Although cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon on light to moderate demand, there were some early live sales in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday at $112/cwt., which was $2 more than last week.
There were only 1,051 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction, and no takers. There were two lots passed out at $105.
Stronger wholesale beef prices, notions of steady-to-higher fed cattle prices, as well as a surge in Lean Hog futures, helped Cattle futures firm Wednesday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher (50¢ to $1.20 higher).
Except for 45¢ lower in spot Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 higher Wednesday afternoon at $211.39/cwt. Select was 96¢ higher at $197.82.
Major U.S. financial indices plunged Wednesday. Pressures appeared to be many and varied, everything from declining tech and bank stocks to concerns about economic growth, tied to worries about trade and rising interest rates.
For instance, sales of new single-family houses in September were 5.5% less than the prior month’s adjusted rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although home sales were 3.5% more year over year, September sales represented the slowest pace since December of 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 608 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 84 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 329 points.
“Stocker budgets for winter grazing still look quite favorable, unless grazing delays stretch out too long and cut days available for winter grazing down excessively,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments.
On the one hand, Peel explains precipitation in Oklahoma for the past month is the second most on record (187% of normal); the most all time in the last 90 days. That provides lots of promise.
“Producers may, in fact, be looking to stock a bit heavier than usual with potential for better than average wheat forage production this winter,” Peel says.
On the other hand, the extraordinary moisture is delaying some planting and development.
“For the first time in many years, turnout for wheat grazing is likely to be delayed by excess moisture across many regions of the state,” Peel explains. “Some wheat that was planted early is getting close to being ready to graze but some producers have struggled to get cattle ready for grazing. Wet, sloppy conditions make health challenges worse and producers have backed off of purchases recently. Some cattle sellers have also had difficulty gathering and getting cattle to market.”