Feeder Cattle led Live Cattle futures higher Thursday, supported by renewed trader interest, recently oversold conditions and stronger outside markets.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.93 higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.43 higher.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, FOB live prices were $185/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $183-$186 in Nebraska and $183-$185 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed delivered prices were $290.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.35 higher Thursday afternoon at $304.53/cwt. Select was $4.21 lower at $274.34/cwt.
Net U.S. beef export sales of 17,100 metric tons for 2023, for the week ending Oct. 26, were 2% less than the previous week, but 71% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Canada.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through Sep ‘24 and then mostly fractionally lower.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ higher through Sep ‘24 and then 9¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices rallied higher Thursday with increasing investor confidence the Fed may be done raising interest rates this year. Declining Treasury Note yields and weaker labor data underscored the optimism.
Unit labor costs of nonfarm labor decreased 0.8% in the third quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As well, weekly initial unemployment insurance claims increased 5,000 to 217,000, which was more than expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 564 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 79 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 232 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $2.01 to $2.07 higher through the front six contracts.
Drought conditions continue to improve nationwide, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. As of Oct. 31, 36.5% of the continental United States was enduring one degree of drought or another, compared to 62.8% a year earlier, but 28.1% three months earlier.
Snubbed to a different post, 37% of the nation’s cattle were in areas affected by drought Oct. 31, compared to 76% a year earlier.
However, drought lingers and expands in some areas. According to the latest weekly USDA Crop Progress report for the week ending Oct. 29, the states with 50% or more of pasture and range rated as Poor or Very Poor included: Kansas (55%), Louisiana (61%), Minnesota (52%), Mississippi (61%), Missouri (52%), Oregon (50%), South Carolina (52%), Texas (62%) and Washington (69%).
As for row crops, 71% of corn was in the bin compared to 74% a year earlier and 66% for average. Similarly, 85% of soybeans were harvested, which was 2% less year over year but 7% more than the five-year average.