Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light to moderate on moderate demand in Nebraska through Tuesday afternoon. Live prices were steady to 50¢ higher than the previous day at $118/cwt., which was $1-$2 lower than last week. Dressed prices were $1-$2 lower at $188-$190.
Trade in the western Corn Belt was light to moderate on moderate demand. Live prices were steady to $3 lower than last week at $117-$119. There were a few dressed trades at $187-$190, but too few to trend; $190-$191 last week.
Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand. Live prices in the Southern Plains last week were at $118-$119. Prices in Colorado last week were $119-$120.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.92 higher at $301.22/cwt. Select was 12¢ higher at $283.91
Feeder Cattle futures and front-month Live Cattle wilted Tuesday, pressured by higher feed costs and plentiful fed cattle supplies.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 82¢ lower across a broad range, from an average of $1.52 lower in the front four contracts to an average of 26¢ lower across the rest of the board.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.26 lower.
Grain futures popped higher Tuesday as the market continues trying to buy more acres. That was despite what appeared to be a production-friendly planting report.
Corn futures closed mostly 13¢ to 18¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 12¢ to 18¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed to mainly lower Tuesday. Investor jitters seemed centered around inflation fears. On the one hand, pandemic supply chain disruptions, in tandem with economic reopening are driving up input costs. On the other, there’s concern the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates and slow monetary easing faster than previously suggested.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 19 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 28 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 261 points.
Agricultural producers grew more optimistic about the future last month, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. Month to month, the Index of Future Expectations increased 5 points to 169.
“The strength in commodity prices continues to drive improving expectations for strong financial performance, even as many are seeing rising input costs,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.
At the same time, agricultural producers lost some confidence in existing circumstances. The Index of Current Conditions dropped 7 points in April, to a reading of 195.
“The difference in producers’ short-term versus long-term expectations could be an indication they are concerned that the rapid rise in farmland values we’re seeing may not be sustainable over the long run,” Mintert says.
Even so, ranchers and farmers expect farmland values to continue rising over the next year. The Short-Run Farmland Value Expectations Index rose to a record high reading of 159, which was 11 points higher than the previous month. Further out, producers were less optimistic. The Long-Term Farmland Values Expectations Index (looking five years ahead) declined 9 points in April to a reading of 148.
Overall, the Ag Economy Barometer was virtually unchanged, up one point from March to a reading of 178. It’s calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. The current survey was conducted April 19 to 23.