Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on moderate demand in Kansas, Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were a few live trades at $110/cwt. and a few in the beef at $172, but too few to trend. Established prices for the week are mainly steady with live trade at $110 in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $109-$110 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices are steady at $172.
Cattle futures closed sharply lower Thursday. Lingering pressures include persistently higher grain prices and languishing cash fed cattle prices. Chatter about fears of more pandemic-driven packing disruptions contributed to the day’s decline.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.85 lower, from 92¢ lower at the back to $2.62 lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.10 lower, except for 25¢ lower in expiring Nov.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.86 higher Thursday afternoon at $237.70/cwt. Select was 27¢ higher at $213.89.
Net U.S. beef export sales (2020) for the week ending Nov. 12 totaled 46,400 metric tons, up noticeably from the previous week and the prior four-week average, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed fractionally mixed to 4¢ higher.
U.S. financial indices closed slightly higher Thursday, amid a volatile session, with pressure from the continued surge in COVID-19 cases and increasing unemployment claims.
Initial unemployment insurance claims were 742,000 for the week ending Nov. 14, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That was 31,000 more than the previous week and more than traders expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 44 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 14 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 103 points.
The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) declined in November for the first time since April. The RMI represents a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
The overall index was down significantly to 46.8 from the previous month’s 53.2. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“Recent improvements in agriculture commodity prices, federal farm support payments, and the Federal Reserve’s record low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy. Still, only 6.5% of bankers reported economic improvements from October, while 12.9% detailed economic pullbacks for the month,” says Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
However, the farmland-price index advanced above growth neutral for the second consecutive month. The November reading jumped to 55.0 from October’s 50.6. This is first time since 2013 that Creighton’s survey has recorded back-to-back above growth neutral readings in farmland prices.
Also, the November farm equipment-sales index increased to 42.9, its highest level since December 2013, and up from 37.9 in October. But, the reading has been below growth neutral for 86 consecutive months.