Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 28, 2023

Cattle Current Daily—Nov. 28, 2023

The Cattle Futures exodus that began Friday continued on Monday with a similar degree of momentum, likely exacerbated by month-end positioning.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $6.02 lower ($4.72 to $6.52 lower). That’s an average of $12.28 lower in the past two trading sessions.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.52 lower, down an average of $6.27 in the last two sessions.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend, there were some early FOB live trades in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt at $175/cwt.

Last week, FOB live prices were $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $177, $2 lower in Nebraska at $176 on light trade and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $175-$178. Dressed delivered prices were mostly $2 lower in Nebraska at mainly $280 and $2-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $278-$280.

The weighted average five-area direct FOB live steer price last week was 87¢ lower at $176.99/cwt. The weighted average dressed delivered steer price was $1.76 lower at $280.09.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 78¢ lower Monday afternoon at 297.25/cwt. Select was 96¢ lower at $267.80.

Grain futures closed lower amid a commodity-wide sell-off.

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower.

Kansas City Wheat Futures closed 10¢ to 15¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly fractionally higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices edged lower Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 56 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 8 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 9 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 48¢ to 68¢ lower through the front six contracts. 

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Based on beef cow slaughter so far this year, the beef cow inventory at the beginning of next year is likely to be at least 2.5% less year over year, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist in his weekly market comments.

“The available supply of bred heifers (heifers expected to calve), combined with beef cow culling this year will determine the change in the beef cow inventory this year,” Peel says. “From the beginning of the year, the supply of bred heifers meant that beef cow slaughter in 2023 would have to decrease sharply — in excess of 18% year over year — in order to avoid additional herd liquidation this year. Cumulative beef cow slaughter reached a maximum year-over-year decrease of 13.8% in early September, a significant decrease, but not enough to prevent additional herd liquidation. The July Cattle report confirmed that the beef cow herd was down by 2.6% from 2022 levels by mid-year.”

Peel points out the beef cow inventory of 28.9 million head at the beginning of this year were 3.6% less than the previous year and the fewest since 1962. More importantly, he says the inventory of beef replacement heifers at the time — 5.16 million head — was 5.8% less year over year. Replacement heifers and heifers expected to calve were the fewest since 2011.

Moreover, Peel notes the inventory of heifers available for breeding (total replacement heifer inventory minus heifers expected to calve) at the beginning of the year was the fewest in 23 years of available data.

“It seems likely that the available supply of bred heifers will remain limited in 2024.  The beef cow herd will be smaller in 2024 and holding the inventory stable next year may be the most likely outcome,” Peel says.

2023-11-27T18:48:22-06:00

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