Negotiated cash fed cattle demand and trade through Friday afternoon ranged from a standstill to inactive and light, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week live prices were $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $106/cwt.; $3-$4 lower in Nebraska at $104-$105 and $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $103-$105. Dressed prices were $4-$7 lower in Nebraska at $162-$165 and $3-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $163-$165.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average steer price was $105.11/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.50 less than the same period last week and $4.74 less than a year earlier. The average dressed steer price of $163.97 was $4.43 less than the previous week and $10.91 less than last year.
Cattle futures continued mostly lower on Friday beneath the weight of the week’s gloom and higher grain prices. Friday’s Cattle on Feed report will likely offer no support on Monday (see below).
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 37¢ lower to an average of 7¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ lower, except for 7¢ higher in the back contract.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.37 lower Friday afternoon at $207.49/cwt. Select was 32¢ higher at $191.40.
Estimated cattle slaughter of 643,000 head for the week was 11,000 few than the previous week but 3,000 head more than the previous year. Year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 26.11 million head is 1.04 million head fewer (-3.82%) than last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 21.67 billion lbs. is 257.6 million lbs. less (-1.18%) than the same period last year.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 10¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then mostly fractionally mixed.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed on Friday, amid surging coronavirus cases and wonderments about economic stimulus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 28 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 42 points.
Unless the trade already counted on the bearishness of the monthly Cattle on Feed report issued Friday, there will likely be more pressure on futures and cash prices to start the week. Keep in mind the report accounts for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.
Placements of 2.23 million head in September were 124,000 head more (+5.9%) than the same time last year. That was about 3% more than expectations ahead of the report. In terms of weights 36% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less, 46% weighing 700-899 lbs. and 18% weighing 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings of 1.85 million head in September were 108,000 head more (+6.2%) year over year, a touch more positive than expectations.
Cattle on feed Oct. 1 of 11.72 million head were 429,000 head more (+3.8%) than the previous year. That’s the most for the date since the data series began in 1996 and a little more than what the trade anticipated.
The 461.99 million lbs. of beef in cold storage Sept. 30, was 3% more than the previous month but 6.99 million lbs. less (-1.5%) than the same time last year, according to USDA’s latest Cold Storage report.
Frozen pork supplies were up slightly from the previous month but down 22% from last year.
Total red meat supplies in freezers were up 1% from the previous month but down 13% from last year.
Total frozen poultry supplies were down 2% from the previous month and down 3% from a year ago.