Negotiated cash fed cattle prices are soaring. So far this week, live prices in the Southern Plains are $7 higher at $140/cwt., $4-$6 higher in Nebraska at $138-$139 and $4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $136-$138. Trade through Wednesday afternoon was moderate with good demand in the Southern Plains and Nebraska, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices in Colorado last week were at $132-$135. Dressed prices last week were at $210.
Cash bullishness added fuel to the rally in Cattle futures.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher ($1.07 higher at the back to $2.55 higher in spot Jan).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher, (37¢ higher toward the back to $2.50 higher in spot Dec).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 47¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $279.11/cwt. Select was 80¢ higher at $263.47/cwt.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through the front five contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Wednesday.
Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Nov. 20 were 199,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That was 71,000 fewer than the previous week and the fewest since Nov. 15 in 1969.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 9 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 10 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 70 points.
Historically large exports of U.S. beef to China continue to help buoy this year’s record pace of exports overall.
“Through the first three quarters of the year, the U.S. has shipped 394.5 million pounds to China, a more than 9-fold increase from the same period last year,” according to analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. “Since March of this year, China has ranked as the number three destination for U.S. beef exports each month. In September, China accounted for 18.1% of total exports for the month behind South Korea (22.4%) and Japan (24.0%).”
Based on weekly exports and net sales data, LMIC analysts say beef exports to China are expected to remain elevated through the end of the year.
“The last two weeks, USDA FAS reported new sales of 8,230 and 13,751 metric tons (or 18.1 and 30.3 million lbs.) to China,” say LMIC analysts. “Net sales are new export sales which were purchased for delivery to the destination. Two consecutive weeks of large new sales of beef to China is an indication that they are likely sourcing beef supplies for the Chinese New Year (February 1, 2022) and 2022 Winter Olympics (February 4-20, 2022).”