Cattle futures traded mostly narrowly lower Tuesday after early support, pressured by holiday-lightened trade.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ lower, except for 15¢ higher in May.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 15¢ lower, except for unchanged to 25¢ higher in three contracts.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, with too few transactions to trend.
Last week, live prices were $150/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $150-$152 in Kansas, $153-$155 in Nebraska and $152-$155 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $242.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.06 higher Tuesday afternoon at $256.63/cwt. Select was 95¢ higher at $234.18/cwt.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.
Major financial indices closed higher Tuesday, supported by positive quarterly earnings reports, lower bond yields and, according to some, investors betting on easing inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 397 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 53 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 149 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 54¢ to 91¢ higher through the front six contracts.
Economic growth in rural areas continues to decline, according to the latest monthly Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI). It fell below growth neutral for the sixth consecutive month in November, although it did increase from 44.2 in October to 45.7. The RMI is based on a survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. It ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“The Rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity. Last month, almost one in four bankers, or 23.1%, reported that the economy was already in a recession,” says Ernie Goss, the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
The November loan volume index dropped to a still-strong 65.8 from 76.8 in October. “Higher farm input costs, greater farm equipment sales, and drought conditions in portions of the region supported strong borrowing from farmers,” Goss explains.
The farm equipment-sales index jumped to a strong 59.5 from October’s weak 47.8. The index has risen above growth neutral for 22 of the last 24 months.
Bankers were asked if their banks were asking for increased upfront financial commitments for farm loans. Only 13.6% indicated an increase; the remaining 86.4% reported no change in upfront commitments for farm loans.
Slowing economic activity, strong energy prices, higher borrowing costs and elevated agriculture input costs pushed the business confidence index down to 27.3 from 30.8 in October. That was the lowest reading for the confidence index since May 2020, according to Goss.