Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports.
There were 477 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction and no takers.
Slaughter steers and heifers sold $1-$2 lower at Sioux Falls in South Dakota with 105 Ch 2-3 steers brought an average price of $120.43/cwt. at an average weight of 1,441 lbs. Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at mostly $124-$125.
After glimmers of support early on, Cattle futures continued to trek lower with the overall lack of commodity support, no cash direction and longs fleeing the market.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢lower. Between Jan. 21 and 28, open interest declined by 30,377 contracts (down 7.6%)
Except for 5¢higher in soon-to-expire Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢lower.
Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 67¢ higherWednesday afternoon at $213.52/cwt. Select was 23¢ lower at $211.93.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Wednesday, with little additional news regarding the spread of coronavirus balanced by positive quarterly earnings reports from bellwethers, such as Apple, and by the Fed’s decision to leave lending rates unchanged.
“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in December indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low,” according to the FOMC statement. “Although household spending has been rising at a moderate pace, business fixed investment and exports remain weak. On a 12‑month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2%.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 11 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 5 points.
President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Wednesday, paving the way for the three nations to begin hashing out uniform regulations for the new agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And, the Canadian Parliament must ratify the pact but is expected to do so.
“This agreement shows the rest of the world the United States is open for business,” says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. “USMCA is critical for America’s farmers and ranchers, who will now have even more market access to our neighbors to the north and the south.”
Canada and Mexico are the first and second largest export markets for United States food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018.
With USMCA, all food and agricultural products that have zero tariffs under NAFTA will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and eggs, and in exchange the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products.
U.S. red meat exports to Mexico and Canada in 2019 totaled about 1.25 million metric tons valued at $3.8 billion, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.