Cattle Current Daily-Nov. 19, 2018

Cattle Current Daily-Nov. 19, 2018

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through late Friday afternoon, at least in term of trades reported to USDA. Although too few to trend, early prices in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were unevenly steady to a touch softer than the previous week. Early dressed sales were at $178/cwt. in both regions. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $111.50-$112.00.

Late Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $114, just a touch lower than the previous week’s weighted average.

Live Cattle futures mainly paddled sideways on Friday as traders awaited direction from the cash market. Feeder Cattle softened a bit, amid anemic trade volume.

Live Cattle futures closed mostly higher, from an average of 26¢ lower to an average of 45¢ higher.

Other than $1.32 lower in spot Jan and 15¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 64¢ lower Friday afternoon at $212.91/cwt. Select was 01¢ lower at $197.57.

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Cash bids were mixed for grains and soybeans Friday.

“Export sales for the week ending Nov. 8 were all within trade expectations,” said analysts with the Daily National Grain Market Summary. “Corn sales totaled 35.1 million bu., which was at the highest end of the range. Soybean sales totaled 17.3 million bu., which was on the low end of estimates.

Wheat bids were 3½¢ lower to 2¾¢ higher. Soybean bids were ½¢ lower to 3½¢ higher. Sorghum bids were 5¢ lower. Corn bids were 2¾¢ to 3¢ lower.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Friday, pressured by tech stocks, but buoyed by hopes regarding trade talks with China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 123 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 6 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 11 points.

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If the most recent USDA Farm Labor report is in the ballpark, job competition is helping to push farm wages higher.

“Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $14.47 per hour during the October 2018 reference week (Oct. 7-13), up 8% from the October 2017 reference week,” according to the report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). “Field workers received an average of $13.74 per hour, an increase of 7%. Livestock workers earned $13.38 per hour, up 9%. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $13.64 per hour, was up 8% from the 2017 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 41.5 hours during the October 2018 reference week, down slightly from the hours worked during the October 2017 reference week.”

According to NASS, farm and ranch operators hired (directly) 784,000 workers during the October reference week, which was 7% less than a year earlier.

2018-11-18T17:55:29+00:00

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