Cattle futures continued lower Wednesday, with follow-through pressure from outside markets and concerns that beef demand may falter. Stronger Corn futures added weight.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.01 lower ($1.07 to $2.70 lower).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 85¢ lower (30¢ to $1.07 lower), except for 10¢ higher in spot Oct.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light demand to inactive on light demand through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
So far this week, FOB live sales are steady in the Southern Plains at $183/cwt. and steady to $1 lower in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $184 in a light test. Dressed delivered prices in Nebraska are $2 lower at $290 (a few up to $291) and steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $290-$292.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.41 higher Wednesday afternoon at $300.95/cwt. Select was 59¢ lower at $278.51/cwt.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 10¢ to 15¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Wednesday after significant early pressure from higher crude oil prices driven by supply concerns and higher bond yields related to fears of persistent inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 68 points lower. The S&P 500 closed fractionally higher. The NASDAQ was up 29 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.20 to $3.29 higher through the front six contracts.
The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) sank below growth neutral in September, for the first time since March, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Specifically, the region’s overall reading for September fell to 49.5 from August’s 50.0. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“This is the weakest recorded reading since March of this year. Bankers indicated that the biggest challenge to community bank profitability over the next 12 months will be a downturn in farm income,” says Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Higher interest rates, deposit outflows and a rising regulatory environment continued to constrain the business confidence index to a much weaker 26.8 from 38.9 in August. “This month’s reading is the most negative outlook recorded since July 2022. Over the past 12 months, the regional confidence index has fallen to levels indicating a very negative outlook,” Goss says. “Approximately half of bankers expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months.”
Even so, the region’s farmland price index climbed to 65.4 from 60.0 in August. This was the 36th straight month that the index has advanced above 50.0. “Creighton’s survey continues to point to healthy growth in farmland prices, even as farming conditions weaken,” Goss says.