Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Kansas through Thursday afternoon. Live prices were steady with the previous day at $119/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend.
Earlier in the week, live prices were at $117.50 to $119.00 in the Texas Panhandle, at $118 in Nebraska and at $118 to $119 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $187 to $190. Live prices in Colorado last week were at $119-$120.
Feeder Cattle futures gave back everything gained in the previous session as corn prices surged higher yet again on Thursday. Live Cattle futures extended modest gains, supported by blooming wholesale beef values and a sizable gain in open interest the previous day.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.02 lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.59 higher Thursday afternoon at $306.37/cwt. Select was $3.18 higher at $289.36
The average dressed steer weighing for the week ending Apr. 24 was 896 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week. The average dressed heifer weight of 825 lbs. was 12 lbs. lighter. Beef production was 16.9 million lbs. at 547.4 million lbs.
Corn futures closed 10¢ to 20¢ higher from Jly ‘21 to Jly ‘22, mostly 6¢ to 8¢ higher in other contracts.
Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 28¢ higher through Mar ‘22, and then mostly 11¢ to 13¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Thursday, apparently buoyed by the previous day’s bullish ADP®National Employment ReportTM, and betting on similar results in the government’s employment situation summary due out Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 318 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 34 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 50 points.
U.S. beef exports surged in March, with volume up 8% year over year, the second most in the post-BSE era, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Beef exports totaled 124,808 metric tons (mt) in March. Export value for the month exceeded $800 million for the first time at $801.9 million, up 14% year-over-year. Beef muscle cut exports set new monthly records for both volume (98,986 mt, up 13% from a year ago) and value ($718.3 million, up 17%). For the first quarter, beef exports pulled even with last year’s pace at 333,348 mt, valued at $2.12 billion. For beef muscle cuts, first quarter exports increased 4% to 262,914 mt, valued at $1.9 billion (up 5%).
March highlights for U.S. beef included record exports to China, Honduras and the Philippines.
March pork exports were record-large at 294,724 mt, up 1% from last year’s strong total, setting a new value record at $794.9 million (up 4%).
“It’s very gratifying to see such an outstanding breakout month for U.S. beef and pork exports,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “Exports were off to a respectable start in 2021, considering the logistical and labor challenges the industry is facing and ongoing restrictions on the foodservice sector in many key markets. While these obstacles are not totally behind us, the March results show the situation is improving and the export totals better reflect the strong level of global demand for U.S. red meat.”
Muscle cuts drove March export growth, but Halstrom is also encouraged by a rebound in shipments of beef and pork variety meat.
“The tight labor situation at the plant level has been especially hard on variety meat volumes,” Halstrom explains. “But March variety meat exports matched last year’s performance for pork and were the largest of 2021 on the beef side. It’s important that the capture rate for variety meat continues to improve, as this is a critical component of the export product mix.”