Based on USDA reports, negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon was looking most steady to mixed. Live prices in the Southern Plains were steady to $1 lower at $108/cwt. Dressed trade in the North was $1-$3 higher at mostly $173 in the western Corn Belt and at $173-$175 in Nebraska.
Higher Corn futures, follow-through softness in Lean Hog futures, and likely skittishness over the plant explosion at Cargill’s packing facility in Dodge City helped push Cattle futures lower Friday, but they closed off of session lows. Various reports suggest the Cargill plant will resume normal operations Monday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower (40¢ lower to $1.92 lower in spot Oct).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.10 lower.
Wholesale beef values were steady to firm on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 7¢ lower Friday afternoon at $218.04/cwt. Select was 44¢ higher at $193.04.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday, on mixed news that included weak economic growth in China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 255 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 67 points.
If recent forecasts from USDA are any indication, international beef demand next year will continue to help underpin domestic prices. Demand strength grows in importance with expectations of record large commercial beef production in 2020, along with record large total red meat and poultry production.
“Total exports (beef) in 2020 are forecast up 6% to a record 3.3 billion lbs., accounting for 12% of U.S. production,” say Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “The United States is poised to expand market share in top markets such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as key competitor Australia struggles to maintain its market shares, given its reduced exportable supplies and its dominance in filling China demand.”
At the same time, ERS expects the U.S. to import less beef in 2020.
“U.S. imports will likely be limited by a combination of tighter supplies in Oceania and expected increased demand for beef in Asia due to African Swine Fever,” say ERS analysts.