For the week so far, negotiated cash fed cattle trade is mainly $1 higher on a live basis at $116/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $115-$117 up north. Dressed trade is $2 higher at $184.
Cattle futures closed lower Thursday, though, especially Feeder Cattle, as wholesale beef values show signs of seasonal weakening, and ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.
Other than 2¢ higher in spot Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ lower
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 lower.
Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.35 lower Thursday afternoon at $234.86/cwt. Select was 91¢ lower at $213.86.
Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices continued to drift lower Thursday, with continued uncertainty surrounding the enigmatic back and forth chatter concerning the U.S.- China trade deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 54 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 4 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 20 points.
Beef cow slaughter appears to be picking up speed, based on USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report issued Thursday.
Non-dairy cow slaughter—the ‘other cow’ category in USDA’s report—for October of 307,900 head was 28,800 head more (+10.32%) than last year. For January through October, non-dairy cow slaughter of 2.61 million head is 82,000 head more (+3.24%) than the same period last year.
Similarly, fed heifer slaughter of 8.16 million head for the first 10 months of the year is 572,400 head more (+7.54%) than the same period in 2018.
For perspective, total fed steer and heifer slaughter in October of 2.28 million head was 9,900 head fewer (-0.43%) than the previous year. For January through October, however, fed steer and heifer slaughter of 21.85 million head is 253,100 head more (+1.17%) than the same period last year.
Federally inspected cattle slaughter for the month of October was 2.93 million head, which was 17,600 head more (+0.61%) than the previous year.
Dressed steer weights in October averaged 902 lbs., which was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous year. For January through October, though, dressed steer weights are 4 lbs. lighter at 872 lbs.
Dressed heifer weights in October averaged 830 lbs., which was even with the previous year. For January through October, however, dressed heifer weights are 5 lbs. lighter at 808 lbs.
Total beef production in October was 2.44 billion lbs., which was 7.5 million lbs. more (+0.31%) than the previous year. For January through October, total beef production of 22.59 billion lbs. was 147.5 million lbs. more (+0.66%) than last year.