Negotiated cash fed cattle prices finally moved beyond steady money Wednesday.
Live prices were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $126/cwt., $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127 and $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $200.
Trade was slow on light demand in the Southern Plains and western Corn Belt, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. It was slow to moderate on good demand in Nebraska.
Despite stronger cash prices, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 28¢ higher through the front five contracts to an average of 18¢ lower.
Although turning the seasonal corner higher, wholesale beef prices were lower Wednesday afternoon. Choice was down $1.13 to $283.63/cwt. Select was 85¢ lower at $261.69.
Feeder Cattle futures softened, though, in the wake of a strong surge in Corn futures.
Feeder Cattle closed and average of $1.34 lower, except for 52¢ higher in nearly spent Oct.
Corn futures closed mostly 10¢ to 13¢ higher with support from ethanol production and lower corn production in Brazil.
Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Wednesday amid what appeared to be rally fatigue, likely profit taking and skittishness about economic growth. Crude Oil futures were also down sharply on higher weekly inventories than expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 266 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 23 points lower. The NASDAQ was up fractionally.
“Solid grain prices, the Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates and growing exports have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” says Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business. “USDA data show that 2021 year-to-date agriculture exports are more than 25.4% above that for the same period in 2020. This has been an important factor supporting the Rural Mainstreet economy.”
Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) remained above growth neutral in October for the eleventh consecutive month. It rose to 66.1 from 62.5 in September. The index is based on a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
The majority of bankers (82.1%) indicate farmers in their area are in solid cash position with little need for borrowing.
The region’s farmland price index slid to a very strong 81.5 from September’s record high 85.2. October’s reading represented the 14th straight month that the index was above growth neutral.