Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were $4-$6 higher than last week on a live basis in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon at $107/cwt., and $3-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $105-$106. Dressed trade was $2-$9 higher at $167, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Trade in the Southern Plains earlier in the week was $1 higher at $106.
Cattle futures closed mixed though, with Live Cattle edging higher and Feeder Cattle trading narrowly mixed, under continued pressure from higher grain prices.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 46¢ higher, except for unchanged in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 26¢ lower to an average of 43¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.36 higher Thursday afternoon at $215.55/cwt. Select was $1.92 higher at $198.97.
The average dressed steer weight of 931 lbs. for the week ending Oct. 24 was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 25 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 847 lbs. was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week but 12 lbs. heavier year over year.
Grain futures, especially soybeans continued higher on mainly positive exports and adverse weather in South America.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jly ‘21 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 17¢ to 22¢ higher through Aug ‘21 and then mostly 10¢ to 13¢ higher. The spot month breeched the $11 mark for the first time in recent memory.
Major U.S. financial indices extended the post-election rally Thursday. Although widely expected, support included the Fed’s decision to maintain interest rates at current levels.
“The ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” (the Committee). “The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25% and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2% and is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 542 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 67 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 300 points.
U.S. Beef exports to major Asian markets were about steady with the prior year in September but trended lower overall, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
September beef exports were down 6% from a year ago to 103,277 metric tons (mt), valued at $600.9 million (down 9%). Coming off record performances in August, exports to South Korea and Taiwan remained strong, while setting another new record in China. However, COVID-19 related obstacles continued to negatively impact demand for U.S. beef in several key markets, especially Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
“Although restaurant traffic and foodservice activity are not back to normal in most Asian markets, USMEF is very encouraged by the recovery in Asia and this was especially evident in the strong August and September exports of U.S. beef to Korea, Taiwan and China,” according to Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “As we close out the year, U.S. beef has a great opportunity to capture greater market share in Asia due to tightening supplies from Australia. While it will require more time, we also expect U.S. beef to regain momentum in regions where beef demand depends more heavily on travel and tourism, and where e-commerce channels are not as well-developed.”
For January through September, beef exports trailed last year’s pace by 8% in volume (911,936 mt) and 9% in value ($5.55 billion).
U.S. pork exports remained on a record pace, however. They were 10% more in September year over year in volume at 222,475 mt and 6% more in value at $563.2 million.
Through the first three quarters of this year, pork exports were 16% more than last year’s record pace in both volume (2.22 million mt) and value ($5.69 billion).
“Exporting countries are watching the hog production recovery in China very closely, because we know its demand for imported pork is moderating,” Halstrom explains. “While USMEF is pleased to see U.S. pork exports to China/Hong Kong maintaining a strong pace, it is vitally important that our export destinations remain diversified. The U.S. industry continues to pursue this goal aggressively, both in the Asia Pacific region and the Western Hemisphere.”
You can find a detailed summary of U.S. beef and pork exports at the USMEF website.