Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 22, 2019

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 22, 2019

Overall market fundamentals continued to firm last week, while winter weather kept altering cattle trade.

“Even though auction receipts just barely topped the 200,000 mark for this report (week), feedlots and grazers were ready to procure if producers could

get them to town,” said analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  “Many auction locations were still reeling from a winter storm the previous Friday and earlier in the week as many locations received more snow than anticipated.”

Except for the Southeast, calves and feeder cattle traded steady to mixed. Steers and heifers brought $1/cwt. lower to $2 higher in the North and South Central regions, according to AMS. They sold steady to $4 lower in the Southeast.

“February 2019 is shaping up to be one of the wettest February’s on record, which is delaying calf marketing as well as slaughter cow marketing in the Southeast region of the country,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The same abundant moisture that is keeping producers from marketing cattle is also setting cattle country up for favorable grazing conditions this spring and is also positively influencing summer grazing pastures.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 54¢ higher (7¢ to 90¢ higher).

Cattle feeders ended up being rewarded for their marketing patience last week. Late-week trade was mostly $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $126/cwt. in Kansas, $126.50 in Nebraska and $124.50-$128.00 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $2 higher at $202. There was no trend reported for the Texas Panhandle.

“The expectation over the next few weeks is for continued strength in the finished cattle market as seasonal trends support prices, from a supply and demand standpoint,” Griffith says. 

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.10 higher (65¢ higher to $2.05 higher in spot Feb).

“Today, the February Live Cattle contract has been trading at its highest level since the contract came on the Board in September 2017,” explained AMS analysts on Friday. “The steady rise in the Feb contract is evident, with a few corrections since November 2018. The April and June contracts followed that trend line as well.”

Wholesale beef values, which have remained stronger than some anticipated, continued to inch higher.

Choice wholesale beef values was $2.54 higher week to week on Friday at $219.39/cwt. Select was $1.36 higher at $212.35.

Feedlot Placements Lower

Feedlot placements (feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity) were fewer than many expected, in Friday’s Cattle on Feed (COF) report. Keep in mind, this was the delayed January COF, so placements are for December.

Placements in December of 1.77 million head were 1.78% less than a year earlier. Ahead of the report’s original publication date, most analysts expected placements to be about 2% more year to year. In terms of weights, 51.21% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 38.88% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 9.91% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in December of 1.74 million head were 0.63% less than the previous year, in line with pre-report expectations.

Cattle on feed Jan. 1 of 11.69 million head were 1.75% more than a year earlier (+201,000 head), on the low side of expectations.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Feb. 22

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

208,200

(-15,600)

57,700

(-20,100)

48,600

(+45,000)

314,500

(+8,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 21 Change
  $141.31  -0-

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 22  Change
600-700 lbs. $160.40 +  $0.16
700-800 lbs. $147.44 –   $0.37
800-900 lbs. $138.91 –   $0.96

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $169.48 +  $1.15
600-700 lbs. $152.07 +  $0.88
700-800 lbs. $141.26 +  $0.60

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 22 Change
400-500 lbs. $160.49 –   $3.91
500-600 lbs. $150.37 –   $3.63
600-700 lbs. $138.42 –   $3.93

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb.22 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $219.39 +  $2.54
Select $212.35 +  $1.36  
Ch-Se Spread $7.04 +  $1.18

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 22 Change
Mar $142.900 + $0.300
Apr $145.300 + $0.075
May $146.850 + $0.275
Aug $151.050 + $0.600
Sep $151.350 + $0.625
Oct $151.450 + $0.800
Nov $150.950 + $0.900
Jan ’20 $146.750 + $0.725

 

Live Cattle   Feb. 22 Change
Feb ’19 $128.675 + $2.050
Apr $128.875 + $1.700
Jun $119.475 + $1.400
Aug $115.500 + $1.125
Oct $116.625 + $0.925
Dec $118.950 +  $0.675
Feb ’20 $120.150 +  $0.650
Apr $120.475 +  $0.700
Jun $113.675 +  $0.675

 

Corn futures Feb. 22 Change
Mar  $3.752 + $0.006
May $3.844 + $0.018
Jul $3.924 + $0.020
Sep $3.964 + $0.022
Dec $4.016 + $0.024
Mar ’20 $4.116 + $0.034

 

Oil CME-WTI Feb. 22 Change
Apr $57.26 + $1.28
May $57.75 + $1.21
Jun $58.25 + $1.15
Jul $58.71 + $1.12
Aug $59.08 + $1.11
Sep $59.32 + $1.08

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 22 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26031.81 +  148.56
NASDAQ     7527.54 +     55.13
S&P 500     2792.67 +      17.07
Dollar (DXY)          96.53 –        0.39
2019-02-25T19:14:51-05:00

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