Note: Cattle Current is dependent on a couple other businesses to house the Cattle Current website, edit the podcast and the like. If Cattle Current goes missing in the days/weeks ahead, it will likely be due to COVID-19 disrupting one of those businesses. If such a disruption occurs, we’ll get back on schedule as quickly as possible.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was established at $110/cwt. on a live basis last week, which was $3 lower in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $5-$7 lower at $175-$176. There were trades at lower money later in the week, but too few to trend.
Cattle futures attempted to follow equity markets higher early on Friday, but ended mostly expanded limit-down, amid chatter about the potential of coronavirus to disrupt packing plant operations. I could find no confirmed reports of closures or reduced schedules for the major packers, but the vulnerability is a logical concern, given cattle numbers and strained packing capacity.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.38 lower. That’s an average of $7.37 lower in the last two sessions.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $6.51 lower. That’s an average of $11.01 lower in the previous two sessions.
Wholesale beef values were sharply higher on good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.13 higher Friday afternoon at $2018.14/cwt. Select was $4.10 higher at $201.98. Although food service demand will likely suffer for a time as more consumers stay at home, retail demand is likely benefiting from those same consumers stocking up.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 10¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 3¢ lower.