Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was steady in the Southern Plains Thursday at $111/cwt. It was steady to weak in the North at $108 in the western Corn Belt, $110.50-$111.50 in Nebraska and $111 in Colorado. Dressed trade was steady to $1 lower at $174.
Other than some support at the front of the board, Cattle futures continued to trend lower Thursday.
Except for 55¢ and 30¢ higher in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 15¢ lower.
Except for 82¢ higher and 57¢ higher in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were firm on fairly good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 40¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $202.51/cwt. Select was 72¢ higher at $192.49.
Worries about rising interest rates continued to fuel the plunge in major U.S. financial indices Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 545 points lower. That’s a decline of 1,376 points in the last two sessions. The S&P 500 closed 57 points lower (151 points lower in the last two days). The NASDAQ was down 92 points (407 points lower in the last two sessions).
“The forecast for 2018 total red meat and poultry production is lowered from last month,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). “Beef production is reduced from the previous month, largely due to lower expected fourth-quarter fed cattle slaughter. Carcass weights are forecast lower on a higher expected proportion of cows in the slaughter mix.”
Beef projection for this year was projected 150 million lbs. less than the previous month at 26.94 billion lbs. Next year’s beef production is estimated to be 970 million lbs. more than this year at 27.91 billion lbs.
The fourth-quarter fed steer price (5-area direct) is estimated at $110-$114/cwt. Next year: $117-$125 in the first quarter; $118-$128 in the second; $109-$119 in the third.
“For 2019, the total red meat and poultry production forecast is raised from the previous month as higher expected beef production more than offsets lowered forecasts for pork and broiler production,” say ERS analysts. “Beef production is raised from last month as larger placements in late 2018 and early 2019 are marketed during 2019. However, carcass weights are lowered for the early part of the year.”
Red meat and poultry production this year was estimated 477 million lbs. less at 102.61 billion lbs. Red meat and poultry production next year was estimated to be 3.2 billion lbs. more than this year at 105.85 billion lbs.