Cattle futures closed lower Friday on likely profit taking and week-end positioning.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.74 lower (80¢ to $2.42 lower). However, they were an average of $3.89 higher week to week ($3.45 to $5.02 higher).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower on Friday (37¢ to $1.20 lower). They gained back a lion’s share of the previous week’s losses, closing an average of $3.19 higher week to week on Friday ($1.65 higher at the front to $3.92 higher at the back).
Soybean futures rallied Friday on bearish weather reports in South America, leading Corn and Wheat futures higher.
Soybean futures closed 19¢ to 24¢ higher through Nov ‘24 and then 10¢ to 17¢ higher.
Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 2¢ higher.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light to moderate demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Although too few to trend, there were some FOB live prices at $185/cwt. in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt, and a few dressed delivered at $292.
The previous week, FOB live prices were $185/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $183-$186 in Nebraska and mostly $183-$184 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed delivered prices were $290.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.19 lower Friday afternoon at $302.34/cwt. Select was $2.33 lower at $272.01/cwt.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 4,000 head fewer than the previous week at 632,000 head, which was 32,000 head fewer year over year. Estimated total year-to-date cattle slaughter of 27.4 million was 1.3 million head fewer (-4.6%). Estimated year-to-date beef production of 22.5 billion pounds was 1.2 billion pounds less (-5.2%) than the same time last year.
Major U.S. financial indices extended gains with fewer month-to-month employment gains than expected.
Total nonfarm employment increased by 150,000 in October, leaving the unemployment rate little changed at 3.9%. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7¢ to $34.00. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 222 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 40 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 184 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.57 to $1.95 lower through the front six contracts.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) forecasts total cash labor expenses for U.S. agriculture at $43.35 billion this year. That would be 1.8% more than last year.
“The projected 2023 level would remain below the high set in 2017 in inflation-adjusted labor expenses,” say ERS analysts. “… For every $100 spent on production expenses, almost $10 goes toward labor. Total labor expenses include contract and hired labor payments but exclude non-cash employee compensation.”