Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon. Although there were too few transactions to trend, there was some live trade at $124-$125/cwt. and some in the beef at $198. The previous day, established trend was as $126 and $203, respectively.
Trade was limited on light demand in Kansas with a few live sales steady with the previous day at $123.
Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt. Live prices the previous day were at $124-$125; $203 dressed.
Trade was at a standstill in the Texas Panhandle. Live prices the previous day were at $123-$124.
Cattle futures offered hope again early in yesterday’s session but closed lower yet again, except for front-month Live Cattle.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $1.28 lower at the back).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower, except for 2¢ to 65¢ higher in the front three contracts.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.28 lower Thursday afternoon at $332.58/cwt. Select was $1.72 lower at $296.45.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 12¢ lower with most of the pressure in new-crop contracts.
Major U.S. financial indices closed down for the second consecutive day on Thursday amid volatile trade. First-time unemployment claims fell to the lowest level since the pandemic started, but more large companies like Microsoft announced plans to delay reopening due to the continued spread of the delta variant of Covid-19.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 152 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 21 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 38 points.
“Boxed beef prices have started what is expected to be a slow and long price decline following the Labor Day holiday. There may be some buying in the next week or so to restock meat counters, but beef prices are expected to soften until fourth-quarter holiday buying takes center stage,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Beef is the major value determinant of cattle, but the drop credit is also important to finished cattle value. Hide and offal does not play into the boxed beef valuation equation, but packers count on its value to pay the bills. In 2020, the hide and offal value peeked at $9.41/cwt., which is about where it started the current year. However, hide and offal values have been on a linear trajectory and averaged $15.14 last week, which is nearly 44% higher than the five-year average price for the last week of August. Current hide and offal values are at the highest level since January 2015 when cattle supplies were tight, and prices may be destined to go higher.”