Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive in the western Corn Belt through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Elsewhere, it was at a standstill.
Last week, live prices were at $106/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $103-$105 in Nebraska and $101-$103 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices, in a light test, were at $158-$163 in Nebraska and at $158-$165 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle futures managed to close mostly higher Monday after early pressure and skittishness surrounding Tuesday’s election.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from an average of 25¢ lower in the front two contracts to an average of 70¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 55¢ higher Monday afternoon at $208.65/cwt. Select was $1.38 higher at $192.62.
Corn futures closed 1¢ lower in the front four contracts and then mostly fractionally higher
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ lower through the front five contracts and then 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Monday, buoyed by positive economic news and despite election uneasiness.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October, with the overall economy notching a sixth consecutive month of growth, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®. The October Purchasing Managers Index was 3.9 points higher to 59.3%, the highest since September 2018.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 423 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 40 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 46 points.
“Improved stocker prospects, combined with a sharp recovery in the Feeder Cattle futures markets last week, may mean that the seasonal low in calf and stocker prices is past,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “March Feeder futures, the reference for winter grazing programs, increased by roughly $8/cwt. last week, making stocker budgets look more attractive again.”
Besides the rally in futures prices, Peel points out last week’s winter storms and widespread moisture across the Southern Plains, could increase the odds for wheat pasture. Hopes for grazing wheat continued to dwindle amid expanding drought ahead of the storms.
“The wheat crop is generally poised to respond quickly to the timely precipitation. Stocker demand may pick back up somewhat in the coming weeks with improvement in the wheat crop. Seasonally large runs of feeder cattle are expected in the coming weeks and numerous value-added preconditioned calf sales are scheduled in the next five weeks (Oklahoma),” Peel says.
As well, logic suggests last week’s storms depressed feedlot performance in the region, which should also support the market.