Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 22, 2021

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 22, 2021

Refreshing might be the most apt way to describe last week’s negotiated cash fed cattle trade. For the first time in what seems like forever, packers chased cattle to fill their pipelines. Cattle feeders passed early-week bids and carved mainly another $1-$3 from the market.

Live prices last week were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $132/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $133-$134 and $1-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $133-$134. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $210. Live prices in Colorado the previous week were at $132. There were a few sales reported at $135 in Nebraska through Friday afternoon, but too few to trend.

The five-area direct average fed steer price through Thursday was $1.66 higher than the previous week at $133.01/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.99 higher at $209.59.

Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending Nov. 20 of 677,000 head was 22,000 head more than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 29.59 million head is 857,000 head more (+2.98%) than a year earlier. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 24.47 billion lbs. is 605.8 million lbs. (+2.54%) than a year earlier.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, but rode the coattails of stronger cash prices to weekly gains.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ lower, except for unchanged to 12¢ higher in three contracts. They were an average of $2.83 higher week to week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in Jun and unchanged at the back of the board. Week to week, they were an average of $1.15 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.25 higher Friday afternoon at $278.41/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $263.85/cwt. Week to week, though, Choice was $5.89 lower and. Select was $5.70 lower.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 1¢ higher in four contracts mid-board.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher, except for fractionally lower to 2¢ lower in the front five contracts.

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Except for the tech-heavy NASDAQ, major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday, pressured by the new COVID lockdown in Austria.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 268 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 6 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 63 points.

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Logic suggests markets should view the latest monthly Cattle on Feed report — feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity — as neutral, coming in line with pre-report expectations.

Cattle feeders placed 2.25 million head in October, which was 53,000 head more (+2.4%) than a year earlier.

In terms of placement weights, 48% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less, 40% weighing 700-899 lbs. and 12% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in October of 1.79 million head were 85,000 head fewer (-4.5%) than the same time last year.

Cattle on feed Nov. 1 of 11.95 million head were on par with a year earlier.

Analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) point out the inventory of cattle on feed more than 120 days tightened by 175,000 head month to month. That’s the least in 10 months, they say, but still nearly 100,000 head more year over year.

“Continued placements of heifers is likely still happening to boost cattle placements and to maintain these levels of inventory,” say LMIC analysts in the latest Livestock Monitor. “The Jan. 1 cattle inventory is just around the corner and it’s looking more and more like the beef herd will be down more than 2%.”

Last week, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) raised the expected fourth-quarter feeder steer price (750-800 lbs., basis Oklahoma City) by $3 to $154/cwt., compared to the previous monthly projection.

That’s based on current price strength and improved prospects of winter pasturing stocker cattle, which will likely increase competition, according to ERS analysts, in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. They point out October feeder steer prices at Oklahoma City averaged about $16 more year over year at $153.52/cwt. 

The forecast average feeder steer price for next year was unchanged at $155.50, compared to the projected average price of $145.55 this year.

ERS projects the average feeder steer price at $153 in the first quarter, $151 in the second quarter and $156 in the third quarter.

2021-11-20T17:31:26-06:00

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