Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week $2-$3 lower in the Southern Plains and Nebraska on a live basis at $102-$103/cwt. Live trade was steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $103-$104. Dressed sales were $3-$5 lower at $162-$164.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average fed steer price was $103.18/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.94 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price of $163.11 was $3.41 less than the previous week.
Cattle futures firmed by the end of Friday’s session after pressure earlier.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher.
Except for 10¢ lower at the back, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 31¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.39 lower Friday afternoon at $225.85/cwt. Select was $3.20 lower at $209.30.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices extended losses on Friday, despite a more positive national employment report than traders expected.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 1.4 million in August and the U.S. unemployment rate declined to 8.4%, according to the Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11¢ to $29.47.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 159 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 28 points lower. The NASDAQ closed 144 points lower.
July exports of U.S. beef rebounded from recent lows but remained below 2019 levels, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
July beef exports totaled 107,298 metric tons (mt), up 36% from June but still 9% below last year. Export value was $647.8 million, the highest since March but down 10% from a year ago. For January through July, beef exports were also 9% below last year’s pace in volume (698,907 mt) and 10% lower in value ($4.28 billion).
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $280.40 in July, down 9% from a year ago. The January-July average was $297.21 per head, down 5%.
July beef exports to China increased sharply year-over-year and shipments trended higher to Taiwan, Canada and Hong Kong. July exports were lower than a year ago to Japan and South Korea and declined significantly to Mexico.
“With production returning to near-normal levels, we definitely saw an improvement in beef exports, though the recovery was not quite as strong as expected,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “It is also important to remember that the monthly export data is in the rearview mirror and that weekly export sales data, along with observations from our USMEF-China team, suggest that China’s demand for both U.S. pork and beef will be strong through the balance of the year, including purchases for Chinese New Year. When combined with the rebound in other main markets, growth in emerging markets and the return of the U.S. supply advantage, USMEF remains optimistic about a strong finish for U.S. red meat exports in 2020, despite many challenges related to COVID-19.”
July pork exports totaled 222,035 mt, down 5% from a year ago, while export value fell 12% to $548.3 million. For January through July, pork exports remained 20% ahead of last year’s record pace in volume (1.78 million mt) and 22% higher in value ($4.6 billion).
“China’s pork demand has moderated and we are also entering a time when year-over-year gains are not nearly as dramatic, as exports to China began gaining momentum in mid-2019,” Halstrom says. “But, pork exports to Mexico showed encouraging signs of recovery in July and we also saw promising growth in several emerging markets, including Vietnam and the Philippines.”