Cattle Current—Jan. 15, 2024

Cattle Current—Jan. 15, 2024

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ higher Friday, helped by falling Corn futures, which were pressured by the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below). Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle closed an average of $3.25 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower, except for unchanged and 22¢ higher in the back two contracts. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of 61¢ higher (2¢ to $1.07 higher), except for unchanged and 37¢ lower in two away contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to slow on light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were a few FOB live trades in the Southern Plains at $172/cwt. Established prices the previous week were $172-$173.

Established FOB live prices last week were steady to $2 lower in Nebraska at $173 and steady in the western Corn Belt at $174. Dressed delivered prices were 50¢ to $2 lower in Nebraska at $272-$275 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $275 on a light test.

Through Thursday, the weighted average five-area direct FOB live steer price was 33¢ lower at $174.32. The weighted average dressed delivered fed steer price was $1.11 lower at $273.63.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.37 higher Friday afternoon at 289.26/cwt. Select was $1.91 higher at $271.85/cwt. Week to week, Choice was $12.10 higher and Select was $12.32 higher.

Corn and Soybean futures fell Friday in response to higher than expected yield and production estimates in the monthly WASDE. Kansas City Wheat futures followed along, despite a reduction in expected planted area.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 10¢ lower through Jly ’25 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ lower. Week to week on Friday, Corn futures an average of 13’3¢ lower through the front six contracts.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 25¢ lower through Aug ’24 and then mostly 2¢ to 5¢ lower.

KC HRW Wheat futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower through May ’25 and then unchanged.

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Major U.S. financial indices were mixed Friday. Support included a more favorable inflation reading than expected in the monthly Producer Price Index for final demand, which declined 0.1% in December (seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand prices were 0.1% lower in November and 0.4% lower in October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 118 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 3 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 2 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 66¢ to 73¢ higher through the front six contracts.

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The projected five-area direct weighted average fed steer price was unchanged, compared to the previous month, in the latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) projects an average price of $175/cwt. in the first quarter, $177 in the second quarter, $178 in the third quarter and $183 in the fourth quarter for an annual average price of $178.

That’s with beef production this year estimated 120 million pounds more than the previous forecast at 26.1 billion pounds, based on higher expected cattle slaughter in the first half of the year, as well as higher dressed weights. The total would be 857 million pounds less (-3.2%) than the estimated 2023 total of 27 billion pounds.

Among other WASDE highlights…

USDA surprised some with higher projected corn and soybean production.

U.S. 2023-24 corn production was estimated at a record 15.3 billion bushels — 108 million bushels more than the previous estimate — based on an increase in yield to a record 177.3 bushels per acre. With supply rising more than use, 2023-24 corn stocks were projected 31 million bushels higher. The season-average corn price received by producers was lowered 5¢ to $4.80 per bushel.

USDA also projected the U.S. 2023-24 soybean production 35 million bushels more than the previous month at 4.2 billion bushels. Yield was estimated at 50.6 bushels per acre, up 0.7 bushels. With increased supplies and slightly lower residual, ending stocks were projected 35 million bushels higher at 280 million bushels.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2023-24 was projected 15¢ lower at $12.75 per bushel. The soybean meal price was projected $10 less at $380 per short ton. The soybean oil price was forecast 3¢ lower at 54¢ per pound.

Finally, projected 2023-24 U.S. wheat ending stocks were lowered 11 million bushels on decreased supplies more than offsetting less use.

The 2023-24 season-average farm price was forecast 10¢ lower per bushel at $7.20, based on prices received to date and expectations for futures and cash prices for the remainder of 2023-24.

2024-01-14T18:50:58-06:00

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