 5¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices stabilized Friday, but remained under pressure from trade worries and related signs of slowing economic growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 95 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 3 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 8 points.
If anything, markets ought to judge Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report as neutral to cautiously bullish, with significantly fewer April placements than most analysts expected.
There were 1.84 million head placed in feedlots (capacity of 1,000 head or more) in April, which was 8.67% more (+147,000 head) year over year. Most analyst expectations ahead of the report were for placements to be up 13% or so. In terms of weights, 19.27% weighed less than 600 lbs., 37.84% weighed 600-799 lbs. and 42.88% weighed 800 lbs. or more.
The 1.93 million head marketed in April were 6.93% more (+125,000 head) than the previous year, which was slightly more than pre-report projections.
Likewise, cattle on feed May 1 were slightly less than expected with 11.82 million head, which was 2.25% more (+260,000 head) than a year earlier. Still, that’s the most inventory for the date since the data series began in 1996, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.