Grain and Soybean futures closed lower Thursday, apparently due in part to more money flowing into equities for the day.
Corn futures closed 6¢ to 11¢ lower through Jly ‘24. Soybean futures closed mostly 20¢ to 29¢ lower.
Softer grain futures helped boost Cattle futures.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 higher (90¢ to $2.05 higher).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ higher (70¢ to $1.50 higher).
Cattle futures were lower through mid-day today as grain futures trended higher.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were slow through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Although too few to trend, there were some live sales at $149/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $153.00-$153.50 in Nebraska and $153-$154 in the western Corn Belt.
So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $150, steady in Nebraska at $153 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $153. Dressed prices are steady to $2 higher at $242.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value (p.m.): $1.40 lower at $263.27/cwt. Select was $1.61 higher at $236.83/cwt.
Major U.S. financial indices roared back Thursday, after the Consumer Price Index report for October beat expectations. The CPI showed a 7.7% increase over last year and 0.4% increase over last month, but the rate of increase was less than expected. The result on Wall Street was the biggest jump for stocks in two years as investors anticipate a potential easing in monetary policy by the Federal Reserve as it tries to rein in inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,201 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 208 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 761 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 62¢ to 69¢ higher through the front six contracts.
Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, offered market insights to the crowd gathered in Oklahoma City this week for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Strategic Planning Conference.
“If you’re putting an animal in a feedyard anywhere in the Central Plains – let’s say Kansas or Oklahoma – your cost to put on a pound of gain is between $1.30 and $1.40,” Blach explained. “We have not seen that historically, not even back in 2008 when we had the ethanol mandate and for a period of time corn was at $8/bu. This is an interesting time, when the market needs more corn and where it’s needed most, the corn just isn’t there.”
Blach also highlighted the remarkable efficiency and sustainability of the U.S. beef industry, which he maintains is well positioned for success even in this challenging environment.
“Whenever I ask an audience ‘who’s the biggest beef producer in the world?’ – everyone says Brazil because it has 300 million cattle,” Blach said. “But we’re producing more beef than Bazil with only one-third the number of cattle. Why? Because of our high-quality, grain-fed beef. The U.S. has the best carbon footprint of anybody on the list of top beef producers, because of the way our production systems work and the amount of production that we get on a per-head basis.”
Blach added that the U.S. achieved record beef production in 2022 with 30 million fewer cattle than in the 1970s.
“That’s what sustainability is – doing more with less, and doing it better with great animal husbandry,” Blach said.
Blach noted that larger-than-expected contraction of the cattle herd helped drive U.S. beef production and exports to record highs this year but will be a significant constraint for U.S. exporters next year.