Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 1, 2019

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 1, 2019

Feeder-weight cattle continued to face buying pressure last week as the cold, wet winter slows and delays fed cattle marketing.

“Until feedyard pens freeze up or dry up, cattle expend too much energy just getting to and from the bunks to meet their projected weights,” explained analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). They note feedlot cost of gain for winter-heavy regions is in the triple digits.

On the other end of the scale, demand continues to pick up for calves destined for summer grass.

Overall, steers and heifers traded from $2/cwt. lower to $1 higher in the North and South Central regions, but $3-$7 higher in the Southeast, according to AMS.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ lower through the front three contracts (25¢ lower to $1.67 lower in spot Mar) and then an average of 99¢ higher.

Fed Cattle Trade Higher

Short-bought packers finally had to cough up more jingle this week.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $1.50-$3.50 higher on a live basis Friday at $128-$130/cwt. in the western Corn Belt, $128-$129 in Nebraska and at $128 in the Texas Panhandle, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Dressed trade was $3 more week to week at $205; a few up to $206 in the western Corn Belt.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ higher (15¢ higher to 95¢ higher).

Front-end supplies will continue to snug up, due to the weather.

Dressed steer weights for the week ending Feb. 16 were 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 879 lbs., according to the most recent USDA Livestock Slaughter report. They were 4 lbs. lighter than a year earlier. Likewise, dressed heifer weights were 3 lbs. lighter week to week at 819 lbs., which was 9 lbs. lighter than a year earlier.

At the same time, rising wholesale beef values continue to bolster cattle prices.

Choice wholesale beef value was $1.90 higher week to week on Friday at $221.29 per cwt. Select was $4.44 higher at $216.79.

Beef Cowherd Expands

The long-awaited Cattle report—offering a picture of estimated cattle inventories at the beginning of the year—finally came out Thursday, about a month late because of the government shutdown.

There were 0.95% more beef cows at the beginning of this year than last (+299,500 head) at 31.77 million. Interestingly, analysts with the National Agricultural Statistics Service revised last year’s Jan. 1 inventory lower by 256,800 head to 31.47 million head.

There were 5.92 million beef of replacement heifers Jan. 1, which was 183,300 head fewer than a year earlier (-3.0%).

All told, USDA pegged the total inventory of all cattle and calves Jan. 1 at 94.76 million head, which was 461,700 more than a year earlier (+0.49%).

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 1

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

219,100

(+10,900)

60,400

(+2,700)

2,700

(-45,900)

282,200

(-32,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 28 Change
  $139.23 –  $2.08

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 1  Change
600-700 lbs. $160.30 –   $0.10
700-800 lbs. $145.75 –   $1.69
800-900 lbs. $138.13 –   $0.78

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $167.56 –   $1.92
600-700 lbs. $151.46 –   $0.61
700-800 lbs. $140.67 –   $0.59

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 1 Change
400-500 lbs. $167.05 +  $6.56
500-600 lbs. $154.79 +  $4.42
600-700 lbs. $142.14 +  $3.72

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 1 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $221.29 +  $1.90
Select $216.79 +  $4.44  
Ch-Se Spread $4.50 –   $2.54

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 1 Change
Mar $141.225 –  $1.675
Apr $145.050 –  $0.250
May $146.525 –  $0.325
Aug $151.400 + $0.350
Sep $152.150 + $0.800
Oct $152.325 + $0.875
Nov $151.875 + $0.925
Jan ’20 $148.775 + $2.025

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 1 Change
Apr $129.550 + $0.675
Jun $120.425 + $0.950
Aug $116.275 + $0.775
Oct $116.925 + $0.300
Dec $120.650 +  $0.525
Feb ’20 $120.850 +  $0.500
Apr $120.850 +  $0.375
Jun $113.825 +  $0.150
Aug $112.175 n/a

 

Corn futures Mar. 1 Change
Mar  $3.640 –  $0.112
May $3.730 –  $0.114
Jul $3.814 –  $0.110
Sep $3.872 –  $0.092
Dec $3.942 –  $0.074
Mar ’20 $4.046 –  $0.070

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 1 Change
Apr $55.80 –  $1.46
May $56.19 –  $1.56
Jun $56.65 –  $1.60
Jul $57.11 –  $1.60
Aug $57.49 –  $1.59
Sep $57.75 –  $1.57

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 1 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26026.32 –        5.49
NASDAQ     7595.35 +     67.81
S&P 500     2803.69 +      11.02
Dollar (DXY)          96.46 –        0.07
2019-03-03T16:28:44+00:00

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