Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 16, 2019

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 16, 2019

Fire at the Tyson beef packing plant at Holcombe, KS cast a pall over cattle markets last week.

Uncertainty about how much beef packing capacity was lost and for how long, amid seasonally and cyclically heavy fed cattle supplies, created an exodus among futures traders at the opening bell.

Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle futures were limit-down last Monday, then down the expanded limit in some contracts Tuesday.

Some auctions cancelled sales, waiting for the dust to settle. Where auctions proceeded, extreme heat and the futures fallout limited receipts and demand.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $5-$10/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.48 lower week to week on Friday. They were down an average $10.10 after the first two sessions of the week, before recovering an average of $5.18 on Wednesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index was down $4.06 week to week on Thursday at $137.60.

All of that was with Corn futures closing an average of 36¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week on Friday. Pressure was tied to the surprisingly large estimate for corn production in last week’s USDA Crop Production report.

Cash feeder prices were already under pressure, of course.

“Prices for feeder steers weighing 750-800 lbs. for the week of August 12, 2019, were $137.71/cwt., more than $10 below the same week last year,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “Based on recent price data, the third-quarter 2019 feeder steer price was lowered by $1 to $142 and the 2019 fourth-quarter price forecast was lowered $1 from the prior month to $140. This month’s annual price forecast for 2019 is $141/cwt.”

“This market is likely to rebound following the kneejerk reaction,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The primary rebound will be in the yearling cattle arena which is where cattle feeders will continue to search for cattle to fill pen space. The calf market may see a short-lived rebound, but the calf market is going to be coming under seasonal price pressure as spring born calves begin to move to market in September and October.”

Fed Cattle Lower in Cautious Trade

Through late Friday afternoon, the only established negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week remained the $105/cwt. paid in the Southern Plains, which was $5 less than the previous week. Although too few to trend, there were a few trades in Nebraska Friday at $106/cwt. on a live basis and at $172 in the beef.

Through Thursday the 5-area direct steer price was $105.40 on a live basis (7,941 head) and $170.46 in the beef (4,172 head). Week to week that was $8.71 less on a live basis and $12.11 less dressed.

Live Cattle futures were down an average of $7.34 after the first two trading sessions of the week. Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $6.53 lower ($4.17 to $8.70 lower). 

“The last time the weekly weighted average finished cattle price fell below $100 was December 2010, while the $100 mark was only achieved in 12 weeks from 2000 through 2010,” Griffith says. “Could the cash market fall below the century mark? It is possible, but unlikely.”

Wholesale beef prices exploded higher as there were apparently lots of buyers living hand to mouth in the spot market for supply.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was a staggering $22.32 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $238.69/cwt. Select was $19.45 higher at $213.26.

“Price jumps like this do not come along very often and will be only temporary as adjustments take place in future,” say AMS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 16

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

104,800

(-49,800)

27,900

(-26,200)

70,100

(-171,300)

202,800

(-247,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 15 Change
  $137.60 –  4.06

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
600-700 lbs. $158.93 –  $3.75
700-800 lbs. $148.56 –  $5.17
800-900 lbs. $143.46 –  $0.41

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.21 –  $9.02
600-700 lbs. $142.46 –  $8.36
700-800 lbs. $136.20 –  $7.61

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
400-500 lbs. $141.60 –  $7.08
500-600 lbs. $133.78 –  $7.93
600-700 lbs. $128.78 –  $6.65

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 16 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $238.69 + $22.32
Select $213.26 + $19.45
Ch-Se Spread $25.43 +   $2.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 16 Change
Aug $134.575 –  $4.325
Sep $132.375 –  $6.075
Oct $132.850 –  $5.400
Nov $132.750 –  $5.525
Jan ’20 $130.925 –  $5.675
Mar $130.300 –  $5.725
Apr $131.425 –  $5.675
May $132.300 –  $5.475

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 16 Change
Aug $99.925 – $8.125
Oct $98.050 – $8.700
Dec $103.525 – $7.925
Feb ’20 $108.925 – $6.775
Apr $111.300 – $6.375
Jun $104.825 – $6.050
Aug $103.200 – $5.750
Oct $105.575 – $4.900
Dec $108.850 – $4.175

 

Corn futures Aug. 16 Change
Sep $3.710 –  $0.392
Dec $3.806 –  $0.370
Mar ’20 $3.926 –  $0.356
May $4.000 –  $0.340
Jul $4.056 –  $0.318
Sep $4.050 –  $0.172

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 16 Change
Sep $54.87 + $0.37
Oct $54.81 + $0.44
Nov $54.42 + $0.33
Dec $53.99 + $0.21
Jan ’20 $53.56 + $0.10
Feb $53.19 + $0.03

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 16 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25886.01 -401.43
NASDAQ     7895.99 –  63.15
S&P 500     2888.68 –   29.97
Dollar (DXY)          98.20 +    0.71
2019-08-18T12:05:19-06:00

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