Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were steady to $1 lower at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $124-$125 in Nebraska and $124-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $2-$5 lower in Nebraska at $198 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $203.
Cattle futures continued lower Friday, pressured by growing concerns about rising Delta variant infections hampering economic recovery and demand.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 lower (50¢ lower in the back contract to $2.10 lower in Nov ’21).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower, (33¢ lower in the front contract to $1.13 lower at the back).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.36 lower Friday at $327.22/cwt. Select was $3.08 lower at $298.37.
The average dressed steer weight the week ending Aug. 28 was 901 lbs., which was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week and 15 lbs. lighter than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 821 lbs. was 1 lb. heavier than the previous week but 13 lbs. lighter than the previous year.
Estimated total cattle slaughter the holiday shortened week was 577,000 head, according to USDA, which was 47,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 23.04 million head is 834,000 more (+3.76%) than the same period last year.
Estimated year-to-date total beef production of 19.03 billion lbs. was 648.1 million lbs. more (+3.53%) than the same time the previous year.
Corn futures closed higher Friday, despite bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates that increased ending stocks with more projected planted acres and higher estimated yield (see below).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 9¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 15¢ to 19¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Friday as investors continued to fret over growing cases of the Delta variant and its impact on economic growth, while inflation indicators continue to rise. For instance, the Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.7% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3% for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 271 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 34 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 132 points.
The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates published Friday increased expected fed steer prices and lowered expected corn prices.
ERS lowered projected beef production for this year by 130 million lbs. to 27.74 billion lbs. based on lower expected steer and heifer slaughter and lighter carcass weights more than offsetting higher cow slaughter. However, the total would be 586 million lbs. more (+2.1%) than last year. Total beef production next year is forecast to be 26.87 billion lbs., which would be 867 million lbs. less (-3.1%) than this year.
ERS increased this year’s expected five-area direct annual average fed steer price by $1 to $122.20/cwt. Average projected prices are $124 in the third quarter, $131 in the fourth quarter and $133 in the first quarter of next year. Expectations for next year’s annual average price increased by $2 to $128.
Total red meat and poultry production this year is projected to be 106.6 billion lbs., which would be 59 million lbs. more than last year. Next year, total red meat and poultry production is forecast to be 204 million lbs. (+0.19%) more than this year on increased pork and poultry production.
USDA forecast corn production for 2021-22 at 15.0 billion bu., up 246 million from last month on increases to harvested area and yield. The national average yield is forecast at 176.3 bu./acre, up 1.7 bu. Harvested area for grain is forecast at 85.1 million acres, up 0.6 million. With projected supply rising more than use, ending stocks increased 166 million bu. to 1.4 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers was lowered 30¢ to $5.45/bu.
Soybean production is projected at 4.4 billion bu., up 35 million with lower harvested area more than offset by a higher yield forecast of 50.6 bu./acre. Ending stocks are projected at 185 million bushels, up 30 million from last month.
The U.S. season-average soybean price was forecast at $12.90/bu., down 80¢. The soybean meal price was forecast $25 less at $360 per short ton. The soybean oil price forecast was unchanged at 65¢/lb.
Projected 2021-22 ending wheat stocks were reduced 12 million bu. to 615 million and would be 27% less than last year, the lowest in eight years. The projected 2021-22 season-average farm price was lowered 10¢/bu. to $6.60 on reported NASS prices to date and price expectations for the remainder of 2021-22.