Negotiated cash fed cattle trade last week ended up steady to higher in late trade.
Live sales were $1-$2 higher in the Southern Plains at $116/cwt. They were steady to $1 higher in the Northern Plains at $114-$116. Live trade was steady in the Western Corn belt at $113-$114. Dressed trade was fully steady at $180.
Despite that, seasonally higher wholesale beef values and apparently snugger packer inventories, Cattle futures headed hard south on Monday. There were no easy explanations, at least not from a fundamental standpoint. Part of it could have been defensive positioning ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 lower, from an average of (62¢ to $1.75 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.65 lower ($2.20 to $3.32 lower).
Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and higher on Select, with moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ higher Monday afternoon at $218.59/cwt. Select was 88¢ higher at $202.35.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Monday. Financial institutions and some energy companies provided support, while tech stocks, including Apple, applied pressure.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 190 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 15 points higher. The NASDAQ was down 28 points.
U.S. beef exports continued at a stronger year-over-year pace in September, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
September beef exports of 110,160 metric tons (mt), were 6% more than a year earlier. Export value was 11% more at $687.1 million.
For January through September, beef exports were just over 1 million mt, up 9% from a year ago, while value surged 18% to $6.2 billion.
“With a full quarter still to be reported, beef export value records are already being surpassed in some markets and global value is on track for $8 billion by year’s end,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.
Beef export value equated to $334.63 per head of fed slaughter in September and $320.85 for January through September, each 16% more than a year ago.
For the first three quarters of 2018, exports accounted for 13.5% of total production (up from 12.8%) and 11.1% for muscle cuts, up one full percentage point from last year.
Among the highlights:
Exports to Korea were up 22% from a year ago in volume (19,116 mt) and were 29% percent higher in value ($143.1 million). January-September exports reached 180,495 mt, up 37% from a year ago, while export value soared 51% to $1.29 billion, already breaking last year’s full-year value record.
September beef exports to leading market Japan were up 4% from a year ago in both volume (28,086 mt) and value ($172.3 million). For the first three quarters of 2018, exports to Japan were up 7% from a year ago in volume (252,871 mt), while value increased 10% to $1.59 billion.
Exports to Mexico were up 1% from a year ago in volume (177,906 mt) and 8% higher in value ($783.1 million). With a strong fourth quarter, exports to Mexico should top $1 billion for the first time since 2015.