Cattle futures closed lower Friday with traders wary of the looming government shutdown, which was subsequently averted with a temporary spending bill approved on Saturday. Traders were also closing the book on the week, month and quarter.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.38 lower. They were an average of $6.21 lower week to week on Friday ($5.97 lower at the back to $8.62 lower toward the front).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 lower ($1.57 to $2.50 lower). They were an average of $3.07 lower week to week on Friday.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light to moderate demand to inactive on light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, FOB live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $183/cwt., steady to $1 lower in Nebraska at $184 and $1-$2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $184. Dressed delivered prices were $2 lower at $290.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ lower Friday afternoon at $300.78/cwt. Select was $1.40 lower at $276.04/cwt.
Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 612,000 head was 13,000 head fewer than the previous week and 55,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 24.2 million head was 1.1 million head fewer (-4.4%) than the same time last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 19.8 billion pounds was 1.1 billion pounds less (-5.2%).
Major U.S. financial indices closed mostly lower Friday as investors considered the likelihood of a government shutdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 158 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 18 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 64¢ to 92¢ lower through the front six contracts.
Grain and Soybean futures closed lower Friday as traders considered a government shutdown, as well as higher soybean and wheat stocks than expected in the quarterly Grain Stocks report (see below).
Corn futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ lower through Jly ‘25 and then 2¢ to 5¢ lower.
KC HRW Wheat closed 10¢ to 21¢ lower through Dec ‘24 and then 7¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 25¢ lower through Aug ‘24 and then 5¢ to 10¢ lower.
Old-crop corn stocks in all positions on Sept. 1, 2023 totaled 1.36 billion bushels, down 1% year over year. Of the total stocks, 605 million bushels were stored on farms, up 19% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks of 756 million bushels were 13% less than the prior year. The 2022 corn for grain production estimate was revised down 15.0 million bushels from the previous estimate.
Old-crop soybeans stored in all positions totaled 268 million bushels, down 2% from the previous year. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 72.0 million bushels, up 14% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks of 196 million bushels were down 7% year over year. Soybean production for 2022 was revised down 5.93 million bushels from the previous estimate.
All wheat stored in all positions Sept. 1 totaled 1.78 billion bushels, up slightly from a year ago. On-farm stocks were estimated at 598 million bushels, up 1% from last September. Off-farm stocks of 1.18 billion bushels were down less than 1% from a year ago.