Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, FOB live prices were $183/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $185 in the north. Dressed delivered prices were $290-$292.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.28 lower Wednesday afternoon at $303.86/cwt. Select was 28¢ lower at $278.35/cwt.
Cattle futures wobbled Wednesday amid slack interest, the wait for the week’s cash fed cattle direction and Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.38 lower.
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from unchanged to an average of 21¢ higher in the front four contracts to an average of 31¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 14¢ higher through Aug ‘24. and then 4¢ to 6¢ higher, helped along by an export announcement for China.
Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Wednesday on the surge in bond yields.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 332 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 58 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 219 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.52 to $1.83 higher through the front six contracts.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased expected third-quarter feedlot placements in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.
“Most of these placements are expected to come from those previously anticipated in the fourth quarter,” ERS analysts say. “Further, anticipated placements in first-half 2024 are raised. This assumption of feedlot demand and availability of feeder calves results in a net increase of anticipated fed cattle marketings next year.”
Compared to projections the previous month, ERS lowered the expected feeder steer price (750-800 lbs., Oklahoma City) by $5 in the fourth quarter to $254/cwt. This year’s forecast annual price of $253.75 was unchanged. Expected prices in the first and second quarters of next year were also unchanged at $249 and $248, respectively.
ERS also lowered the projected fourth-quarter five-area direct fed steer price by $5 to $190/cwt., and the annual average price by $1.19 to $177.30. Price expectations were lowered $1 in the first and second quarter of next year to $187 and $185, respectively.
Fourth-quarter beef production was forecast 60 million pounds more with estimated higher cow and bull slaughter more than offsetting a slight decline in expected average carcass weights. Total 2023 beef production was forecast 35 million pounds more than the previous month at 26.98 billion pounds.