Cattle futures closed higher Friday, helped along by lower Corn futures and the notion that boxed beef cutout values might be on the cusp of carving out a seasonal low.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 higher.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light to demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, FOB live prices were $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $182/cwt. $1 lower in Nebraska at $183 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $183-$184. Dressed delivered prices were steady to $2 lower at $288-$290 in Nebraska and steady in the western Corn belt at $290.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.25 higher Friday afternoon at $302.01/cwt. Select was $1.01 higher at $275.78/cwt.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 628,000 head was 16,000 head more than the previous week but 41,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 24.9 million head was 1.2 million head less (-4.5%) than the same period last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 20.4 billion pounds was 1.1 billion pounds less (5.2%).
As for row crop futures, they closed lower Friday on likely week-end profit taking.
Corn futures closed 5¢ lower through Jly ‘24 and then fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.
KC HRW Wheat closed 12¢ to 16¢ lower through May ‘25 and then 9¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 14¢ lower through May ‘24 and then mostly 5¢ to 9¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, despite a stronger employment situation than expected. While positive, investors have recently turned bearish on such news, believing it will lead to higher interest rates.
Non-farm payroll employment increased by 336,000 in September, according to the National Employment Summary. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%. Average hourly earnings for all employees on non-farm payrolls increased by 7¢. Hourly earnings have increased 4.2% over the past 12 months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 288 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 50 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 211 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 34¢ to 48¢ higher through the front six contracts.
U.S. beef exports continue lower year over but show signs of resilience, based on data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
August beef exports totaled 109,000 metric tons (mt), down 19% from last year, when export volume was the second highest on record. However, export volume was 6% more than the previous month. Export value of $883.9 million was 15% less year over year but 9% more than July.
“Beef exports certainly face significant headwinds, especially in our large Asian markets where foodservice has been slow to recover and consumer confidence is low due to the impact of rising prices and the strong U.S. dollar,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “But exports to South Korea and Japan did bounce back to some degree after a difficult July. Mexico continues to be a major bright spot for U.S. beef, and exports to other Western Hemisphere partners in Central and South America and the Dominican Republic also gained momentum in August.”
For January through August, beef exports trailed last year’s record pace by 12% in volume (881,343 mt) and 19% in value ($6.69 billion).
August beef export value equated to $395.81 per head of fed slaughter, down 10% from the previous year. The January-August average of $395.71 was 16% less than the same period last year.