Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend according to the Agricultural marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $124-$127 in the North. Dressed trade was at $198-$203.
Cattle futures were finally oversold and cheap enough to generate buying interest Tuesday. Support included the fact that the JBS plant in Grand Island — offline Monday due to a fire on the rendering side — was reportedly back up and running.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.96 higher ($2.57 to $3.45 higher).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.16 higher ($1.65 to $2.82 higher).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.04 lower Tuesday afternoon at $322.89/cwt. Select was $1.54 lower at $290.62.
Corn futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher across the front half of the board and then fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 4¢ higher in spot Sep.
Major U.S. financial indices weakened after a respite the previous day and despite the fact that the closely watched Consumer Price Index (CPI) was slightly less than the trade expected month over month and year over year. The CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3% in
August on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.5% in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unadjusted index for all items was 5.3% more than 12 months earlier.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 292 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 25 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 67 points.
Wholesale beef prices continue to decline, while retail beef prices edge higher.
Although wholesale beef prices remain elevated, Choice boxed beef prices continue downward, from a recent summer high in of $348.03/cwt. in August to $322.89 yesterday afternoon. Likewise, Select declined from $319.59 to $290.62.
Conversely, the most recent summary of retail beef prices, published by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) yesterday shows the Choice beef price increasing steadily from $6.48/lb. in March to $7.64 in August. During the same period, the all fresh retail beef price increased from $6.38/lb. to $7.14.
According to the Consumer Food Price Index from ERS, beef and veal values were 9.6% higher year over year in pandemic-ravaged 2020. Year over year in July, those values were 6.5% higher; 4.2% higher year to date compared to the same time last year.
By way of comparison, the Consumer Food Price Index for all food was 3.4% higher year over year in 2020, 3.4% higher year over year in July and 2.4% higher year to date.
Year over year in July, food-at-home (grocery store or supermarket food purchases) CPI increased 2.6%, while food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) increased 4.6%, according to the ERS Food Price Outlook.
Year to date, ERS analysts say, “Of all the CPI food-at-home categories tracked by USDA-ERS, the fresh fruits category has had the largest relative price increase (4.9%) and the fresh vegetables category the smallest (0.4%). No food categories have decreased in price in 2021 compared to 2020.”
As for the overall consumer price index, according to the latest update from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unadjusted index for all items was 5.3% higher over the last 12 months.