Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 6, 2019

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 6, 2019

Stronger cash fed cattle prices helped support calf and feeder cattle prices last week, amid deeper receipts following Thanksgiving.

Compared to two weeks earlier, steers and heifers sold from $1/cwt. lower to $3 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“More weaned calves with health programs behind them were seen in auctions this week and were met with higher prices, for the most part,” AMS analysts say.  “There were some individual sales that had weaker spots in them, but demand overall was rated at good to very good at most sales.”

“It would appear the calf market has put in its seasonal price low, but that does not mean there will be a sudden resurgence of prices in December,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 lower week to week on Friday, except for 10¢ and 22¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Fed Prices Remain Solid

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mainly $1 higher last week, with live prices in the Southern Plains at $119/cwt. and at $118-119 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $1 higher at $188.

“There is still time for the market to hit the $120 mark for a weekly average price. Hitting this price point would provide considerable optimism for the spring market that could easily exceed $130 at some point,” Griffith says. “Most cattle feeders are in the black on closeouts, which should provide some support for the feeder cattle market in the coming months.”

Although carcass weights are creeping forward, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University notes steer carcasses are 3.3 lbs. lighter year over year (year to date) and heifer carcasses are 4.4 lbs. lighter.

Speaking to last week’s winter storms, in his weekly market comments, Peel notes, “An early storm like this may set the stage for a long period of feedlot production challenges with impacts persisting and accumulating through the winter.”

Total cattle slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 679,000 head for the week, which would be 126,000 head more than the previous week and 10,000 head more than the same time last year, according to AMS.

“If realized, the weekly cattle slaughter is the largest since the week ending June 25, 2011,” say AMS analysts. “This is a staggering realization that so many cattle have been harvested, considering there were many more packing plants nationwide back then.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ lower week to week on Friday (20¢ lower toward the back to $1.22 lower toward the front).

Wholesale beef values continued their seasonal decline.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.56 lower week to week on Friday at $224.56/cwt. Select was $3.04 lower at $207.30.

“The support for beef prices will come from Select beef moving through the winter months as consumers shift demand from middle meats to end cuts,” Griffith says. “Despite the pressure beef prices will be exposed to the next several months, the market is expected to remain relatively strong as demand continues to support prices.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Dec. 6 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

286,900

(+228,300)

26,000

(+100)

56,700

(+56,600)

352,900

(+268,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Dec. 5 Change
  $144.49 –  $0.13

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
600-700 lbs. $152.07 + $4.48
700-800 lbs. $146.76 + $4.67
800-900 lbs. $146.33 –  $0.05

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
500-600 lbs. $155.32 + $3.81
600-700 lbs. $145.84 + $2.34
700-800 lbs. $143.67 –  $1.65

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.15 + $21.55
500-600 lbs. $137.36 + $6.45
600-700 lbs. $131.60 + $7.68

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 6 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $224.56 –  $7.56
Select $207.30 –  $3.04
Ch-Se Spread $17.26 –  $4.52

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 6 Change
Jan ’20 $141.550 –  $0.725
Mar $141.675 –  $1.350
Apr $143.775 –  $1.200
May $145.075 –  $1.075
Aug $150.075 –  $0.950
Sep $150.900 –  $0.750
Oct $151.400 + $0.100
Nov $150.850 + $0.225

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 6 Change
Dec $120.200 –  $1.000
Feb ’20 $124.975 –  $1.225
Apr $125.350 –  $1.025
Jun $117.150 –  $0.575
Aug $114.700 –  $0.650
Oct $116.125 –  $0.600
Dec $118.475 –  $0.625
Feb ’21 $120.350 –  $0.200
Apr $120.750 –  $0.650

 

Corn futures Dec. 6 Change
Dec $3.664 –  $0.048
Mar ’20 $3.766 –  $0.046
May $3.824 –  $0.032
Jul $3.866 –  $0.036
Sep $3.866 –  $0.014
Dec $3.902 –  $0.008

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 6 Change
Jan ’20 $59.20 + $4.03
Feb $59.10 + $3.96
Mar $58.78 + $3.80
Apr $58.37 + $3.63
May $57.92 + $3.47
Jun $57.43 + $3.33

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 6 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28015.06 –  36.35
NASDAQ   8656.63 –    8.94
S&P 500   3145.91 +    4.93
Dollar (DXY)        97.68 –     0.59
2019-12-14T18:54:35-06:00

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