Daily Cattle Current Podcast

Daily Cattle Current Podcast 2017-06-03T14:35:39-05:00

Daily Cattle Current Podcast

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Cattle Current Podcast—May 18, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were light to moderate in the Southern Plains through Tuesday afternoon with live prices $2 lower at $138/cwt.

In Nebraska, there were a few dressed sales at $226-$227 on slow trade and light demand, but too few to trend. Last week live prices were $144 and dressed prices were $230.

Elsewhere, trade was mostly inactive on light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices in the western Corn Belt Monday were $2-$3 lower at $142. Dressed prices last week were $227-$230. Live prices in Colorado last week were $140-$144.

Softer cash prices pressured Feeder Cattle an average of 75¢ lower despite the tiny respite in Corn futures.

Grain and Soybean futures closed mostly higher, though with KC Wheat up another 15¢ to 20¢. 

Corn futures closed mixed, mainly 4¢ lower to 2¢ higher, starting with new-crop contracts.

Soybean futures closed mostly 17¢ to 20¢ higher. 

Recently higher wholesale beef prices helped cap losses in Live Cattle futures, which closed an average of 44¢ lower, except for 27¢ higher in away Aug.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 17¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $260.48/cwt. Select was $2.52 higher at $248.19.

May 17th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 17, 2022

India’s weekend announcement that it would ban wheat exports shoved nearby KC Wheat limit up 70¢ Monday, leading other grains higher.

Corn futures closed 16¢ to 28¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

Surging feed costs pressured Feeder Cattle futures an average of 66¢ lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ higher, buoyed by oversold conditions, the cash premium and recently higher wholesale beef prices.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.36 higher Monday afternoon at $260.31/cwt. Select was $1.77 higher at $245.67.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the western Corn Belt through Monday afternoon with prices steady to $3 lower than last week at $142/cwt. Dressed prices there last week were $227-$230.

Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Last week, live prices were $140 in the Southern Plains, $140-$144 in Colorado and $144 in Nebraska where dressed prices were $227-$230.

May 16th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 16, 2022

Grain futures were mixed Friday, continuing to adjust to the previous day’s bullish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 10¢ lower. Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 32¢ higher through Sep ‘23 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher, except for 63¢ higher in spot May. 

Softer Corn prices helped Feeder Cattle futures regain a little lost ground Friday, closing an average of 84¢ higher (20¢ to $1.50 higher), except for 40¢ lower in the back contract.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower, except for 42¢ higher in spot Jun, challenged by sluggish wholesale beef prices.

However, Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.75 higher Friday afternoon at $258.95/cwt. Select was 46¢ lower at $243.90. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.51 higher but Select was $1.16 lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive with very light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $144 in Nebraska and $144-$145 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $227-$230.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was the same as the prior week at 657,000 head. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 12.3 million head was 71,000 head more than the previous year. Total estimated year-to-date beef production of 10.28 billion lbs. was 91.1 million lbs. more than the same time last year.

May 15th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 13, 2022

Grain futures marched higher Thursday, buoyed by the latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, led by Kansas City Wheat, which closed 63¢ to 69¢ higher in the front five contracts.

Corn futures closed mostly 8¢ to 16¢ higher, while Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 10¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then mostly unchanged to 4¢ lower.  

Cattle futures stepped lower beneath the weight of the outlook for continued higher feed prices.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.88 lower ($1.27 to $3.50 lower). Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 lower (50¢ lower at the back to $2.07 lower toward the front).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $2 lower in Nebraska at $144 and steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $144-$145. Dressed prices are $2 lower in Nebraska at $232 and $2-$3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $227-$230. Live prices in Colorado last week were at $142-$148.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.12 higher Thursday afternoon at $257.20/cwt. Select was $2.18 higher at $244.36.

May 12th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 12, 2022

Cattle futures were mixed Wednesday, with Feeder Cattle pressured by a surge in Corn futures prices, while Live Cattle was supported by the discount to cash.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.19 lower (35¢ lower at the back to $1.85 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ higher (10¢ to $1.17 higher), except for an average of 6¢ lower in three contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on moderate demand in the Texas Panhandle, Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt. and $2 lower in Nebraska at $144. Dressed prices in Nebraska are $2 lower at $230.

Live prices last week were $142-$148 in Colorado and $144-$147 in the western Corn Belt, where dressed prices were $230-$232.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $255.08/cwt. Select was 17¢ lower at $242.18.

Corn and Soybean futures rose on South American wonderments and likely positioning ahead of Thursday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly 15¢ to 17¢ higher through Jly ‘23 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 20¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then mostly 2¢ higher.  

May 11th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 11, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light to moderate on moderate demand in the Southern Plains through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Prices were steady to $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $139-$140/cwt. And steady in Kansas at $140.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill. Live prices last week were $146 in Nebraska, $142-$148 in Colorado and $144-$147 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $230-$232.

Cattle futures lost more ground Tuesday, as cash fed cattle prices ran out of steam in the South and Corn futures rose.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.83 lower (87¢ lower to $2.37 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 93¢ lower (25¢ to $1.27 lower), except for 7¢ higher in the back contract.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.05 lower Tuesday afternoon at $255.24/cwt. Select was 78¢ lower at $242.35.

Corn and Soybean futures were supported by the sluggish planting pace.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 8¢ higher. Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 10¢ higher through Jly ‘23 and then fractionally higher to 4¢ higher. 

May 10th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 10, 2022

Cattle futures weakened Monday, pressured by recently waning wholesale beef values and sharply lower outside markets, but supported by lower Corn futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 44¢ lower, except for 25¢ higher in spot May.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower, except for 80¢ and 2¢ higher in the front two contracts.

Corn futures closed mostly 9¢ to 13¢ lower, while Soybean futures closed mostly 20¢ to 34¢ lower, pressured my optimism the forecast will enable rapid planting progress.

As of May 8, 22% of corn was planted, which was 42% less than last year and 28% less than average, according to the latest USDA Crop progress report. Twelve percent of soybeans were in the ground, which was 27% less than last year and 12% less than the average.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $146 in Nebraska. Prices were $2 lower to $3 higher in Colorado at $142-$148; steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $144-$147. Dressed prices were steady in Nebraska at $232, but steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $230-$232.

The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price last week was 8¢ higher at $143.42. The average steer price in the beef was $1.62 lower at $230.69.

Although lower week to week, Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $4.57 higher through Monday afternoon at $259.01/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $244.25.

May 9th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 9, 2022

Corn futures closed mostly 11¢ to 18¢ lower on Friday, which helped lift Feeder Cattle futures an average of 77¢ higher (32¢ higher toward the front to $1.37 higher at the back), except for 77¢ lower in spot May. Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 25¢ lower. 

On the other hand, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ lower (25¢ lower toward the back to $1.02 lower in spot Jun), except for 35¢ higher in the back contract. They sagged with lower wholesale beef prices and waning cash momentum.

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.34 lower at $254.44/cwt. Select was $2.91 lower at $245.06. That’s $13.47 lower for Choice over the last two weeks and $9.71 lower for Select.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 657,000 head was 8,000 head more than the previous week and 18,000 more than the same week last year. Estimated total year-to-date cattle slaughter of 11.66 million head was 61,000 head more (+0.5%) than the same time last year. Estimated total year-to-date beef production of 9.74 billion lbs. was 81.6 million lbs. more (+0.8%) year over year.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, with too few transactions to trend.

Last week, live prices were steady at $140/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and at $146 in Nebraska. Prices were steady to $2 lower in Kansas at $138-$140, $2 lower to $1 higher in Colorado at $142-$146 and $1 higher to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $146. Dressed prices were steady in Nebraska at $232 and steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $230-$232.

May 8th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 6, 2022

Cattle futures sagged Thursday with higher Corn futures and lower wholesale beef values helping stall recent momentum. Sharply lower outside markets also clouded optimism.

Feeder Cattle an average of $1.14 lower, from 47¢ lower at the back to $1.92 lower in spot May.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ lower, from 12¢ lower to $1.12 lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, like prices are steady at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $146 in Nebraska. Prices are $2 lower to $1 higher in Colorado at $142-$146 and $1 higher to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $146. Dressed prices are steady in Nebraska at $232 and steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $230-$232.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $4.56 lower Thursday afternoon at $255.18/cwt. Select was $1.87 lower at $245.81.

Net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending April 28 were 14,600 metric tons, according to the weekly U.S. export sales report. That was 28% more than the previous week and 1% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Canada.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher. Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher. 

May 5th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 5, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were moderate in the Texas Panhandle through Wednesday afternoon with prices steady at $140/cwt. Trade in Nebraska was moderate on moderate to good demand, also at steady prices of $146 on a live basis and $232 in the beef.

Elsewhere, trade was slow on light to moderate demand, with too few transactions to trend. However, there were some early live sales at $140 in Kansas and at $145-$146 in the North.

Last week, live prices were $140 in Kansas, $146-$147 in Colorado and $145-$147 in the western Corn Belt, where dressed prices were $232.

The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price in April was $141.66/cwt., which was $20.78 higher than a year earlier (+17%). The average steer price in the beef was $36.55 higher (+16%) at $228.86.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 19¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $259.74/cwt. Select was 34¢ higher at $247.68.

Cattle futures held their ground in the face of firmer Corn futures.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 26¢ lower to an average of 13¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 42¢ higher except for an average of 28¢ lower in three contracts, amid light trade.

Corn futures closed mainly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher. Soybean futures closed 6¢ 10¢ higher. 

May 4th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 4, 2022

Follow-through support lifted Cattle futures for a second consecutive day, helped along by another down day for Corn.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.13 higher, (5¢ higher toward the back to $2.20 higher toward the front), except for unchanged in the back two contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ higher, from 12¢ higher at the front to $1.00 higher at the back.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to at a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt, $2 higher ion Colorado at $145-$147, steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $146 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $145-$147. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $232.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.00 lower Tuesday afternoon at $259.55/cwt. Select was 89¢ lower at $247.34.

As mentioned, Corn and Soybean futures continued to soften Tuesday despite slow planting progress.

Corn futures closed mostly 6¢ to 7¢ lower, while Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 15¢ lower through Mar ‘23 and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

May 3rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 3, 2022

Cattle futures rallied Monday, helped along by lower Corn futures, oversold conditions, expanding open interest and opening the books on a new month.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.04 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.67 higher (97¢ higher toward the back to $2.55 higher in new spot Jun).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt, $2 higher in Colorado at $145-$147, steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $146 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $145-$147. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $232.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.77 higher Monday afternoon at $262.55/cwt. Select was 26¢ higher at $248.23.

May 2nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 2, 2022

Cattle futures bounced around last week, but never outran the shadow of the unexpectedly large March feedlot placements suggested by the latest Cattle on Feed report that came out the previous Friday.

Sagging wholesale beef values and worries that elevated retail beef prices are beginning to chip at demand added pressure to Live Cattle futures, which closed an average of $2.90 lower week to week on Friday. They closed an average of 84¢ lower on Friday, except for $3.40 higher in expiring Apr.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.13 lower week to week on Friday at $260.78/cwt. Select was $6.80 lower at $247.97.

However, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were steady to higher amid snugger supplies before the anticipated summer bulge.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to limited with light demand, with too few transactions too trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt.; steady to $1 higher in the Northern Plains at $144-$146 and in the Western Corn Belt at $145-$147. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $232.

Through Thursday, the weighted average direct fed steer price was 31¢ higher on a live basis at $143.31/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 42¢ higher at $232.32.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 656,000 head was 9,000 head fewer than the previous week but 3,000 head more than the same week last year. Year-to-date total estimated cattle slaughter of 11.01 million head is 51,000 head more than the same time last year. Total estimated year-to-date beef production through last week was 9.20 billion lbs., which was 706,000 lbs. more (+0.77 %) than a year earlier.

Feeder cattle futures closed an average of $1.87 lower on Friday and an average of $7.73 lower week to week, as Corn futures gained an average of 25.6¢ in the front six contracts during the same time.

May 1st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 29, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures firmed Thursday, closing an average of 87¢ higher, except for 27¢ lower in expiring Apr. They were helped along by the mainly narrowly mixed close in Corn futures. 

The overall continued decline in wholesale beef prices and weaker weekly exports helped pressure Live Cattle Live futures an average of 47¢ lower, except for unchanged in almost-spent spot Apr.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 69¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $262.60/cwt. Select was $1.26 lower at $251.06.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive, with too few transactions too trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt.; steady to $1 higher in the Northern Plains at $144-$146 and in the Western Corn Belt at $145-$147. Dressed prices are $2 higher at $232.

April 28th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 28, 2022

Another day of higher Corn futures weighed heavily on Feeder Cattle futures, Wednesday, which closed an average of $3.35 lower ($2.57 to $4.20 lower), except for unchanged in expiring Apr

After 12¢ and 10¢ higher in the front two contracts, Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 6¢ higher, pushed along by Soybean futures, which closed 20¢ to 22¢ higher through Jan ‘23.  

Technical pressure and looming large supplies pressured Live Cattle futures an average of $1.03 lower, replacing early-week bullishness tied to stronger weekly cash prices.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Wednesday ranged from a standstill to light on slow to moderate demand, with too few transactions too trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt.; steady to $1 higher in the Northern Plains at $144-$146 and in the Western Corn Belt at $145-$147. Dressed prices are $2 higher at $232.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.26 lower Wednesday afternoon at $261.91/cwt. Select was $3.91 lower at $252.32.

April 27th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 27, 2022

Steady to stronger negotiated cash fed cattle prices helped Live Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was moderate through Tuesday afternoon  in Nebraska and the Southern Plains, according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt. and steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $145-$146. Dressed prices are unevenly steady at $232 in Nebraska.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 lower, pressured by Corn futures, which were up mostly 3¢ to 9¢, supported by slow planting progress. Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 11¢ higher.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.43 lower Tuesday afternoon at $264.17/cwt. Select was 29¢ lower at $256.23.

April 27th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 26, 2022

Friday’s bearish Cattle on Feed report took Cattle futures down a peg on Monday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.78 lower ($1.25 to $2.57 lower), and Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.83 lower (72¢ lower toward the back to $3.35 lower in spot Apr).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade opened the week at steady money of $140/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle on moderate trade and light demand. Elsewhere, trade was mostly inactive on light demand with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $4 higher in Nebraska at $144-$146, $3-$4. higher in Colorado at $144-$145  and $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $145-$146. Dressed prices were $4 higher at $230.

The weighted average five-area direct steer price last week was $2.00 higher on a live basis at $143.02/cwt. The average dressed steer price was $6.40 higher at $232.29.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 14¢ higher, but Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 12¢ lower through Jan ‘23 and then mostly 3¢ to 9¢ lower.

Wholesale beef prices were mixed with Choice Boxed beef cutout value $1.31 lower Monday afternoon at $266.60/cwt. , while Select was $1.75 higher at $256.52.

April 25th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 25, 2022

Heading into the new week, the primary focus is likely reaction to Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.

On the surface, it confirms the severity and duration of the current drought, with March placements about 8% more than expected, following surging placements the previous month. Beneath the surface, though, there likely will be some head scratching about how they square with USDA numbers at the beginning of the year suggesting the feeder supply outside of feedlots was 676,000 head fewer (-2.6%) than last year.

March placements of 1.99 million head were 8,000 less year over year — fractionally less — which was about 8% more than expectations ahead of the report.

In terms of placement weights, 35% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less, 53% weighing 700-899 lbs. and 12% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in March of 2.0 million head were 41,000 head fewer (-2.0%) than the previous year, about even with pre-report expectations.

Cattle on feed April 1 of 12.11 million head were 208,000 head more (+1.7%) than the previous year. That’s the most for the date since the data series began in 1996 and slightly more than expectations ahead of the report.

April 24th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 22, 2022

A hard break in Corn futures and likely positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report gave Feeder Cattle futures more room to run, up an average of $2.32.

Corn futures closed mostly 9¢ to 16¢ lower on leaner weekly export sales and ethanol production, as well as likely profit taking.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher, helped along by vegetable oil prices.

Feeder Cattle support also came from stronger cash fed cattle prices this week that helped Live Cattle futures close an average of $1.05 higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to limited on light demand through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, negotiated cash fed cattle prices are $1 higher on a live basis in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $4 higher in Nebraska at $144-$146 and $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $145-$146. Dressed prices are $4 higher at $230.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.35 higher Thursday afternoon at $270.17/cwt. Select was 85¢ lower at $255.68.

Carcass weights continue higher year over year. For the week ending April 9, the average dressed steer weight was 12 lbs. heavier at 912 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 11 lbs. heavier at 840 lbs. The same week, 78,681 beef cows were slaughtered, which was 20.8% more year over year.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 15,000 metric tons (mt) were 13% less than the previous week and 27% less than the prior four-week average, according to the U.S. Weekly Export Sales for the week ending April 14. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, China, Canada, and Taiwan.

April 21st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 21, 2022

Another day of stronger cash trade added lift to Cattle futures an average of $1.60 higher.

So far this week, negotiated cash fed cattle prices are $1 higher on a live basis in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $4 higher in Nebraska at $144-$146 and $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $145-$146. Dressed prices are $4 higher at $230.

Through Wednesday afternoon, trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska at $146 and in the western Corn Belt at $145, but too few to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 lower Wednesday afternoon at $268.82/cwt. Select was $2.68 lower at $256.53.

Mainly firm Corn futures continued to add support to Feeder Cattle, which closed an average of $1.47 higher.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher, except for 11¢ and 10¢ higher in the front two contracts.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 30¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

April 20th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 20, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade jumped out to an early and positive start Tuesday with prices $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt. on moderate trade and demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand with too few transactions to trend.

Last week, live prices were at $140-$142 in the Northern Plains and at $142-$143 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $225-$227 in Nebraska and $226 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.15 lower Tuesday afternoon at $269.93/cwt. Select was 25¢ lower at $259.21.

Stronger cash fed cattle prices helped Live Cattle futures close an average of 49¢ higher, except for 15¢ lower in the back two contracts.

Softer front-month Corn futures helped give Feeder Cattle a reprieve, closing an average of 69¢ higher, except for 2¢ land 5¢ lower in two contracts.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 9¢ lower through new-crop contracts and then 1¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mixed; fractionally lower to 1¢ higher through Nov ’22 and then mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

April 19th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 19, 2022

Cattle futures closed lower Monday as Corn futures continued to rally 12¢ to 23¢ higher through old-crop and new-crop contracts, perhaps also buoyed by the slow planting pace.

According to the latest USDA Crop progress report, 4% of the corn is in the ground compared to 7% last year and the five-year average of 6%.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.36 lower, while Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower, except for 2¢ higher in the back contract.

For much of last week, Cattle futures got a boost from stronger negotiated cash fed cattle prices that were $1-$4 higher on a live basis, depending on the region at $139-$143/cwt. Dressed prices were $3-$5 higher at $225-$227.

On Monday, negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

The five-area direct weighted average steer price last week was $141.02/cwt., which was $2.20 more than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef was $3.46 higher at $225.89.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.54 lower Monday afternoon at $271.08/cwt. Select was 56¢ higher at $259.46.

April 18th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 18, 2022

Futures and equity markets were closed Friday, in observance of Good Friday. Through Thursday, from the previous Friday, Cattle futures were able to claw back some losses, supported by stronger cash sales and the continued seasonal increase in Choice wholesale beef value.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $139/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $140-$142, $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $143 and $2-$4 higher in Colorado at $140-$142. Dressed prices were $4 higher at $226.

“It is not surprising that finished cattle prices increased this week as the April market tends to be strong and the highlight of the spring,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee (UT). “However, pessimism has started to set in due to the failure of the market to break out of its narrow trading range. As was said last week, it will still be difficult for finished cattle prices to exceed the high price experienced in February, but there is more of a chance now than last week. The hope is that prices push higher and even challenge the $145 price mark, which would be $2 higher than the $143 price in February.”

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 634,000 head was 37,000 head fewer than the previous week and 7,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 9.69 million head was 50,000 more than last year. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 8.1 billion lbs. was 61.8 million lbs. more than in 2021.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.15 higher week to week on Friday at $272.62/cwt. Select was $1.43 lower at $258.90.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 higher from the previous Friday through Thursday ($1.42 higher at the back to $2.85 higher at the front).

April 16th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 15, 2022

Cattle futures edged lower Thursday, amid light trade and likely positioning ahead of the holiday weekend — the CME is closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in the spot month and unchanged in Dec.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 6¢ higher in the front three contracts and then fractionally lower to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mixed, mostly 4¢ lower to 1¢ higher, except for 6¢ higher and fractionally higher in the front two contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $139/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $140-$142, $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $143 (a few up too $145) and $2-$4 higher in Colorado at $140-$142.

Dressed prices are $4 higher at $226; a few up to $231.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 50¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $271.86/cwt. Select was 34¢ lower at $259.71.

April 14th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 14, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued to gain ground Wednesday on slow trade and moderate demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $139/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $140-$142, $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $143 (a few up to $145) and $2-$4 higher in Colorado at $140-$142.

Dressed prices are $4 higher at $226; a few up to $231.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 lower Wednesday afternoon at $272.36/cwt. Select was $1.34 lower at $259.37.

Cash market strength helped Cattle futures once again.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ higher (35¢ to $1.00 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher (30¢ to $1.02 higher).

That was despite Corn futures closing mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher in the front three contracts and then 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

April 13th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 13, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices gained $1 in Kansas at $139/cwt. on active trade and good demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend there were also some early trades $2 higher in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $142.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.36 higher Tuesday afternoon at $273.47/cwt. Select was 42¢ higher at $260.71.

Stronger cash trade helped boost Cattle futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ higher (62¢ to $1.50 higher), also supported by increasing open interest the past couple of days.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ higher (22¢ to $1.10 higher) except for 15¢ lower and unchanged in the back two contracts.

That was despite another day of higher Corn futures.

As if they needed more help, Corn futures climbed 11¢ to 14¢ higher through Jly ‘23, boosted by President Biden’s announcement that the higher-blend 15% ethanol gas (E15) could be sold through the summer in an effort to curb rising fuel costs. Previously, E15 sales were prohibited during the summer months.

Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 22¢ higher.

April 12th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 12, 2022

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher Monday, receiving support from the major, performance-depressing winter storm moving toward the Northern Plains, and thoughts by some that cash cattle can crawl higher this week.

In the meantime, negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado, at $138-$140/cwt. in Nebraska and at $140 in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed prices were $222.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.64 higher Monday afternoon at $272.11/cwt. Select was 4¢ lower at $260.29.

Strength in the Live pit helps drag Feeder Cattle futures an average of 34¢ higher, except for 25¢ lower in Aug.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher Monday, except for 4¢ and 2¢ lower in the front two contracts.

Incidentally, 32% of the winter wheat crop was rated as Good (29%) or Excellent (3%) in USDA’s Crop Progress report for the week ending April 10. That was 21% less than the same time last year. 36% was rated Poor (18%) or Very Poor (18%) compared to 17% the previous year.

April 11th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 11, 2022

Corn and soybean futures climbed again Friday with confirmation of ending stock expectations in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below).

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 11¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 35¢ to 43¢ higher in the front three contracts and then 18¢ to 29¢ higher.

Cattle futures traded in a narrow range, capped by grain market strength and signs of weakening beef prices.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, from an average of 34¢ lower to an average of 9¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they closed an average of $2.97 lower ($1.25 to $6.75 lower), with most of the pressure in nearby contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 16¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they closed an average of 83¢ lower, except for an average of 50 higher in three contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady to $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $137-$138/cwt., steady in Nebraska at $138-$140 and generally $1-$3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed prices were steady at $222.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 676,000 head was 37,000 head more than the previous week and 3,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 9.1 million head is 61,000 more than the same time last year. Estimated total year-to-date beef production of 7.6 billion lbs. is 72.9 million lbs. more than the same time last year.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 93¢ lower Friday afternoon at $270.47/cwt. Select was 89¢ lower at $260.33.

April 10th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 8, 2022

Oversold conditions helped Cattle futures claw back a little more of recent losses.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.57 higher, except for an average of 59¢ lower in the front two contracts.

That was with Corn futures gaining on likely positioning ahead of tomorrow’s month World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 22¢ to 26¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher, except for 12¢ lower in nearby Jun.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady to $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $137-$138/cwt., steady in Nebraska at $138-$140. Prices are $140 in the western Corn Belt, compared to the previous week’s $139-$143. There were also some live sales reported in Colorado for the first time in a long while at $138. Dressed prices so far this week are steady at $222.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 36¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $271.40/cwt. Select was 17¢ higher at $261.22.

April 7th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 7, 2022

Slightly lower nearby Corn futures prices helped Feeder Cattle futures recover some lost ground Wednesday, closing an average of 86¢ higher, except for 55¢ lower in the back contract.

Corn futures closed unchanged to 3¢ lower through July ’23 and then fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 12¢ lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher (17¢ to $1.05 higher), supported by recently blooming wholesale beef prices.

However, Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 49¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $271.04/cwt. Select was $1.85 lower at $261.05.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, prices are generally steady on a live basis at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado, $138-$140 in Nebraska and $140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices are steady at $222.

April 6th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 6, 2022

Soybean and corn futures gained Tuesday with stronger demand and bearish weather conditions in South America. Corn futures closed 3¢ to 9¢ higher. Soybean futures were up 7¢ to 28¢.

That weighed on Cattle futures once again, with Feeder Cattle an average of $2.26 lower and Live Cattle down an average of $1.21. So far today, they’re gaining some of that back.

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued mainly steady Tuesday with live prices at $138-$140/cwt. in Nebraska and dressed prices at $222, on moderate trade and demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $138 and $140 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.49 higher Tuesday afternoon at $271.53/cwt. Select was $1.20 higher at $262.90.

April 6th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 5, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures were pressured sharply lower by rising feed costs once again Monday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.29 lower ($1.50 lower toward the back to $3.65 lower toward the front).

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 15¢ higher

Soybean futures closed mostly 22¢ to 31¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures, closed an average of 55¢ lower, except for 17¢ higher in away Apr.

Negotiated cash fed cattle ranged from limited on light demand to slow on light demand through Monday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices were at $138/cwt. In the Southern Plains, $138-$140 in Nebraska and $139-$143 in the western Corn Belt at $139-$143. Dressed prices were $222.

The five-area direct average steer price was 37¢ higher at $139.32/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 15¢ higher at $222.61.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 90¢ higher Monday afternoon at $268.04/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $261.70.

April 5th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 4, 2022

Grain markets Friday continued to adjust to the previous day’s Prospective Plantings report.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 35¢ lower across the board on more planted acres than expected.

New-crop Corn futures mostly gained again Friday, mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher on fewer anticipated acres.

Rising feed costs once again helped pressure Feeder Cattle futures an average of $1.61 lower, except for 18¢ higher in spot April.

Cash calves and feeder cattle sold mixed last week, based on weekly auctions monitored by Cattle Current — mainly higher early, driven by demand for grass-suited cattle and then with more pressure later in the week with another bounce higher in Corn and full-to-the-brim feedlots.

“Feedlots will have plenty of cattle to market for another few months, but tighter placements are ahead and feedlot production will decline in the second half of the year, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “If drought conditions persist, feedlots may perhaps continue to borrow against the future with early-weaned calves available through the spring and summer before facing the full reality of tighter feeder cattle supplies. On the other hand, if drought conditions abate, higher cattle prices might result in increased heifer retention by the end of the year, thereby squeezing feeder supplies even more and more quickly.”

April 3rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—April 1, 2022

Corn futures closed sharply higher and Soybean futures closed sharply lower Thursday, all fueled by the Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stock reports from USDA.

Corn futures closed 20¢ to 27¢ higher in new-crop contracts.

Soybean futures closed 36¢ to 49¢ lower through Sep ‘23 and then 23¢ to 27¢ lower.

The sharp bounce higher in Corn futures helped push Feeder Cattle futures an average of $2.25 lower, except for 7¢ lower in expiring Mar.

Sharply lower outside markets helped pressure Live Cattle an average of 49¢ lower, except for unchanged in away Apr.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow to moderate on good demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices were steady to $2 higher than last week in Nebraska at $138-$140/cwt. Dressed prices were $1 higher at $222.

In the western Corn Belt, live prices were $1-$2 higher at $140-$143. Dressed prices there last week were $221-$225.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $138.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.35 higher Thursday afternoon at $268.39/cwt. Select was $4.88 higher at $262.34.

March 31st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 30, 2022

Continuing optimism about a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine helped drag grain futures sharply lower again Tuesday.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 22¢ lower through Jly ‘23 and then 2¢ to 7¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 23¢ lower through Jly ‘23 and then mostly 6¢ to 10¢ lower.

The continued break in grains helped boost Cattle futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.62 higher (60¢ to $4.32 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 86¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive with very light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $138-$142 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $221 in Nebraska and $221-$225 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $264.50/cwt. Select was $1.48 lower at $254.84.

March 29th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 29, 2022

All things considered, Monday’s action in Cattle futures might be considered a victory of sorts, given the bearish placements in the latest Cattle on Feed report, although it tightens cattle supplies further down the line.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ lower amid light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 44¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $138-$142 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $221 in Nebraska and $221-$225 in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area direct average steer price was 15¢ lower at $138.95/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 22¢ lower at $221.46.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.23 higher Monday afternoon at $263.87/cwt. Select was $4.18 higher at $256.32.

Grain futures softened Monday, led by wheat and soybeans, apparently with more optimism regarding a resolution to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Soybean futures closed 16¢ to 46¢ lower.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through Jly ‘23 and then 3¢ lower to 3¢ higher.

March 28th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 28, 2022

Total cattle slaughter for this year surpassed the previous year’s year-to-date total last week.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 659,000 head was 15,000 more than the previous week and 10,000 head more than the same time last year. Estimated total year-to-date cattle slaughter of 7.76 million head was 2,000 head more year over year.

Estimated year-to-date beef production of 6.51 billion lbs. was 20.9 million lbs. more (+0.3%) than the same time last year.

Those numbers speak to apparently mostly recovered packing capacity and the massive numbers of cattle on feed. Judging by the latest Cattle on Feed report (see below), increased production will continue in the near term.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $138/cwt. and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $139-$142. Dressed prices were steady in Nebraska at $221 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $221.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ lower Friday (35¢ to $1.17 lower), pressured by grain futures and perhaps some prescient trepidation about the Cattle on Feed report (see below).

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher, while Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 7¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher in the front four contracts and then an average of 12¢ lower, except for 12¢ higher in away Apr.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 23¢ higher Friday afternoon at $262.64/cwt. Select was 45¢ lower at $252.14. Week to week, Choice was $4.48 higher and Select was $1.49 higher. 

March 27th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 25, 2022

Cattle futures gained a little ground Thursday with softer Corn futures. Positioning ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report could have also played a role.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher except for unchanged in the back contract.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Grain futures backed up a pace, pressured in part by bearish weekly U.S. export sales and perhaps some skittishness over next week’s Planting Intentions report.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 9¢ lower through Jly ’23 and then mostly 1¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 13¢ to 18¢ lower through Jan ’23 and then unchanged to 10¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $138/cwt. and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $139-$142. Dressed prices are steady in Nebraska at $221 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $221.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 81¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $262.41/cwt. Select was 65¢ lower at $252.59.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 27,500 MT (2022) for the week ending March 17 were a marketing-year high, according to the U.S. Export Sales report. Sales were 40% more than the previous week and 29% more than the prior four-week average.

Increases were primarily for South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

March 24th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 24, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were steady Wednesday at $138/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains (slow trade and light demand) and Nebraska (moderate trade and good demand), according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed prices were also steady in Nebraska at $221.

Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt with a few dressed sales at $221, but too few to trend. Last week, prices were $140-$142 on a live basis and $222 in the beef.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.63 higher Wednesday afternoon at $261.60/cwt. Select was $1.35 higher at $253.24.

Cattle futures mainly batted on either side of steady, pressured by rising feed costs, steady cash and lower outside markets, but supported by strengthening wholesale beef prices.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ higher (2¢ to $1.20 higher) except for unchanged to 22¢ lower in three contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ higher except for unchanged in spot Apr and 7¢ lower toward the back.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 227¢ higher through Nov ’22 and then mostly 5¢ to 6¢ higher.

March 23rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 23, 2022

Grain and Soybean futures extended the previous session’s gains Tuesday with Corn futures closing mostly 2¢ to 6¢ higher and Soybean futures closing 5¢ to 7¢ higher.

Stronger Grain futures continued to cap Cattle futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ lower, except for 22¢ higher in spot Mar.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on very demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $221 in Nebraska at $222 and in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.47 higher Tuesday afternoon at $259.97/cwt. Select was 61¢ lower at $251.89.

March 22nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 22, 2022

Grain and Soybean futures pressed higher Monday with support from higher crude oil prices and the lingering Russian war on Ukraine.

Corn futures closed 12¢ to 18¢ higher through Sep ‘23 and then mostly 6¢ to 8¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 20¢ to 24¢ higher.

Loftier grain futures helped pressure Feeder Cattle futures an average of $1.12 lower, while the upturn on wholesale beef prices helped Live Cattle to a mixed close, from 36¢ lower across the front half to an average of 28¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $221 in Nebraska at $222 and in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area direct average steer price last week was 80¢ higher at $139.10/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $1.57 higher at $221.68.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 34¢ higher Monday afternoon at $258.50/cwt. Select was $1.85 higher at $252.50.

March 21st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 21, 2022

Softer feed futures prices, late-week firmness in cash trade and higher outside markets helped support Cattle futures Friday.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 12¢ lower in old-crop contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 3¢ lower through Jan ’23 and then mostly 11¢ to 13¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.25 higher (45¢ higher in spot Mar to $1.57 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher, from 35¢ to $1.15 higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand with too few transactions to trend in any region, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $138/cwt. They were steady to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed prices were $1 higher in Nebraska at $221 and steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $222.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 644,000 head was the same as a week earlier but 15,000 head more than the same week last year. Total estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 7.1 million head is just 2,000 head fewer than the same time last year. Total estimated year-to-date beef production is 13.3 million lbs. more at 5.96 billion lbs.

The seasonal turn in wholesale beef prices was also supportive.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 higher Friday afternoon at $258.16/cwt. Select was 3¢ lower at $250.65.

March 19th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 18, 2022

Grain futures rebounded from the previous session’s hard break. Kansas City Wheat set the pace — up mainly 24¢ to 32¢ — as traders apparently grew less confident in the Russia ceasefire chatter. Soybeans also received support from stronger oil prices.

Corn futures closed 20¢ to 24¢ higher in old-crop contracts and then mostly 11¢ to 14¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 21¢ higher in old-crop contracts and then mostly 8¢ to 12¢ higher.

Higher grain futures weighed on Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of $1.13 lower.

Live Cattle futures edged an average of 13¢ higher, except for 7¢ lower in Feb.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade waddled from the blocks at steady money of $138/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains and Nebraska through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. That was on moderate demand and light trade in the Southern Plains; slow trade and light demand in Nebraska.

Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend.

Live prices in the western Corn Belt last week were at $138-$140. Dressed prices there were $219-$222; $220 in Nebraska.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.03 lower Thursday afternoon at $257.05/cwt. Select was 41¢higher at $250.68.

March 17th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 17, 2022

Kansas City Wheat futures plummeted Wednesday (limit-down 85¢ in the front two contracts) on apparently more positive ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia. Corn and Soybean futures went along for the ride.

Corn futures closed mostly 14¢ to 28¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

That helped Feeder Cattle futures close an average of 37¢ higher (2¢ to 90¢ higher) except for 2¢ lower in May and 20¢ lower in the back contract.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower (10¢ lower toward the back to $1.50 lower in spot Apr), except for unchanged in the back contract.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Country chatter suggested some early bids at steady money.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $138-$140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220 in Nebraska and $219-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 18¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $258.08/cwt. Select was $1.43 higher at $250.27.

March 16th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 16, 2022

Kansas City Wheat futures charged higher 47¢ to 53¢ in old-crop contracts. Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower, though, and Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 14¢ lower through Sep ‘23.

That helped Cattle futures hold on to most of the previous session’s strong gains.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed from an average of 33¢ lower to an average of 25¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed unchanged to an average of 47¢ higher, from (2¢ to $1.10 higher).

Wholesale beef prices continued to show signs of the seasonal bloom. Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.39 higher Tuesday afternoon at $257.90/cwt. Select was $1.10 lower at $248.84.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained stuck at the gate.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $138-$140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220 in Nebraska and $219-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

March 15th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcasts—March 15, 2022

Cattle futures rallied higher Monday, helped along by sharply lower nearby Corn futures prices, as well as the nascent seasonal increase in wholesale beef prices.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.08 higher from $2.07 higher at the back to $4.42 toward the front.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.65 higher, from $1.17 higher in the back contract to $3.02 higher in spot Apr.

Weakness in grain futures was apparently tied to a risk-off mentality across many commodities, including Crude Oil, as well as reports China is releasing some of its state-owned soybean stocks to combat domestic inflation.

Expiring spot Corn futures closed 36¢ lower, but mostly other contracts were mainly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 8¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska and at $138-$140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220 in Nebraska and $219-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area direct average fed steer price was $2.30 less last week at $138.30/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $4.50 less at $220.01.

Early chatter anticipated cash fed cattle prices trading steady to a touch higher this week.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 80¢ higher Monday afternoon at $255.51/cwt. Select was 83¢ higher at $249.94.

March 14th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 14, 2022

Cattle futures stepped higher Friday, helped along by higher wholesale beef prices, stronger Lean Hog futures and moderating feed futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher, from 10¢ higher in the back contract to $1.40 higher in spot Apr. Week to week, they closed an average of $1.17 higher (42¢ to $1.80 higher), recovering about half of the previous week’s losses.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were $2 lower in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $138/cwt. and $2-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $138-$140. Dressed prices were $4-$5 lower in Nebraska at $220; $3-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at $219-$222.

“Cattle feeders should be experiencing strong profit margins with cattle coming off feed in today’s market, but the budget for placing cattle on feed is changing,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “A month ago, cattle feeders were faced with strengthening feeder cattle prices and what now seems like relatively low feed prices. However, the sudden increase in feed grain prices has resulted in higher feed cost expectations, which has resulted in bidding lower prices for cattle to be placed in the near term.”

March 13th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 11, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures tumbled lower Thursday, pressured once again by surging Corn futures, tied to strong weekly U.S. export sales.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.17 lower.

Corn futures closed 15¢ to 22¢ higher through Jly ‘23, and then mostly 6¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 15¢ to 22¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are $2 lower in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $138/cwt. and $2-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $138-$140. Dressed prices are $4-$5 lower in Nebraska at $224-$225; $3-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at the same money.

Lower cash prices pressured Live Cattle futures an average of 70¢ lower, from 2¢ lower in the back contract to $1.67 lower in spot Apr.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.24 higher Thursday afternoon at $253.94/cwt. Select was $2.58 higher at $247.37.

On another positive note, net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending March 3 of 27,500 metric tons were a marketing year high, up 16% from the previous week and 36% higher than the prior four-week average, according to USDA data. Increases were primarily for China, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Taiwan. 

March 10th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 10, 2022

Cattle futures ran out of steam Wednesday, although the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates continue to paint a positive fundamental picture (see below).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for 2¢ higher in spot Mar.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in the back contract.

Cattle futures were helped by lower Grain and Soybean futures as traders apparently were satisfied with the level of risk premium.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were moderate in Nebraska through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live trade was steady with the previous day and $2 lower than last week at $138/cwt. Dressed trade was $4-$5 lower at $220.

Trade was limited on light demand in Kansas with live prices at $138; steady with the previous day and $2 lower than last week.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive with very light demand and too few transactions to trend. Live prices in the Texas Panhandle so far this week are $2 lower at $138. Trade was unestablished in the western Corn Belt where live prices last week were $142 and dressed prices were $224-$225.

March 9th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 9, 2022

Volatility continued Tuesday, but Cattle futures managed to extend gains amid two-sided trading, supported by an initial drop in Corn futures and eventually higher outside markets.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.07 higher (65¢ to $1.40 higher), except for 57¢ lower in spot Mar.

Live Cattle futures closed average 79¢ higher (17¢ higher at the back to $1.57 higher toward the front), except for unchanged in away Jun.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Southern Plains through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were $2 lower in a light test at $138/cwt.

Trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska. Live price so far this week are $2 lower at $138. Dressed prices last week were $224-$225.

In the western Corn Belt, trade was mostly inactive on light demand. Live prices last week were $142 and dressed prices were $224-$225.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.27 lower Tuesday afternoon at $252.44/cwt. Select was $5.28 lower at $244.94.

Wheat futures tapped the brakes Tuesday, helping Corn to a narrowly mixed close.

Corn futures closed mixed, mostly 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 14¢ to 30¢ higher through Jan ‘23 and then mostly 1¢ lower to 2¢ higher.

March 8th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 8, 2022

Cattle futures reversed direction to the upside Monday, despite sharply lower outside markets and grain market strength tied to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Positioning and bottom-picking likely explain much of the move, while underscoring the unaltered, positive supply fundamentals.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.86 higher ($1.12 to $2.55 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed average $1.44 higher (50¢ to $2.15 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $142 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $224-$225.

Wholesale beef prices added support with Choice Boxed beef cutout value 38¢ higher Monday afternoon at $254.71/cwt. and  Select $1.81 higher at $250.22.

Wheat futures continued to lead Corn futures mostly higher Monday. Kansas City Wheat futures were mostly 39¢ to 85¢ higher Monday, as rationing continues due to the war in Eastern Europe

Corn futures closed 9¢ to 18¢ higher, except for 3¢ and 7¢ lower in the front two contracts.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ lower.

March 7th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 7, 2022

Concerns about less corn and wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia, due to the war, continued to underpin futures prices Friday. As time wears on, there is also concern about fertilizer exports from the region.

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher, except for 10¢ to 29¢ higher from near Jly to next Mar.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 8¢ lower.

Cattle futures sagged beneath the weight of escalating feed prices Friday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.47 lower (90¢ at the back to $3.27 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.53 lower (80¢ to $2.62 lower).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $2-$4 lower in Nebraska at $140 and $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $143. Dressed prices were $2-$3 lower at $224-$225.

The average five-area direct fed steer price was $2.64 lower week to week on Thursday at $140.76/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.40 lower at $224.62.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 2¢ lower Friday afternoon at $254.33/cwt. Select was 62¢ higher at $248.41.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 658,000 was 11,000 head more than the previous week but 8,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 5.83 million head is just 17,000 head fewer than the same time last year.

March 6th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 4, 2022

After a day’s reprieve, wheat soared higher, boosting front-month Corn and Soybean futures. K.C. Wheat was 75¢ higher in the front four contracts.

Corn futures closed 9¢ to 22¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 4¢ to 11¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher in the front two contracts and then mostly 8¢ to 11¢ lower.

Stouter feed prices took Cattle futures down another peg.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.68 lower, erasing much of the headway made in the previous session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 72¢ lower (12¢ to $1.75 lower), except for 15¢ higher in the back contract.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand with too few transactions to trend in any region, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $2-$4 lower in Nebraska at $140 and $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $142. Dressed prices are $2-$3 lower at $224-$225.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.37 lower Thursday afternoon at $254.35/cwt. Select was $3.55 lower at $247.79.

March 3rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 3, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures rebounded from some of the steep, recent losses Wednesday, helped along by static to lower Corn futures prices and sharply higher outside markets. Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.44 higher ($2.02 to $3.20 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher, except for an average of 45¢ lower in the front three contracts. 

Corn futures closed mostly 8¢ to 16¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 30¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade started the week $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt. Trade was slow on light to moderate demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska with a few live trades at $140, but too few to trend. Live prices last week were $142-$144 and dressed prices were $227.

Trade was also limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt. Prices last week were $144 on a live basis and $227 in the beef.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 96¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $255.72/cwt. Select was 18¢ lower at $251.34.

March 2nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 2, 2022

Grain and soybean futures continued to dominate market narrative Tuesday, blasting another leg higher, fueled by the Russian attack on Ukraine and the fallout from everything from export disruptions to financial turmoil.

Corn futures closed 30¢ to 42¢ higher in the front three contracts and the mostly 13¢ to 15¢ higher. Spot Mar was 80¢ higher over the last two sessions, closing Tuesday at a staggering $7.39’6

Soybean futures closed 41¢ to 61¢ higher in the front six contracts and then mostly 38¢ to 39¢ higher. The front two contracts are up more than $1.00 over the past two sessions.

Kansas City HRW futures closed 50¢ to 57¢ higher in the front five contracts; more than $1 higher in the front contracts over the last two sessions.

Those runaway feed futures prices hammered Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle once again. Feeder Cattle closed an average of $1.63 lower (65¢ to $2.55 lower) for an average of $4.14 lower over the last two sessions.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 54¢ lower in the front three contracts to an average of 19¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $142/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains, $142-$144 in Nebraska and $144 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $227 in Nebraska and $226-$227 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 83¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $256.68/cwt. Select was $1.89 lower at $251.52.

March 1st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 1, 2022

Grain and soybean futures ricocheted sharply higher Monday, driven once again by uncertainty stemming from the military assault in Eastern Europe.

Corn futures closed 24¢ to 38¢ higher through Jly ‘23 and then mostly 16¢ to 19¢ higher.

Soybean futures 29¢ to 54¢ higher through Sep ‘22 and the mostly 19¢ to 20¢ higher.

The spike weighed on Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed average of $2.51 lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average 32¢ lower, except for $1.22 higher in spot Feb.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week live prices were generally steady in the Southern Plains at mostly $142/cwt., steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $142-$144, and steady to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $144. Dressed prices were $1 higher in Nebraska at $227 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $226-$227.      

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 76¢ lower week to week on Monday afternoon at $257.51/cwt. Select was $2.00 lower at $253.41.

February 28th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 28, 2022

The volatile market whipsaw unleashed by Russia’s attack on Ukraine continued in futures and equities Friday.

Grain and soybean futures closed sharply lower, shoved around by massive open interest, a more positive South American weather outlook and USDA projecting more corn and wheat acres to be planted than expected. In its Grains and Oil Seeds Outlook presented at the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA forecast 92.0 million acres of corn and 88.0 million acres of soybeans.

Soybean futures closed 34¢ to 71¢ lower through Jan ‘23 and the mostly 19¢ to 29¢ lower.

Corn futures closed 24¢ to 35¢ lower through Jly ‘23 and then mostly 20¢ lower.

Softer Corn futures benefitted Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of 96¢ higher (65¢ to $1.15 higher) Friday. However, they closed an average of $3.74 lower week to week on Friday ($2.22 to $6.10 lower). 

Based on weekly auctions monitored by Cattle Current, calves and feeders sold widely mixed last week but with distinctly lower undertones related to pressure from grain prices as well as weather disruptions in some areas.

February 27th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 25, 2022

Cattle futures fell hard Thursday as outside markets initially plummeted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although they did close off of session lows.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.91 lower, from $1.90 to $4.47 lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.05 lower, from $1.12 to $2.52 lower.

So far this week, though, negotiated cash fed cattle prices are firm to higher with live prices steady in the Southern Plains at $142/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $144 and steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $144-$145. Dressed prices are $1 higher in Nebraska at $227 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $226-$227.

Trade was slow on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 76¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $260.88/cwt. Select was $4.68 lower at $258.96.

Grain and soybean futures were widely volatile as traders came to grips with the war in eastern Europe, as well as U.S. baseline projections released as part of the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (see below).

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 9¢ higher in the front three contracts and then 6¢ to 15¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 23¢ to 36¢ lower.

February 24th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 24, 2022

It was deja vu all over again Wednesday as Wheat and Soybean futures blasted higher, carrying Corn along for the ride and weighing on Cattle futures.

Chicago wheat was 27¢ to 32¢ higher through May ’23. Soybean futures closed 19¢ to 40¢ higher in the front five contracts and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher. Corn futures closed 5¢ to 9¢ higher through Jly ‘23 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed average 85¢ lower (20¢ lower at the back to $1.45 lower in spot Mar).

Live Cattle futures closed an average 61¢ lower (25¢ to $1.27 lower).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to limited on light demand through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. However, some private reports from the North suggested higher prices for the day.

Prices last week were $142/cwt. on a live basis in Nebraska and the Southern Plains and $142-$144 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $226.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 76¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $260.88/cwt. Select was $4.68 lower at $258.96.

February 23rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 23, 2022

Grain futures surged Tuesday, led by Wheat futures, fueled by the tensions in Eastern Europe, with Chicago wheat was 40¢ to 48¢ higher through the front six contracts.

Corn futures closed 12¢ to 20¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 24¢ to 33¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 12¢ to 14¢ higher.

Higher Corn prices weighing on Feeder Cattle futures, which closed average of 94¢ lower (37¢ lower at the back to $1.72 lower toward the front).

Recently stronger cash prices helped Live Cattle fade the heat. They closed an average 26¢ higher Tuesday.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices last week were $142/cwt. on a live basis in Nebraska and the Southern Plains and $142-$144 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $226.

Tuesday was one of those rare occasions where the Choice-Select spread was negative, with Choice Boxed beef cutout value $2.45 lower in the afternoon at $261.64/cwt., while Select was $1.80 higher at $263.64.

February 22nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 22, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices last week were $142/cwt. on a live basis in Nebraska and the Southern Plains and $142-$144 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $226.

The five-area average weighted direct fed steer price last week was $1.88 higher at $142.36/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.00 higher at $226.04.

Equity and futures markets were closed Monday in observance of President’s Day.

As mentioned in the previous day’s Cattle Current, Live Cattle futures were an average of 75¢ higher (37¢ to $1.37 higher) week to week on Friday, except for 30¢ lower in near Apr.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.24 higher (15¢ to $1.80 higher) week to week on Friday except for 80¢ lower in spot Mar.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.76 lower Monday afternoon at $264.09/cwt. Select was 79¢ lower at $261.84.

February 22nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 21, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were a few live sales at $144/cwt.

Elsewhere, trade was mostly inactive on light demand.

For the week, live prices were $2 higher in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $142 and $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $142-$143. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $226.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week was 663,000 head, which was 4,000 head more than the previous week and 114,000 head more than the same week last year. Total estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 4.49 million head is just 110,000 head fewer.

Feeder Cattle futures closing mixed, from an average of 42¢ lower in three contracts to an average of 44¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower except for unchanged to 35¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.74 lower Friday afternoon at $265.85/cwt. Select was $2.22 lower at $262.63.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 23,000 metric tons (2022) were 18% more than the previous week and 38% more than the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s U.S. Export Sales report for the week ending Feb. 10.

Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and China.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 9¢ higher.

February 20th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 18, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures lost ground Thursday, closing an average of 81¢ lower amid lighter trade and firming Corn futures.

Live Cattle futures paddled in place awaiting more direction. Other than 27¢ higher in spot Feb, they closed an average of 21¢ lower.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ higher through Mar ’23 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were a few live sales at $142.00-$142.50/cwt., but too few to trend.

Elsewhere, trade was limited in light demand. Although too few to trend, there were a few live trades in the Texas Panhandle at $142.

In established trade so far this week, live prices are $2 higher in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $142 and $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $142-$143. Dressed prices are $2 higher at $226.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 3¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $269.59/cwt. Select was $1.23 lower at $264.85.

February 17th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 17, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was moderate to active on good demand in the Southern Plains through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were $2 higher at $142/cwt.

Although too few transactions to trend, live prices in Nebraska were $2-$3 higher at $142-$143 on slow trade and light to moderate demand. Dressed sales were $2 higher at $226.

Also too few to trend, there were a few live sales in the western Corn Belt steady to $3 higher at $141-$143. Dressed prices last week were $224.

Even so, Cattle futures mainly paddled in place.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 43¢ lower (10¢ to $1.27 lower) except for unchanged and 27¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 75¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $269.62/cwt. Select was $1.74 lower at $266.08.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 9¢ higher through May ’23 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 23¢ to 36¢ higher through Jan ’23 and then mostly 10¢ higher.

February 16th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 16, 2022

Higher outside markets and lower Corn futures, both due in part to less geopolitical tension in Eastern Europe, helped fuel gains in Cattle futures Tuesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.47 higher.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 17¢ lower through the front four contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 18¢ lower through Jan ’23 and then 3¢ lower to 3¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $140-$142 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $224.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.59 lower Tuesday afternoon at $270.37/cwt. Select was 93¢ lower at $267.82.

February 15th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 15, 2022

Last week’s stouter packing pace and higher cash prices helped Cattle futures edge higher Monday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 57¢ higher except for unchanged in the back contract.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher except for unchanged in Dec.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $140-$142 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $224.

The five-area direct weighted average steer price last week was 72¢ higher than the previous week at $140.48/cwt. on a live basis. The average steer price in the beef was $2.25 higher at $224.04.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 56¢ lower Monday afternoon at $273.96/cwt. Select was 92¢ higher at $268.75.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 13¢ lower through near Nov and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

February 14th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 14, 2022

Cattle futures continued to soften Friday, perhaps with some follow-through profit taking and with surging Corn futures and sharply lower outside markets.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 60¢ lower.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed from an average of 49¢ lower to an average of 35¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were steady to $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $140 and $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $141-$142. Dressed trade was $2-$4 higher at $224.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 37¢ lower Friday afternoon at $274.52/cwt. Select was $1.12 lower at $267.83.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 659,000 head was 20,000 head more than the previous week and 53,000 head more than the previous year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 3.83 million head is 120,000 head fewer (-3.0%) than the same period last year.

Corn futures closed 9¢ to 10¢ higher through Jly ‘23 and then most 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 11¢ higher.

February 13th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 11, 2022

Cattle futures started the session with optimism but eroded as the day wore on with likely pressure from profit taking and lower outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.23 lower (82¢ to $1.87 lower).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light to moderate on moderate demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed trade was $2 higher at $224/cwt. Live prices a day earlier were steady to $2 higher at $140.

Trade in the western Corn Belt was limited on light demand. There were a few live sales at $141-$142, but too few to trend. Prices last week were $140 on a live basis and $220-$222 in the beef.

In the Southern Plains, trade was limited on light demand. Live prices a day earlier were at $140.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 97¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $274.82/cwt. Select was $3.10 lower at $268.95.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 20¢ lower in the front five contracts and then 5¢ to 15¢ lower.

February 10th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 10, 2022

Cattle futures extended gains Wednesday, supported by firmer cash prices and the beef supply and price outlook provided by the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.04 higher (30¢ higher at the back to $1.65 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Southern Plains through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were steady in the Texas Panhandle at $140/cwt. and steady to $1 higher in Kansas at $140.

Elsewhere, trade was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend. Last week, live prices were $140 on a live basis in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $222 in Nebraska and $220-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.67 lower Wednesday afternoon at $275.79/cwt. Select was $1.79 lower at $272.05.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ higher in old-crop contracts and then mostly 6¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 25¢ higher in the front eight contracts and then mostly 14¢ higher.

February 9th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 9, 2022

Cattle futures closed higher Tuesday, helped along by lower Corn and Soybean futures, as well as some betting that negotiated cash fed cattle prices will edge higher again this week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.51 higher in the front three contracts, then an average of 40¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 23¢ lower to 40¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Last week, live sales were at $140/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $139-$140 in Kansas $138-$140 in Nebraska and $140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $222 in Nebraska and at $220-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.50 lower Tuesday afternoon at $277.46/cwt. Select was $1.20 lower at $273.84.

Corn futures closed 3¢ lower in the front three contracts and then mostly fractionally to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 12¢ lower through Jan ’23, then fractionally to 3¢ higher.

February 8th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 8, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Last week, live sales were at $140 in the Texas Panhandle, $139-$140 in Kansas $138-$140 in Nebraska and $140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $222 in Nebraska and at $220-$222 in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area direct average steer price last week was $2.81 higher at $139.66/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $3.79 higher at $221.79.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ lower, except for unchanged to 7¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 85¢ lower at $278.96/cwt. Select was $1.01 lower at $275.04

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower, under pressure from Corn futures, which closed 14¢ to 15¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 14¢ to 28¢ higher.

February 7th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 7, 2022

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, closing out a dynamically positive week, fueled by the bullish Cattle inventory report.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.17 higher ($4.57 higher toward the back to $6.47 higher in spot Mar). The CME Feeder Cattle Index closed $1.51 higher week to week on Thursday at $160.17/cwt.

During the same period, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.28 higher and open interest grew by about 15,000 contracts.

On Friday, however, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ lower, except for an average of 32¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher, except for 15¢ lower in near Jun and unchanged in the back contract.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive on very light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

For the week, Live sales were $3 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $140, $3-$4 higher in Kansas at $139-$140, $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $138-$140 and $2-$3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $222.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 639,000 head was 4,000 head fewer than the previous week and 13,000 head fewer than the same week last year. So far this year, estimated total cattle slaughter of 3.16 million head is 185,000 head fewer (-5.5%) than the same time last year.

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ higher through Jly ’23 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 11¢ higher in the front four contracts and then 3¢ to 6¢ higher through Aug. ’23, followed by mostly 1¢ lower.

Week to week on Friday, Corn futures closed an average of 11.6¢ lower in old-crop contracts and Soybean futures closed an average of 68.8¢ higher through the front six contracts.

February 6th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 4, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was moderate on moderate demand in the Southern Plains through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Live sales in the Texas Panhandle were $3 higher at $140 and $3-$4 higher in Kansas at $139-$140. Earlier in the week, live trade was $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $138-$140 and in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $222.

Cattle futures closed mixed to a touch lower Thursday on likely profit taking from the recent run-up.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ lower (5¢ to 55¢).

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 16¢ lower to an average of 33¢ higher. 

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.69 lower Thursday afternoon at $281.46/cwt. Select was $3.10 lower at $276.47.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ lower.

February 3rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 3, 2022

Stronger cash prices, the early-week, bullish Cattle report, the performance-depressing widespread winter storm and improved packer production helped Cattle futures take another step higher Wednesday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.17 higher ($1.55 to $3.175 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.14 higher (83¢ to $1.65 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade in Nebraska and the Western Corn Belt was moderate through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. In Nebraska, live sales traded $3-$4 higher at $140/cwt. and dressed sales traded $4 higher at $222. In the Western Corn Belt, live sales traded $3 higher at $140-$141 and dressed prices were $4 higher at $222.

Trade in the Southern Plains was mostly inactive on light demand. Last week, live sales were $137 in the Texas Panhandle and $136 in Kansas.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.29 lower Wednesday afternoon at $283.15/cwt. Select was 65¢ lower at $279.57

Corn futures closed mostly down 2¢ to 12¢.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 16¢ higher through March ’23, then down 2¢ to 9¢.

February 2nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb, 2, 2022

Cattle futures extended gains Tuesday after a struggle for follow-through support from the bullish Cattle report and thoughts that packer interest will improve this week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 72¢ higher (28¢ to 90¢).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher (55¢ to 93¢ higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $137/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, at $136 in Kansas $137 in Nebraska and at $137-$139 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady at $218.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value Tuesday afternoon was $4.96 lower at $285.44/cwt. Select was $3.05 lower at $280.22.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 9¢ higher in the front six contracts.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 38¢ higher.

February 1st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 1, 2022

Cattle futures closed higher with likely positioning ahead of what turned out to be a  bullish Cattle report.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 higher (88¢ to $1.42).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.64 higher ($1.75 to $3.40 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $137/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, at $136 in Kansas $137 in Nebraska and at $137-$139 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady at $218.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 2¢ lower Monday afternoon at $290.40/cwt. Select was 14¢ lower at $283.27.

Corn futures closed mixed, from 10¢ lower to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 13¢ to 20¢ higher through Aug ’23 and then 2 higher to 3¢ lower.

February 1st, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 31, 2022

Judging by estimated weekly cattle slaughter, the beef packing pace continues to improve but remains hindered.

Total cattle slaughter last week of 643,000 head was 7,000 head more than the previous week but 13,000 head less than the same week last year.

Oversold conditions and higher wholesale beef prices helped Cattle futures regain some ground Friday.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.31 higher Friday afternoon at $290.42/cwt. Select was $4.31 higher at $283.41.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 89¢ higher, except for unchanged in the back contract.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher (12¢ to $1.37 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were steady in the Texas Panhandle at $137/cwt., $1 lower in Kansas at $136, steady to $1 lower in Nebraska at $137 and steady in the western Corn Belt at $137-$139. Dressed trade was steady at $218.

Keep in mind, USDA will release Jan. 1 cattle inventory numbers Monday afternoon.

January 30th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 28, 2022

Cattle futures mostly eased lower in light trade Thursday as traders awaited more concrete direction from the packing pace.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 82¢ lower except for 20¢ higher in expiring Jan.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for 20¢ higher in the back contract.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far for the week, live prices are steady in the Texas Panhandle at $137/cwt., $1 lower in Kansas at $136, steady to $1 lower in Nebraska at $137 and steady in the western Corn Belt at $137-$139. Dressed trade is steady at $218.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 35¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $289.11/cwt. Select was 62¢ lower at $279.10.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Jan. 15 was 922 lbs., according to the latest weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week and 3 lbs. lighter than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight of 851 lbs. was the same as a week earlier and 1 lb. heavier than the same time last year.

Net U.S. beef export sales for 2022 totaled 14,300 metric tons the week ending Jan. 20, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report. Sales were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Mexico, China, and Indonesia.

Grain exports helped underpin prices.

Net U.S. corn export sales (2021-22) were 29% more than the previous week and 84% more than the prior four-week average.

Net U.S. soybean export sales were up 53% from the previous week and 77% from the prior four-week average.

Net U.S. wheat export sales were 78% higher than the previous week and up noticeably from the prior four-week average.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 8¢ higher through Jan ‘23 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

January 27th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 27, 2022

Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday on apparent technical support and the notion that packer production is gaining.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.11 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ higher (17¢ higher in waning spot Jan to $1.30 higher toward the back).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Texas Panhandle through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live sales were steady at $137/cwt.

Trade was slow on moderate demand in Kansas at $136-$137, mostly $1 lower at $136.

In Nebraska and the western Corn Belt, trade was limited on light demand. So far this week, in both regions, live sales are steady to $2 lower at $137 and dressed trade is steady at $218.

Wholesale beef prices continued to falter, suggesting the seasonal top may have been breeched. Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.92 lower Wednesday afternoon at $289.46/cwt. Select was $3.60 lower at $279.72.

Soybean futures surged on South American weather and dragged Corn futures along.

Soybean futures closed 21¢ to 32¢ higher through the front five contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 15¢ higher.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher through the front six contracts  and then mostly 1¢ lower.

January 26th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 26, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend in any region, there were some live sales in the Southern plains and Nebraska at $137/cwt. Early dressed trades were $218.

Last week, live prices were at $137/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $137-$138 in Nebraska and at $137-$139 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $218.

Cattle futures continued to lose ground Tuesday, unable to escape the uncertain packing pace and volatile outside markets.

Lower wholesale beef prices on the day, perhaps signaling a near seasonal top, added to Live Cattle angst. Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower, except for an average of 29¢ higher in three contracts at either end of the board.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.12 lower Tuesday afternoon at $292.38/cwt. Select was $1.47 lower at $283.32.

Nearby Corn futures prices beyond the $6.00 mark added pressure to Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of $1.14 lower, except for 7¢ higher in spot Jan.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 8¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 13¢ higher after 4¢ to 9¢ higher in the front four contracts.

January 25th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 25. 2022

As expected, significantly higher feedlot placements revealed in Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report cast a pall over Cattle futures Monday, darkened by wildly volatile outside markets. However, they recovered some lost ground by the end of the session.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 lower (92¢ to $2.05 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 lower (25¢ to $2.02 lower).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive with very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $137/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $137-$138 in Nebraska and at $137-$139 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $218.

The five-area direct average steer price last week was 89¢ higher on a live basis at $137.50/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 7¢ lower at $217.92.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher Monday afternoon at $293.50/cwt. Select was $2.46 higher at $284.79.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher, riding the coattails of Wheat futures, which remain bolstered by the geopolitical tension in eastern Europe.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 13¢ lower on rains in South America.

January 24th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 24, 2022

Despite sharply lower outside markets, a bounce higher in grain prices and the ongoing slower beef packing pace, cash cattle and futures prices held their own last week.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices were steady to $1 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $137, $1-$2 higher in Kansas at $137. Prices were steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $137-$138 and $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $137. Dressed prices were steady at $218.

Cattle futures leaked lower Friday amid stagnant cash prices and bearish outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower (25¢ to $1.07 lower), except for unchanged and 5¢ higher in the back two contracts. Week to week, they closed mixed, from an average of 19¢ lower in the front four contracts to an average of 52¢ higher.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 57¢ lower Friday afternoon at $292.41/cwt. Select was 15¢ higher at $282.33. Week to week, though, Choice was $8.10 higher and Select was $8.36 higher.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 636,000 head, which was 18,000 head more than the previous week, but 26,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 1.87 million head is 161,000 head fewer (-7.9%) than last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production is 147.5 million lbs. less (-8.6%) at 1.57 billion lbs.

Net U.S. beef export sales were 12,800 metric tons for the week ending Jan. 13, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report. Sales were primarily for China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan.

January 23rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 21, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady to $1 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $137and $1-$2 higher in Kansas at $137. Prices are steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $137-$138. Although too few to trend, there were a few live trades in the western Corn Belt at $137, which was $1 lower. Dressed prices are steady at $218.

Cattle futures softened Thursday after follow-through support early in the session.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 17¢ lower in the front five contracts; unchanged to an average of 14¢ higher the rest of the way.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower, except for unchanged to 75¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.38 higher Thursday afternoon at $292.98/cwt. Select was $1.75 higher at $282.18.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Jan. 8 was 928 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection Report. That was the same as a week earlier but 5 lbs. heavier than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight was 851 lbs., which was 4 lbs. lighter than the previous week and the same as a year earlier.

Weather in South America and tension between Russia and Ukraine continued to dominate grain market commentary Thursday.

Soybean futures closed 27¢ to 34¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 9¢ to 15¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

January 20th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 20, 2022

Improving packer production — 117,000 head Tuesday — helped boost Live Cattle futures an average of $1.11 higher on Wednesday.

The uptick in Live Cattle, helped boost Feeder Cattle futures an average of 73¢ higher, except for 50¢ lower in spot Jan, despite surging Corn futures prices.

Grain futures surged on Wednesday, led by soybeans on weather concerns in South American and wheat based on mounting tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Soybean futures closed mostly 18¢ to 30¢ higher. 

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 11¢ higher. 

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in the Southern Plains and Nebraska through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady to $1 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $137, $1-$2 higher in Kansas at $137. Prices are steady in Nebraska at $137 and in the western Corn Belt at $138. Dressed prices are steady at $218.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.11 higher Wednesday afternoon at $291.60/cwt. Select was $2.04 higher at $280.43.

January 19th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 19, 2022

Uncertainty about the pace of packer production continued to weigh on Live Cattle futures Tuesday, as wholesale beef prices continue to climb for the same reason. Sharply lower outside markets added to bearish sentiment.

Live Cattle futures closed an average 37¢ lower.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.63 higher Tuesday afternoon at $289.49/cwt. Select was $1.34 higher at $278.39.

Feeder Cattle futures drifted lower with the lack of support from the Live side. They closed an average 62¢ lower (20¢ lower at the back to $1.25 lower at the front).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in Nebraska through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend, early trade was steady at $137/cwt. on a live basis and $128 in the beef.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill.

Last week, live prices were at $136-$137 in the Texas Panhandle, $135-$136 in Kansas and $138 in the western Corn Belt, where dressed trade was at $218.

January 18th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 18, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

Last week, live prices were at $136-$137/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $135-$136 in Kansas, $137 in Nebraska and $138 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $218.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.55 higher Monday afternoon at $287.86/cwt. Select was $3.08 higher at $277.05.

Futures and equity markets were closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

January 17th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 17, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from very limited on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

For the week, live prices were $1-$2 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136-$137/cwt. and $135-$136 in Kansas. They were $1-$3 lower in Nebraska at $137 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $137-$138. Dressed trade was $2 lower at $218.

Week to week through Thursday, the five-area direct average steer price was $2.00 lower on a live basis at $136.58/cwt. The average price in the beef was $2.00 lower at $217.99.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 621,000 head, just 1,000 head more than the previous week and 31,000 head fewer than the same week last year.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher, except for unchanged and 37¢ lower in the back two contracts, supported by climbing wholesale beef prices.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.84 higher Friday afternoon at $284.31/cwt. Select was $1.21 higher at $273.97.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 23¢ lower to an average of 5¢ higher with pressure from front-month Corn futures.

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 8¢ higher in the front six contracts, and then mostly 5¢ to 6¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 13¢ lower. 

January 16th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 14, 2022

Feeder Cattle futures gained Thursday, closing an average $1.33 higher, helped by declining front-month Corn futures.

Live Cattle futures edged higher, supported by climbing wholesale beef prices, despite the sluggish packing pace. They closed an average 40¢ higher, except for unchanged in the back contract.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.93 higher Thursday afternoon at $282.86/cwt. Select was $1.78 higher at $272.76.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

So far this week, live prices are $1-$2 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136-$137/cwt. and $135-$136 in Kansas. They’re $1-$3 lower in Nebraska at $137 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $137-$138. Dressed trade is $2 lower at $218.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 11¢ lower through the front four contracts, and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 26¢ lower through the front six contracts, and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

January 13th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 13, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Kansas through Wednesday afternoon, with live trade $1 lower than the previous day and $3 lower than the previous week at $135/cwt.

Although too few transactions to trend, dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $218. Live prices there last week were $138-$140.

Trade was limited on light demand in the Texas Panhandle, where live prices last week were $138 and in the western Corn Belt where prices were $138-$140. Dressed trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at $220.

Softer cash prices in the North, after weakness in the South, helped pressure Cattle futures Wednesday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower (10¢ to $1.35 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower (17¢ to $1.10 lower), except for unchanged to 37¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $1.71 higher Wednesday afternoon at $279.93/cwt. Select was $2.35 higher at $270.98

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 13¢ higher, likely supported by the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE-see below).

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 6¢ higher, except for 1¢ to 2¢ lower in the front three contracts.

January 12th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan, 12, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was very limited on light demand in the Southern Plains through Tuesday afternoon. Early live sales were mostly $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $137/cwt. and mostly $1-$3 lower in Kansas at $135-$137. 

Trade was mostly inactive on light demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Prices in those regions last week were $138-$140 on a live basis and $220 in the beef.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $2.18 higher Tuesday afternoon at $278.22/cwt. Select was $2.13 higher at $268.63.

Cattle futures found some traction Tuesday with support from higher outside markets and healthier looking packer processing, for a day at least.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher (10¢ to $1.15 higher), except for 67¢ lower in the back contract.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ higher (12¢ to $1.42 higher), except for 5¢ lower toward the back.

Corn and Soybean futures paddled in place ahead of Wednesday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally mixed after 1¢ to 2¢ higher in the front four contracts.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed.

January 11th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 11, 2022

Inflation jitters weighed on most commodities and outside markets Monday. Cattle futures were also pressured by recently slower packer processing and fears of back-logging cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average 86¢ lower (17¢ lower at the back to $1.47 lower toward the front), amid heavy trade .

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 81¢ lower (5¢ lower at the back to $1.42 lower).

Negotiated cash fed cattle ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were steady in the Texas Panhandle at $138/cwt., but steady to $2 lower at $136-$138 in Kansas and at $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was also steady to $2 lower at $220.

The five-area direct average steer price was $1.18 lower on a live basis last week at $138.41/cwt. The average price in the beef was 91¢ lower at $219.98.

Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $4.22 higher Monday afternoon at $276.04/cwt. Select was $5.40 higher at $266.50/cwt.

As for grains, Soybean futures softened to start the week with rains forecast for South America.

Soybean futures closed 21¢ to 26¢ lower through Nov ‘22 then 14¢ to 19¢ lower through Sep ’23 and mostly 4¢ lower across the rest of the board.

Corn futures closed fractionally mixed to 7¢ lower through May ’23 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

January 10th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 10, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, with too few transactions to trend.

For the week, live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $138/cwt., but steady to $2 lower at $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was also steady to $2 lower at $220.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, with support from higher wholesale beef prices, but with continued concern about slower cattle harvest.

Estimated cattle slaughter last week of 620,000 head was 32,000 head fewer than the same week last year.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 36¢ lower to an average of 36¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average 20¢ higher, except for an average of 29¢ lower in three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.26 higher Friday afternoon at $271.82/cwt. Select was 46¢ higher at $26.10.

Grain futures gained Friday with ongoing bearish weather in South America and expectations to see corn and soybean estimates in that region trimmed when the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates come out Wednesday.

Soybean futures closed 19¢ to 24¢ higher through the front six contracts and then mostly 11¢ to 14¢ higher.  

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ higher through Sep ’23 and then mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.

January 9th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 7, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, with too few transactions to trend.

For the week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $138/cwt., but steady to $2 lower at $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade is also steady to $2 lower at $220.

Cattle futures inched higher Thursday, although skittishness remains concerning recently slower cattle harvest amid anecdotal reports of increasing health challenges among workers.

Live Cattle futures closed an average 34¢ higher, except for an average of 12¢ lower in two contracts. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 69¢ higher, except for 32¢ lower in Sep.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.63 higher Thursday afternoon at $268.56/cwt. Select was $1.03 higher at $260.64/cwt.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ lower through Aug ‘22 and then mostly 7¢ to 14¢ higher. 

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher at either end of the board and fractionally mixed to 8¢ higher in the middle.

January 6th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 6, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow to moderate on moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $220/cwt. Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales at $138, compared to $140 last week.

There were some early live sales in the western Corn Belt steady at $140 and a few in the beef steady to $2 lower at $220, but too few of either to trend.

Trade in the Southern Plains was limited on light demand. A light test sold steady on a live basis at $138.

Cattle futures closed mixed Wednesday, supported by moderating grain futures price gains but pressured by the weaker cash outlook. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ lower, except for an average of 32¢ higher in two contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 32¢ higher, except for unchanged to an average of 36¢ lower in the front three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 11¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $266.93/cwt. Select was 38¢ higher at $259.61/cwt.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 6¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ lower through the front four contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower.

January 5th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 5, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $220-$222.

Surging corn futures took Cattle futures down a peg Tuesday, especially Feeder Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.99 lower (70¢ lower toward the back to $3.57 lower in spot Jan).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ lower (5¢ to $1.52 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 79¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $266.82/cwt. Select was 33¢ higher at $259.23/cwt.

Bearish South American weather lit a fuse beneath soybeans, leading other grain futures along for the ride.

Soybean futures closed 27¢ to 34¢ higher through Aug ‘22 and then 12¢ to 18¢ higher in the next four contracts; mostly 2¢ higher the rest of the way.

Corn futures closed 10¢ to 20¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 4¢ to 8¢ higher.

January 4th, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 4, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive with very light demand through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week live prices were at $138/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $220-$222.

The five-area direct average steer price last week of $139.59/cwt. on a live basis was $3.95 higher than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef was $3.58 higher at $220.89.

Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter through Dec. 27 was 32.66 million head, according to USDA. That was 958,000 head more (+3.0%) than a year earlier. Total estimated beef production of 27.05 billion lbs. was 694.4 million lbs. more (+2.6%).

Cattle futures eased lower Monday awaiting cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ lower, not counting newly minted away-Jun.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 77¢ higher Monday afternoon at $266.03/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $258.90/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher, except for fractionally lower to 4¢ lower in the front four contracts.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 16¢ higher through Sep ‘23 and then 7¢ to 8¢ higher.

January 3rd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 3, 2022

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices gained last week amid holiday-lightened trade. For the week, based on USDA reports available through Thursday, live prices were $2 higher in Nebraska at $140/cwt., $3 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $138 and $5 higher in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed prices of $220-$222 were $3-$4 higher in Nebraska and $3-$5 higher in the western Corn Belt.

Live Cattle futures traded sideways amid light trade on Friday. They closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 16¢ lower in the front three contracts to an average of 33¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures were traded lightly, too, but had the benefit of further erosion in front-month Corn futures. They closed an average of 81¢ higher (5¢ higher at the back to 95¢ higher toward the front), except for 35¢ lower in Sep.

Stronger cash prices and stabilizing wholesale beef prices enabled Cattle futures to gain from Monday through Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 higher (42¢ to $1.60 higher). Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.15 higher during the same period ($2.37 higher at the back to $6.67 higher toward the front). The CME Feeder Cattle Index closed $5.99 higher week to week on Thursday at $165.21/cwt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 78¢ higher on Thursday at $265.26, compared to Monday. Select was $3.05 higher at $258.23.

Grain futures lost ground throughout the week, due in part to rains in South America.

Corn futures closed an average of 17¢ lower on Friday through the front six contracts, compared to Monday, except for fractionally lower in spot Mar. During the same period, Soybean futures closed an average of 28¢ lower through the front six contracts.

January 2nd, 2022|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 31, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Texas Panhandle through Thursday afternoon, but early live sales were $3 higher than last week at $138/cwt.

Elsewhere, trade was mostly at a standstill.

Earlier in the week, live prices in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were at $140/cwt., which was $5 higher in Nebraska and $2 higher in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices of $220-$222 were $3-$4 higher in Nebraska and $3-$5 higher in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle futures were narrowly mixed Thursday, as some traders checked out for the year. The weekly U.S. Export Sales report for the week could have added some pressure to Live Cattle. Net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending Dec. 23 were 48% less than the prior week and 55% less than the previous four-week average.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 36¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 46¢ higher (5¢ higher at the back to 95¢ higher toward the front), except for 35¢ lower in Sep.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 45¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $265.26/cwt. Select was $1.14 higher at $258.23/cwt.

Grain futures closed lower Thursday with rains in South America and position squaring.

Corn futures closed 9¢ to 10¢ lower in the front four contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 30¢ lower in the front six contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower.

December 30th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 30, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. So far this week live prices in those regions are at $140/cwt., which is $5 higher in Nebraska and $2 higher in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices of $220-$222 are $3-$4 higher in Nebraska and $3-$5 higher in the western Corn Belt.

Trade in the Southern Plains was at a standstill. Live prices there last were $135.

Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle, climbed higher Wednesday, buoyed by cash market gains and higher wholesale beef prices.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.79 higher (97¢ to $2.82 higher with most strength in the front months).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 higher (65¢ higher to $1.37 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.05 higher Wednesday afternoon at $265.71/cwt. Select was $1.00 higher at $257.09/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher after fractionally mixed in the front three contracts. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 8¢ higher through Jan ‘23 and then 6¢ to 13¢ higher.

December 29th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 29, 2021

Although it was slow trade and light demand, negotiated cash fed cattle prices began the week $2 higher on a live basis at $140/cwt. in the western Corn Belt through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed prices there last week were at mainly $217.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from a standstill to limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend. Last week, live prices were at $135/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dressed trade was at $217-$218.

The stronger cash outlook and recently higher boxed beef prices helped Live Cattle futures firm. They closed an average of 24¢ higher (from 5¢ higher to $1.17 higher in almost-spent Dec).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 18¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $264.66/cwt. Select was 91¢ higher at $256.09/cwt.

Lower Corn futures prices helped Feeder Cattle close an average of $1.19 higher.

Corn futures closed lower on likely profit taking. Prices were 8¢ to 10¢ lower through May ‘23 and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures paused from steep gains in the previous session, closing mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

December 28th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 28, 2021

Cattle futures closed mixed amid light trade to start the week with front-month Feeder Cattle under the most pressure from increasing Corn futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 57¢ lower across the front half of the board to an average of 17¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed (from an average of 19¢ lower to an average of 19¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $135/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska, and at $138 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $217-$218.

The five-area direct weighted average steer price last week was $1.55 lower at $135.64. It was $1.12 lower in the beef at $217.30.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.54 higher Monday afternoon at $264.48/cwt. Select was $2.23 higher at $255.18/cwt.

Nearby Corn and Soybean futures climbed on Monday, presumably in response to the continued hot and dry weather forecast in South America.

Corn futures closed 9¢ through the front three contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 26¢ to 30¢ higher through the front five contracts and then mostly 7¢ to 10¢ higher.

December 27th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 24 to 27, 2021

Markets head into what will be a long holiday weekend for many on a positive note.

Cattle futures gained again Thursday with traders apparently content to position on the plus side heading into the long weekend. Although trade was holiday-light, open interest in Live Cattle expanded the last two days. Higher outside markets added support.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.25 higher (72¢ higher at the back to $1.82 higher toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.22 higher (70¢ higher toward the back to $2.25 higher toward the front).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, live prices are $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $135/cwt. and $1-$3 lower in Kansas and Nebraska at $135. Dressed trade in Nebraska is steady to $1 lower at $217-$218. Last week, live prices were at $138 in the western Corn Belt and dressed trade was at $217-$218.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.08 higher Thursday afternoon at $262.94/cwt. Select was $2.12 higher at $252.95/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher through Sep ‘22 and then mostly 6¢ lower.

December 23rd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 23, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to slow on moderate demand through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend, various reports suggested prices were a touch higher than earlier in the week, supported by the bounce in futures.

So far this week, live prices are $1 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $135/cwt. and $1-$3 lower in Kansas and Nebraska at $135. Dressed trade in Nebraska is steady to $1 lower at $217-$218. Last week, live prices were at $138 in the western Corn Belt and dressed trade was at $217-$218.

Cattle futures extended recent gains Wednesday amid lighter pre-holiday trade.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 58¢ higher (10¢ to 95¢ higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 47¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $261.86/cwt. Select was 91¢ higher at $250.83/cwt.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Sep ‘22, and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 15¢ to 22¢ higher through Sep ‘22 and then mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.

December 22nd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 22, 2021

Cattle futures bounced back Tuesday from recently oversold conditions, with more optimistic outside markets, despite softer cash prices and the shorter harvest schedule through the remainder of the year.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.75 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 99¢ higher (85¢ to $1.17 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although there were too few transactions for a trend, some live sales traded at $135/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and Nebraska.

Last week, live prices were $2-$4 lower in Kansas and Nebraska at $136-$138/cwt. They were $4 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136 and steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $138. Dressed prices were $2 lower in Nebraska at $218 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $217-$218.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 99¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $261.39/cwt. Select was 75¢ lower at $249.92/cwt.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 8¢ higher through Jly ‘23, and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 19¢ higher through Sep ‘22 and then fractionally lower to 5¢ higher.

December 21st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 21, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska through Monday afternoon. Although too few transactions to trend, there were some live trades in the region at $135/cwt. Elsewhere, trade was at a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $2-$4 lower in Kansas and Nebraska at $136-$138/cwt. They were $4 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136 ad steady to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $138. Dressed prices were $2 lower in Nebraska at $218 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $217-$218.

Cattle futures trended lower Monday with softer cash prices, holiday-limited harvest schedules on the books and no support from outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 34¢ lower, except for 10¢ higher in away Feb.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ lower (2¢ lower at the back to $1.20 lower toward the front), except for 5¢ higher in Oct.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ lower Monday afternoon at $262.38/cwt. Select was $2.39 higher at $250.67.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 6¢ higher.

December 20th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 20, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $2 lower in Kansas at $138/cwt. and $4 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136. Dressed prices were $2 lower in Nebraska at $218.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 657,000 head, which was 11,000 head fewer than the prior week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 32.17 million head was 886,000 head more (+2.8%) than the same period last year. Estimated year-to-date before production of 26.64 billion lbs. is 628 million lbs. more (+2.4%) than last year.

Cattle futures limped lower Friday, pressured by softer cash prices and pre-holiday positioning. Increasing carcass weights amid declining wholesale beef prices added weight.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Dec. 4 was 928 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week, 6 lbs. heavier than two weeks earlier and the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week at 851 lbs. and 1 lb. heavier than the same week last year.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.78 lower (95¢ lower at the back to $2.62 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 4¢ higher Friday afternoon at $263.01/cwt. Select was 14¢ higher at $248.28.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 10¢ higher in the front five contracts and then mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.

December 19th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 17, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are $2 lower in Kansas at $138/cwt. and $4 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136. Dressed prices are $2 lower in Nebraska at $218.

Last week, live prices were at $140 in Colorado and $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices in the western Corn Belt were $218-$220.

Cattle futures were narrowly mixed Thursday with lackluster trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in Jun.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 35¢ lower in five contracts to and average of 31¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.71 higher Thursday afternoon at $262.97/cwt. Select was 69¢ higher at $248.14.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher, boosted by positive weekly U.S. export sales.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 5¢ higher.

December 16th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 16, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices lost some ground Wednesday. Live prices in the Texas Panhandle were $4 lower at $136/cwt., on slow trade and light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there some early dressed sales in Nebraska $2 lower at $218.

Cattle futures sagged lower, pressured by softer cash prices and reports of reduced production at some plants due to weather.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.05 lower (60¢ to $1.78 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.41 lower (83¢ to $1.93 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 46¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $260.26/cwt. Select was  $1.35 lower at $247.45.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jly ’22, then down 1¢ to 2¢.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 3¢ higher through Jly ’22, and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

December 15th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 15, 2021

As the week wears on, cash fed cattle price prospects appear steady to softer, given reduced packer production the next two holiday weeks, along with declining wholesale beef prices.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were a few live trades in Kansas at $138/cwt., but too few to trend.

Live prices last week were at $138-$140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado; $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220 in Nebraska and $218-$220 in the western Corn Belt.

At the same time, wholesale beef prices continue to decline with Choice boxed beef cutout value $2.50 lower Tuesday afternoon at $260.72/cwt. Select was  $4.84 lower at $248.80.

All of that was enough for Live Cattle futures to drift an average of 32¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ lower Tuesday, also pressured by Corn futures closing 2¢ to 5¢ higher, while Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ higher through Sep ’23 and then mostly 9¢ higher — both rebounding from the previous day’s losses.

December 14th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 14, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week live prices were at $138-$140/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado; $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220 in Nebraska and $218-$220 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.32 lower Monday afternoon at $263.22/cwt., but Select was $1.40 higher at $253.64

Long-term optimism helped boost Live Cattle futures an average of 46¢ higher on Monday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher (20¢ higher at the back to $1.37 higher). They received a boost from softer Corn futures, which were down on a drop in Soybean futures based on  bullish South American production weather.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 8¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 18¢ to 23¢ lower through Nov ’22 and then mostly 12¢ to 15¢ lower.

December 13th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 13, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt. and steady to $2 lower at $138-$140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were steady at $220.

Cattle futures drifted a touch higher Friday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed and average of 62¢ higher (22¢ to $1.05 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 1¢ lower Friday afternoon at $264.54/cwt. Select was 56¢ higher at $252.24

Cattle futures drifted a touch higher Friday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed and average of 62¢ higher (22¢ to $1.05 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Nov ‘22 and then fractionally higher. 

December 12th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 10, 2021

So far this week, fed cattle prices are steady to $2 lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices in the Southern Plains were at $140/cwt., which was steady with the prior day but $2 lower than last week.

Although too few to trend, there were a few live sales in the western Corn Belt at $138-$140 and a few in the beef at $220. Prices there last week were $140 and $220, respectively.

Trade in Nebraska was slow on moderate demand. Dressed prices were steady with last week at $220. Although too few to trend, there were some live trades at $138-$140, compared to $140 last week.

Trade in Colorado was mostly inactive on very light demand. Live prices last week were $142.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 44¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $264.55/cwt. Select was $1.41 lower at $251.68.

Cattle futures softened amid the subdued cash trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower, except for 67¢ higher in spot Jan.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through near Jly and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

December 9th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 9, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $142/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado; $140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220.

The lack of cash direction and lower wholesale beef prices helped pressure Live Cattle futures. They closed an average of 45¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.92 lower Wednesday afternoon at $264.11/cwt. Select was $2.59 lower at $253.09.

Feeder Cattle futures stepped lower amid lackluster trade and the absence of cash direction. They closed an average of $1.45 lower.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed as traders readied for Thursday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 12¢ higher.

December 8th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 8, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Tuesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $142/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado; $140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220.

Cattle futures drifted amid lackluster trading interest Tuesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in spot Dec.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ lower (22¢ lower in spot Jan to $1.17 lower in the back contract).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.50 lower Tuesday afternoon at $268.03/cwt. Select was $2.17 lower at $255.68.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ lower through the front five contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

December 7th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 7, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand through Monday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $142/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado; $140 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $220.

Cattle futures closed mostly higher Monday, buoyed by higher outside markets, recently stronger cash prices and prospects of higher money this week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 91¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ higher, except for an average of 13¢ lower in two contracts toward the back.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.83 lower Monday afternoon at $272.53/cwt. Select was 79¢ lower at $257.85.

Corn futures closed mainly fractionally lower to mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through the front six contracts and then mostly unchanged to fractionally mixed.

December 6th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 6, 2021

Widely volatile outside markets, stemming from worries about the potential impact of the new COVID variant (omicron), pressured Cattle futures last week, despite another solid gain in cash prices. Yet, buoyant cash prices and fundamental strength continued to provide optimism.

For the week, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were $2 higher on a live basis at $142/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Colorado. They were steady to $4 higher in Nebraska at $140 and steady to $5 higher in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed prices were $3 higher in Nebraska at $220; $3-$7 higher in the western Corn Belt at $220.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 676,000 head was 110,000 head more than the previous holiday-shortened week and 7,000 more than the same week last year. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 30.8 million head was 872,000 head more (+2.9%) than the same period last year. Estimated total year-to-date beef production of 25.52 billion lbs. was 610.9 million lbs. more (+2.5%) than a year earlier.

December 5th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 3, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices took another step higher Thursday.

Live prices were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $142/cwt., steady to $4 higher in Nebraska at $140 and steady to $5 higher in the western Corn Belt at $140. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $3 higher at $220.

Last week, live prices in Colorado were $140 and dressed prices in the western Corn Belt were $213-$217.

Cattle futures, especially font-month Live Cattle, gained Thursday with the stronger cash prices. They closed an average of 71¢ higher, from $1.65 higher in spot Dec to 7¢ higher in the back contract.

The weekly U.S. Export Sales report added support. For the week ending Nov. 25, net U.S. beef export sales (2021) of 21,600 metric tons were 12% more than the previous week and 5% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for South Korea, China, Japan, Mexico, and Chile.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.80 higher Thursday afternoon at $272.02/cwt. Select was 28¢ higher at $258.25.

Feeder Cattle gains were capped by stronger Corn futures prices. They closed an average of 36¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in spot Jan.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 6¢ higher in the front five contracts and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 16¢ higher in the front five contracts and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

December 2nd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 2, 2021

The early-day rebound in equity markets, as well as positive supply fundamentals helped Cattle futures regain some recently lost ground Wednesday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.39 higher (97¢ higher at the front to $1.77 higher at the back of the board).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ higher, from 12¢ higher in spot Dec to $1.12 higher.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 11¢ higher through Jan ’23 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $140/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $136-$140 in Nebraska, $140 in Colorado and $135-$140 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $217 in Nebraska and at $213-$217 in the western Corn Belt. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.46 lower Wednesday afternoon at $270.22/cwt. Select was $2.32 lower at $257.97/cwt.

December 1st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 1, 2021

Cattle futures, especially Live Cattle lost some steam Tuesday. While technical correction and month-end position squaring were likely behind some of the pressure, most commodities followed the sharp drop in equity markets, which were tied to uncertainty about the Covid variant, Omicron, and its potential economic impact.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ higher (17¢ to $1.00 higher), except for an average of 46¢ lower in the front two contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 80¢ lower, from 12¢ lower toward the back to $1.45 lower toward the front of the board.

Corn futures closed 12¢ to 15¢ lower through the front five contracts and then mostly 8¢ to 9¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 27¢ lower through the front seven contracts and then mostly 10¢ to 18¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited to mostly inactive on light demand through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $7 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $3-$6 higher in Nebraska at $136-$140, $5-$8 higher in Colorado at $140 and $3-$6 higher in the western Corn Belt at $135-$140. Dressed trade was $7 higher in Nebraska at $217 and $3-$7 higher in the western Corn Belt at $213-$217.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.90 lower Tuesday afternoon at $271.68/cwt. Select was $1.73 lower at $260.29/cwt.

November 30th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 30, 2021

Cattle futures softened Monday amid likely profit taking and month-end positioning. Although some would say they started the week in oversold territory in need of technical correction, the fundamental pathway continues clear.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 91¢ lower, from $1.42 lower at the front to 22¢ lower at the back.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index was $3.34 higher at $161.29/cwt.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.25 lower, from 55¢ lower toward the back to $1.90 lower near the front of the board.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $7 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $3-$6 higher in Nebraska at $136-$140, $5-$8 higher in Colorado at $140 and $3-$6 higher in the western Corn Belt at $135-$140. Dressed trade was $7 higher in Nebraska at $217 and $3-$7 higher in the western Corn Belt at $213-$217.

Recent trade volume and delivery patterns suggest cash prices this week have the potential to gain more.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.43 lower Monday afternoon at $277.58/cwt. Select was 26¢ lower at $262.02/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 9¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 11¢ lower.

November 29th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 29, 2021

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday amid holiday-shortened trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 15¢ lower, except for an average of 26¢ higher in the front two contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 10¢ higher, except for unchanged to an average of 5¢ lower in three contracts.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 14¢ lower through the front six contracts and then mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were $7 higher in the Southern Plains at $140/cwt., $5-$6 higher in Nebraska at $138-$140, $5-$8 higher in Colorado at $140 and $6 higher in the western Corn Belt at $138-$140. Dressed trade was $7 higher in Nebraska at $217.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 566,000 head was 111,000 head fewer than the previous week. Total year-to-date estimated cattle slaughter of 30.16 million head was 863,000 head more (+2.9%) than a year earlier. Total year-to-date estimated beef production of 24.95 billion lbs. was 601.5 million lbs. more (+2.5%) than a year earlier.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Nov. 13 was 924 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 5 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 6 lbs. lighter than a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 844 lbs. was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 2 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 90¢ higher Friday afternoon at $280.01/cwt. Select was $1.19 lower at $262.28/cwt.

November 27th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 25 and 26, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices are soaring. So far this week, live prices in the Southern Plains are $7 higher at $140/cwt., $4-$6 higher in Nebraska at $138-$139 and $4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $136-$138. Trade through Wednesday afternoon was moderate with good demand in the Southern Plains and Nebraska, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices in Colorado last week were at $132-$135. Dressed prices last week were at $210.

Cash bullishness added fuel to the rally in Cattle futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher ($1.07 higher at the back to $2.55 higher in spot Jan).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher, (37¢ higher toward the back to $2.50 higher in spot Dec).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 47¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $279.11/cwt. Select was 80¢ higher at $263.47/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through the front five contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

November 24th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 24, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light demand in the Southern Plains to limited on light demand in other regions through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although there were too few transactions to trend, early live sales were $3 higher in the Southern Plains at $136/cwt.

Prices last week were at $133 in the Southern Plains, $133-$134 in Nebraska, $132-$135 in Colorado and $132-$134 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $210.

Cattle futures continued to gain ground Tuesday with recent cash strength and the likelihood of another step forward this week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher, from 37¢ to $1.22 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 61¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $278.64/cwt. Select was $1.06 lower at $262.67/cwt.

November 23rd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 23, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $133/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $133-$134, steady to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $132-$134 and steady to $3 higher in Colorado at $132-$135. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $210.

Cattle futures gained some traction Monday with support from last week’s stronger cash prices and the neutral Cattle on Feed report.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher, except for unchanged in the back contract, amid light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher, from 32¢ higher at the back to $1.27 higher toward the front. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 84¢ higher Monday afternoon at $279.25/cwt. Select was 10¢ lower at $263.73/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher, riding wheat’s coattails.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ higher through the front six contracts, and then mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

November 22nd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 22, 2021

Refreshing might be the most apt way to describe last week’s negotiated cash fed cattle trade. For the first time in what seems like forever, packers chased cattle to fill their pipelines. Cattle feeders passed early-week bids and carved mainly another $1-$3 from the market.

Live prices last week were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $132/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $133-$134 and $1-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $133-$134. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $210. Live prices in Colorado the previous week were at $132. There were a few sales reported at $135 in Nebraska through Friday afternoon, but too few to trend.

The five-area direct average fed steer price through Thursday was $1.66 higher than the previous week at $133.01/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.99 higher at $209.59.

Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending Nov. 20 of 677,000 head was 22,000 head more than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 29.59 million head is 857,000 head more (+2.98%) than a year earlier. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 24.47 billion lbs. is 605.8 million lbs. (+2.54%) than a year earlier.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday, but rode the coattails of stronger cash prices to weekly gains.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ lower, except for unchanged to 12¢ higher in three contracts. They were an average of $2.83 higher week to week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in Jun and unchanged at the back of the board. Week to week, they were an average of $1.15 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.25 higher Friday afternoon at $278.41/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $263.85/cwt. Week to week, though, Choice was $5.89 lower and. Select was $5.70 lower.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 1¢ higher in four contracts mid-board.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher, except for fractionally lower to 2¢ lower in the front five contracts.

November 20th, 2021|

CattleCurrent Podcast—Nov. 19, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices perked up another $1-$3 on Thursday with light to moderate trade and demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $132/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $133-$134 and $1-$3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $133. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $210. Live prices in Colorado last week were at $132.

Stronger cash prices helped push Cattle futures higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.90 higher, except for 15¢ lower in nearly spent Nov.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher.

Lower grain futures prices added support.

Corn futures closed narrowly mixed, from 2¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 15¢ lower.

Wholesale beef prices continued to drift lower. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.66 lower Thursday afternoon at $278.47/cwt. Select was $2.53 lower at $264.06/cwt.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 25,500 metric tons (2021) for the week ending Nov. 11 were 23% more than the previous week and 58% more than the prior four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report. Increases were primarily for China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico.

November 18th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 18, 2021

Apparent resolve by cattle feeders to ignore early, steady-money negotiated cash fed cattle bids helped underpin the slightly higher close in Cattle futures.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher, except for 35¢ lower in Jan.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher, except for unchanged in the back contract.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Wednesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices last week were at $132/cwt. on a live basis in the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains and Colorado. They were $131-$132 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $207.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.66 lower Wednesday afternoon at $278.47/cwt. Select was $2.53 lower at $264.06/cwt.

Grain futures strengthened on news ranging from reduced ethanol tariffs in South America to speculation about China buying interest in 2022.

Corn futures closed 5¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 19¢ to 25¢ higher through the front six contracts, 11¢ to 17¢ higher through the middle of the board and then 3¢ higher.

November 17th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 17, 2021

A break in Corn futures prices and improving supply fundamentals helped Feeder Cattle futures close an average of 79¢ higher Tuesday (37¢ to $1.10 higher), except for 27¢ lower in the waning spot month.

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 6¢ lower through near Jly and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Sep ‘23 and then 2¢ to 7¢ lower.

Incidentally, with most of the winter wheat in the ground as of Nov. 14, there was 46% rated as Good (39%) or Excellent (7%), according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report. That was on par with the same time last year.

Despite recently stronger cash prices, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed again —  from an average of 15¢ lower in five contracts to an average of 17¢ higher — with pressure from the lack of cash direction and what appear to have been peak wholesale beef prices for the season.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon. There were too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices last week were at $132/cwt. on a live basis in the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains and Colorado. They were $131-$132 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $207.

Early indications suggest prices no worse than steady this week.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.07 lower Tuesday afternoon at $282.13/cwt. Select was 69¢ lower at $266.59/cwt.

November 16th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 16, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Monday afternoon ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Prices last week were at $132/cwt. on a live basis in the Northern Plains and the Southern Plains. They were $131-$132 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $207.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Oct. 30 was 920 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 6 lbs. lighter than the previous year. The actual dressed heifer weight of 842 lbs. was the same as a week earlier but 6 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Cattle futures traded sideways to slightly higher Monday, amid lackadaisical trade.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 17¢ lower in five contracts to an average of 21¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher, except for 32¢ lower in the waning spot month.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower through near Mar and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 12¢ higher through Sep ’23 and then mostly 7¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.10 lower Monday afternoon at $283.20/cwt. Select was $2.25 lower at $267.28/cwt.

Net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending Nov. 4 of 20,600 metric tons for 2021 were 23% more than the previous week and 39% more than the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s weekly U.S. Export Sales report. Increases were primarily for China, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

November 15th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 15, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices finished last week $2 higher in Nebraska on a live basis at $132/cwt. and $2-$4 higher at $132 in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt. Fed cattle in Colorado also sold for $132, but there’s been no trend reported in that region for some time. Dressed prices were $3-$5 higher at $207.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct average steer price was $131.35/cwt. on a live basis, which was $3.23 more than the previous week. The five-area average steer price in the beef was $4.55 higher at $206.60.

“This week’s five-area weighted average price is the highest price since June 2017 and the first week the price has exceeded $130 since that same time period,” explained Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The spring price peak in 2017 was just over $144/cwt., but the spring price spike was short lived. The difference in today’s market is that the market is in a position to sustain prices in excess of $130 for several months. Fed cattle prices are not likely to spike, but methodically increase.”

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week was 655,000 head, which was 5,000 head more than the previous week. Year-to-date total estimated cattle slaughter of 28.9 million head was 844,000 head more (+3.0%) than the same period a year earlier. Total estimated year-to-date beef production through last week of 23.9 billion lbs. was 601.8 million lbs. more (+2.6%) than a year earlier.

Rallying Corn futures pressured Cattle futures Friday, especially Feeder Cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ lower, except for 25¢ higher in spot Dec. They closed an average of 33¢ lower week to week on Friday, except for an average of 27¢ higher in two contracts. 

Corn futures faded early-week pressure from the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. On Friday, they closed 5¢ to 7¢ higher through Jly ’22 and then mostly 2¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of 18¢ higher through the front six contracts. 

Soybean futures rallied higher, helped along by decreased projected yield in the WASDE. They closed 21¢ to 23¢ higher through Aug ’22 and then mostly 10¢ to 17¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of 38.4¢ higher through the front six contracts.

November 14th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 12, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

So far this week, live prices are $2-$3 higher in the Southern Plains at $131-$132/cwt., $2 higher at $132 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices are $3-$5 higher at $207.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 38¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $285.14/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $267.29.

Live Cattle futures wavered in place Thursday, while a break in the Corn rally helped Feeder Cattle breathe higher.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from unchanged to an average of 17¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher (42¢ to $1.02 higher).

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 8¢ higher through Sep ’22 and then mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

November 11th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 11, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow with light to moderate demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices were $2-$3 higher in the Southern Plains at $131-$132/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $132 and $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $131-$132. There were too few dressed trades for a trend: $202-$204 last week.

Live Cattle futures were unable to capitalize on the stronger cash price, however. They closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 11¢ lower in five contracts to an average of 11¢ higher. Part of the pressure was likely due to lower wholesale beef prices.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.28 lower Wednesday afternoon at $285.52/cwt. Select was $4.00 lower at $266.62.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 lower with weight from resurgent grain futures.

Corn futures closed 13¢ to 14¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly 6¢ to 8¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mainly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

November 10th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 10, 2021

Cattle futures drifted lower Tuesday with traders apparently waiting for further cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 27¢ lower in four contracts to an average of 14¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, prices were at $128-$130/cwt. in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt; $130 in Nebraska. Dressed prices were $202-$204.

Early on, bets seem to favor steady to higher prices this week.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 85¢ lower Monday afternoon at $287.80/cwt. Select was $2.02 higher at $270.62/cwt.

Grain futures, especially Soybeans firmed Tuesday with friendlier projections than expected in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below).

November 9th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 9, 2021

Cattle futures edged higher Monday as traders adjusted to last week’s strong rally.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 23¢ higher (5¢ to 40¢) except for unchanged in Feb ’22.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher, except for 30¢ and 38¢ lower at either end of the board.

Grain futures, especially Soybeans added support, under pressure from apparent positioning ahead of Tuesday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $128-$130/cwt. in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt; $130 in Nebraska. Dressed prices were $202-$204.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 89¢ lower Monday afternoon at $288.65/cwt. Select was $1.08 higher at $267.52/cwt.

November 8th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 8, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended last week $3-$4 higher on a live basis at $130/cwt. in all major cattle feeding regions. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $204.

Trade was slow to moderate on moderate to good demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 68¢ lower Friday afternoon at $289.54/cwt. Select was 70¢ lower at $267.52/cwt.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 650,000 head was 18,000 fewer than the previous week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Year-to-date estimated cattle slaughter of 28.25 million head is 847,000 head more (+3.1%) than the same time last year. Total year-to-date estimated beef production of 23.37 billion lbs. is 610,000 lbs. more (+2.7%) than a year earlier.

Cattle futures closed higher Friday with support from cash prices breaking higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ higher (50¢ higher at the back to $1.27 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.16 higher (77¢ to $1.45 higher toward the front).

November 7th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 5, 2021

Cattle futures on Thursday paused from the week’s rally, but stronger cash prices and indicators of feedlot marketing currentness suggest there’s room to roam higher.

For instance, the dressed steer weight the week ending Oct. 23 was 918 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 4 lbs. lighter than the previous week and 13 lbs. lighter year over year. The average dressed heifer weight of 842 lbs. was 2 lbs. heavier week to week but 5 lbs. lighter year over year.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower (12¢ lower toward the back to $1.02 lower in spot Dec).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 87¢ lower (47¢ lower at the back to $1.15 lower in spot Nov).     

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon. So far this week, the only established sales are $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $128/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service

Last week, live prices were at $124-$126/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, at $126 in Kansas, $127 in Nebraska and at $126-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $200.

Choice boxed beef cutout values were $1.73 higher Thursday afternoon at $290.22/cwt. Select was 50¢ higher at $268.22/cwt.

November 4th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 4, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up fully $2 higher in the Southern Plains on Tuesday at $128/cwt. on a live basis. That and rallying Cattle futures seem to have bolstered cattle feeder resolve to hold packers’ feet to the fire this week.

Through Wednesday afternoon, trade was limited on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $124-$126/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, at $126 in Kansas, $127 in Nebraska and at $126-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $200.

The stronger cash outlook and follow-through fundamental support helped Cattle futures take another step higher Wednesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 higher (17¢ higher toward the back to $1.70 higher in spot Dec), amid heavy trade and expanding open interest.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.35 higher (37¢ higher toward the back to $2.20 higher toward the front). They were helped along by Corn futures closing 8¢ to 9¢ lower through Jly ‘22. Corn futures were down on likely profit taking, harvest pressure and chatter about yields coming in at the top of range expectations.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 higher Wednesday afternoon at $288.49/cwt. Select was $1.59 higher at $267.72/cwt.

November 3rd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 3, 2021

Feeder Cattle futures blasted higher Tuesday, more than gaining back the previous session’s steep declines. Corn futures were down for the day, but more than anything, Feeder Cattle were likely falling back into fundamental line after what appeared to be a technical-based, algo-fueled late-session selloff the previous day.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.80 higher ($3.17 to $4.40 higher).

Live Cattle rallied on the stronger cash outlook and higher wholesale beef values after being anchored by Feeder Cattle the previous day.

Live Cattle closed an average of $1.56 higher (95¢ to $1.97 higher).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on very light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $124-$126 in the Texas Panhandle, $126 in Kansas, $127 in Nebraska and $126-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $200. Early indications point to steady, but likely higher prices this week.

Corn futures closed lower mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ higher.

November 2nd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 2, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive with very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady to $2 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $124-$126/cwt., $2 higher in Kansas at $126, $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127 and $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $200.

The five-area average direct fed steer price last week was $1.90 higher than the previous week at $126.29/cwt. on a live basis. The average steer price in the beef was $4.06 higher at $199.89.

Choice boxed beef cutout values were $1.86 higher Monday afternoon at $287.58/cwt. Select was $1.02 higher at $264.39.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.22 lower, battered by rising Corn and Wheat futures.

Corn futures were 10¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.

K.C. Wheat futures were mostly 18¢ to 21¢ higher.

Weakness in Feeder Cattle helped pressure Live Cattle futures an average of 38¢ lower.

November 1st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 1, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $126/cwt., $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127 and $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $200.

Total estimated cattle slaughter last week was 668,000 head, which was 7,000 more than the previous week and 28,000 more than the same week last year. Total estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 27.60 million head was 847,000 head more (+3.17%) than the same time last year. Total estimated beef production of 22.83 billion lbs. was 616.2 million lbs. more (+2.77%) than a year earlier.

Cattle futures closed lower Friday, likely mostly due to week-end and month-end position squaring, given improving fundamentals.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 94¢ lower, except for $2.87 higher in expiring Oct and 12¢ higher at the back.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower (35¢ to $1.45 lower).

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through near Jly and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher through Jan ‘23 and then mostly  fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

October 31st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 29. 2021

Cattle futures softened Thursday with a sense of retrenching as market fundamentals improve.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 lower (80¢ lower to $2.72 lower in spot Oct).

Rising Corn futures prices continued to pressure Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of $1.50 lower (82¢ to $2.02 lower), except for 17¢ higher in expiring Oct.

Corn futures closed 5¢ higher through near Jul and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mixed, 2¢ to 5¢ lower through Sep ’22 and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

So far this week, live prices are $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $126/cwt., $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127 and $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127. Dressed trade is $4 higher at $200.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.26 higher Thursday afternoon at $284.89/cwt. Select was 95¢ higher at $262.64.

The average dressed steer weight of 922 lbs. (week ending Oct. 16) was 1 lb. heavier than the previous week but 7 lbs. lighter than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 840 lbs. was 1 lb. heavier week to week but 10 lbs. lighter year over year.

October 28th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 28, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices finally moved beyond steady money Wednesday.

Live prices were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $126/cwt., $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127 and $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $200.

Trade was slow on light demand in the Southern Plains and western Corn Belt, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. It was slow to moderate on good demand in Nebraska.

Despite stronger cash prices, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 28¢ higher through the front five contracts to an average of 18¢ lower.

Although turning the seasonal corner higher, wholesale beef prices were lower Wednesday afternoon. Choice was down $1.13 to $283.63/cwt. Select was 85¢ lower at $261.69.

Feeder Cattle futures softened, though, in the wake of a strong surge in Corn futures.

Feeder Cattle closed and average of $1.34 lower, except for 52¢ higher in nearly spent Oct.

Corn futures closed mostly 10¢ to 13¢ higher with support from ethanol production and lower corn production in Brazil.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

October 27th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 27, 2021

Cattle futures stepped higher Tuesday, helped along by follow-through support from the friendly Cattle on Feed report, as well as early indications of cash prices pushing past steady this week and wholesale beef prices turn seasonally higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.33 higher (35¢ to $2.05 higher).

Those gains came despite Corn futures closing mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in the Texas Panhandle through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Prices were mainly steady with last week at $124/cwt., but a few traded $1 higher at $125.

Elsewhere, trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill with too few transactions to trend.

Last week, live prices were $124 in Kansas and $124-$125 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $196.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.72 higher at $284.76/cwt. Select was 65¢ lower at $262.54.

October 26th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 26, 2021

Cattle futures found traction Monday from the friendly Cattle on Feed report.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.25 higher, except for 20¢ higher in waning spot Oct.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly marginally higher.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 16¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, trade was at $124.00/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains and mainly $124-$125  in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $196.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.22 higher Monday afternoon at $283.04/cwt. Select was 8¢ higher at $263.19.

October 25th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 25. 2021

Cash cattle price were generally mixed to steady last week as more calves make their way to town and as fed cattle keep slugging for extra traction.

“Seasonal weakness in the calf market is evident as producers have been setting wheels under calves the past several weeks at a rapid pace,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “…As more calves make their way to the market, stocker producers become more selective in the cattle they will pay a premium for. Freshly-weaned calves tend to have an increased incidence of sickness this time of year as weaning stress is compounded by large temperature swings. From the stocker perspective, there is an opportunity to profit on calves being purchased and sold in truckload lots. The value of gain for an October purchase of a 525-pound steer and the sale of an 825-pound steer in March is $1.42 per pound with a 5% death loss. That is favorable math.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.99 lower on Friday (83¢ to $2.68 lower). Week to week, they were an average of $2.54 lower, amid profit taking from recent gains, slack interest, stagnant cash prices and skittishness about the monthly Cattle on Feed report. They received added pressure from resurgent Corn futures, which closed an average of 11¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday, with strong export demand.

However, Feeder Cattle perked up on Monday in response to the Cattle on Feed report. More on those numbers momentarily.

October 25th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct.22, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from inactive on light demand to mostly inactive on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $124/cwt., steady to $2.50 higher in Nebraska at $124.00-$126.50 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $124-$125. Dressed prices are steady at $196.

Cattle futures closed mixed Thursday.

Live cattle were down an average of 63¢ lower on likely profit taking, pressure from Lean Hogs and positioning ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Feeder Cattle managed to close narrowly mixed.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 36¢ lower to an average of 19¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ higher at $280.66/cwt. Select was 8¢ lower at $262.72/cwt.

As for grains, Corn and soybean futures closed lower Thursday beneath the weight of profit taking and lower crude oil prices.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 18¢ to 21¢ lower.

October 21st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 21, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow with moderate demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Trade in the Southern Plains was mostly steady at $124/cwt.

Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales in Nebraska at $124.00-$126.50, and some in the western Corn Belt at $124-$125, compared to $124 in both regions last week. Early dressed sales were steady at $196.00.

Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday, bolstered by higher outside markets, leveling wholesale beef values, slightly higher cash prices and positioning ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Trade volume remained on the low side.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ higher (50¢ to 95¢ higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 85¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $280.03/cwt. Select was $1.27 higher at $262.80/cwt.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.05 higher (50¢ to $1.32 higher).

Higher outside markets and energy prices helped boost Corn Futures Wednesday, while exports and more non-commercial interest boosted the entire grain complex.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 9¢ higher — mostly 8¢ higher — across most of the board.

Soybean futures closed mostly 18¢ to 20¢ higher through Jan ‘23.

October 20th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 20, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains on a live basis at $124/cwt. and steady to $2 higher at $124 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $196, which was steady in Nebraska but steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 79¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $280.88/cwt. Select was $1.72 higher at $261.53/cwt.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Tuesday amid light trade with Feeder Cattle futures showing signs of firming.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 25¢ lower to an average of 13¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 34¢ lower through the front five contracts to an average of 64¢ higher the rest of the way.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 8¢ higher.

October 19th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 19, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive with very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains on a live basis at $124/cwt. and steady to $2 higher at $124 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $196, which was steady in Nebraska but steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area direct average steer price last week was 88¢ higher at $123.84/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 33¢ higher at $195.70.

Cattle futures started the week softer amid technical considerations and traders apparently seeking more price direction. Another day of stronger Corn futures added pressure to Feeder Cattle. Some might also be considering positions ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 lower, (50¢ lower at the back to $2.07 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for an average of 8¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 15¢ lower Monday afternoon at $280.09/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $259.81/cwt.

Corn futures got a follow-through boost from export sales, which were 85% more than the prior four-week average, according to the latest U.S. Export Sales report for the week ending Oct. 7. They closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

October 18th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 18, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains on a live basis at $124/cwt. and steady to $2 higher at $124 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $196, which was steady in Nebraska but steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 646,000 head was 11,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 26.3 million head is 806,000 head more than last year (3.2%). Year-to-date estimated total beef production of 21.72 billion lbs. is 588.9 million lbs. more than a year earlier (+2.8%).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher with follow-through support from the previous session tied to firmer cash prices and higher outside markets.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ lower, pressured by a surge in Corn futures and week-end positioning.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 11¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ lower Friday afternoon at $280.24/cwt. Select was 6¢ lower at $260.62.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Oct. 2 was 916 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 8 lbs. lighter than a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 836 lbs. was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 7 lbs. lighter than the same week last year.

October 17th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 15, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live sales were steady to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $124/cwt., while dressed prices were steady at $196. There were too few to trend in Nebraska, where prices the previous day were steady to $2 higher at $124; steady in the beef at $196.

Trade in the Southern Plains was mostly inactive on light demand with too few transactions to trend. On Wednesday, live prices were steady at $124.

Higher outside markets and the slight increase in some regional cash prices helped draw more buying interest to Cattle futures Thursday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ higher (35¢ higher toward the back to $1.30 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 30¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $280.32/cwt. Select was $1.98 higher at $260.68.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 11¢ higher through Sep ’22 and then mainly 1¢ lower.

October 14th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 14, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was steady with the previous week in the Southern Plains at $124/cwt. through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Trade was limited on light demand in the Texas Panhandle; slow on moderate demand in Kansas.

Trade in other regions was slow on light demand.

Live sales in Nebraska were steady to $2 higher at $124; steady in the beef at $196. Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales in the western Corn Belt at $123-$124, and a few in the beef at $196. Price there last were $122 and $193-$196, respectively.

Cattle futures closed lower Wednesday. Along with lower outside markets early in the day, most pressure seemed tied to WASDE increasing expected beef production for this year, as wholesale beef prices decline and cash fed cattle prices remain tough to budge.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 85¢ lower (22¢ to $1.32 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ lower (25¢ lower at the front to $1.15 lower.)

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.05 lower Wednesday afternoon at $280.02/cwt. Select was $2.65 lower at $258.70.

Corn futures closed mostly 6¢ to 10¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

October 13th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 13, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on very light demand to a standstill through Tuesday afternoon. There were too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $122-$124 in Nebraska and $122 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $196 in Nebraska and $193-$196 in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle futures were a mixed bag Tuesday with Live Cattle, especially the front months, pressured by increased beef production estimates in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates  (WASDE).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 42¢ lower (5¢ lower at the back to 92¢ lower toward the front).

On the other hand, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher except for 75¢ lower in spot Oct. Support included higher corn production and corn price stability suggested by the latest WASDE. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 5¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $281.07/cwt. Select was $2.29 lower at $261.35.

Wheat futures gained Tuesday but Corn and especially Soybean futures softened in the wake of the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 10¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 20¢ to 30¢ lower through Jan ’23 and then 12¢ to 17¢ lower.

K.C. Wheat futures were mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

October 12th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 12, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $122-$124 in Nebraska and $122 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $196 in Nebraska and $193-$196 in the western Corn Belt. Between last week’s increased slaughter level and recent futures prices hopes are growing to budge cash prices higher this week.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 657,000 head was 20,000 head more than the previous week and year. Estimated total year-to-date cattle slaughter of 25.63 million head was 815,000 head more (+3.3%) than the same time last year. Estimated year-to-date total beef production of 21.8 billion lbs. was 604.7 million lbs. more (+2.9%) than a year earlier.

Cattle futures found a little more traction Monday as traders appeared more confident in recent gains.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ higher, except for 15¢ lower in spot Oct.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ higher, except for 7¢ and 10¢ lower toward either end of the board.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.15 lower Monday afternoon at $281.12/cwt. Select was 90¢ higher, though, at $263.64.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 14¢ lower.

October 11th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 11, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive with light demand in all major feeding regions through Friday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains at $122-$124/cwt. in Kansas and $124 in the Texas Panhandle. Prices were steady in the western Corn Belt at $122 but mostly steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $122-$124. Dressed prices were $196, which was steady in Nebraska and toward the top of last week’s price range in the western Corn Belt.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower as traders positioned for the weekend following the surge higher. Week to week on Friday, they closed an average of $5.17 higher.

Similarly, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed from an average of 37¢ lower to an average of 17¢ higher. They closed an average of $3.92 week to week on Friday.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.03 lower Friday afternoon at $283.27/cwt. Select was $1.74 lower at $262.74/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

October 10th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 8, 2021

Feeder Cattle futures took center stage Thursday, closing sharply higher and leading Live Cattle along. Support seemed to stem mainly from increased trader confidence based on notions the seasonal low is in the books.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.34 higher ($1.50 higher at the back to $3.55 higher in spot Oct).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 higher (47¢ higher at the back to $1.87 higher toward the front.)

Corn futures closed mixed, mostly 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 9¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive with light demand in all major feeding regions through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, live prices are steady in the Southern Plains at $122-$124/cwt. in Kansas and $124 in the Texas Panhandle. Prices are steady in the western Corn Belt at $122 but mostly steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $122-$124. Dressed prices are $196, which is steady in Nebraska and toward the top of last week’s price range in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.32 lower Thursday afternoon at $285.30/cwt. Select was $1.52 higher at $264.44.

October 7th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 7, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on moderate demand in the Southern Plains and Nebraska through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices in the Texas Panhandle were steady at $124/cwt., steady to $2 higher in Kansas at $124 and steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $122-$124. Dressed trade in Nebraska was steady at $196.

Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt. There were a few dressed sales at $196, but there were too few to trend. Prices last week were mostly $122 on a live basis and $192-$197 in the beef.

Live Cattle futures closed and average of 56¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed and average of $1.15 higher, except for 32¢ lower in the back contract.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 lower Wednesday afternoon at $286.62/cwt. Select was $4.87 lower at $262.91.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 9¢ lower.

October 6th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 6, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive with light demand in all trading regions through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were not enough sales for a market trend.

Live prices last week were at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, at $122-$124 in Kansas, at $122 in Nebraska and at $122-$123 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $196 in Nebraska and $192-$196 in the western Corn Belt. 

Cattle futures received follow-through support Tuesday amid continued oversold conditions and outside support.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.37 higher (60¢ higher in Aug ’22 up to $1.85 in nearby Nov.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher (20¢ at the front of the board to 95¢ at the back) except for nearby Dec, down 20¢.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.47 lower Tuesday afternoon at $287.71/cwt. Select was $2.62 higher at $267.78/cwt.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 15¢ higher.

October 5th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 5, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices last week were at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle at $122-$124 in Kansas, at $122 in Nebraska and at mostly $122 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $196 in Nebraska and $192-$197 in the western Corn Belt.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 637,000 head was 4,000 head fewer than the previous week and 27,000 head fewer than the same time last year.

Cattle futures plowed higher Monday, buoyed in part by extremely oversold conditions.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.64 higher (75¢ higher at the back to $2.85 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 higher Monday (32¢ higher toward the back to $2.25 higher in spot Oct) except for $2.00 lower in Sep.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.18 lower Monday afternoon at $289.18/cwt. Select was 32¢ higher at $265.16.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 2¢ higher across most of the board.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 10¢ lower through Jly ’22 and then mostly fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

October 4th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Oct. 4, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in Nebraska and the Western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were a few live sales at $122/cwt., however not enough in either region for a full market trend. Trading was at a standstill in the Southern Plains. 

Live prices last week were steady in the Texas Panhandle at $124/cwt., steady to $1 lower in Kansas at $123-$124, $2 lower in Nebraska at $122 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $122-$123. Dressed prices were $2 lower in Nebraska at $196 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $192-$196.

Cattle futures ended the week mixed as traders continued to position for the new month. Conditions remain as oversold as buyer interest is limited.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed from an average of 66¢ lower in four contracts (7¢ to $1.95 lower) to an average of 57¢ higher (20¢ to $1.95 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, an average of 38¢ lower through the front four contracts to an average of 21¢ higher in the back four contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.62 lower at $292.36/cwt. Select was $4.48 lower at $264.84/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower in the front four contracts, 3¢ to 5¢ lower through Jan ’23 and then mostly 1¢ lower to fractionally higher.

October 3rd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—10-01-21

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in all major feeding regions through Thursday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

So far this week, Live prices are steady in the Texas Panhandle at $124/cwt., steady to $1 lower in Kansas at $123-$124, $2 lower in Nebraska at $122 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $122-$123. Dressed prices are $2 lower in Nebraska at $196 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $192-$196.

Position squaring for the end of the week, month and quarter, along with softer cash prices and sharply lower outside markets helped push Cattle futures lower Thursday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.35 lower, except for 35¢ lower in expiring Sep.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.35 lower Thursday afternoon at $294.98/cwt. Select was $2.46 lower at $269.32/cwt.

Corn futures closed lower and Soybean futures closed sharply lower Thursday. Pressure included higher projected stocks than anticipated (see below) and the recently stronger dollar weighing on exports. As with cattle, week-end and month-end and positioning likely also contributed.

Corn futures closed mostly 2’2¢ to 2’6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 21¢ to 28¢ lower through Aug ’22 and then 15¢ lower to 3¢ higher.

September 30th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 30, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light on light to moderate demand in all major feeding regions through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live sales traded steady in the Texas Panhandle at $124/cwt. and steady to $2 lower in Nebraska at $122-$124/cwt. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $196.

Although too few to trend, there were some live sales in Kansas at $123-$124 and some in the western Corn Belt at $121.00-$123.50.

Those softer prices and declining wholesale beef values pressured Live Cattle futures Wednesday, which closed an average of 26¢ lower, except for 10¢ higher in away Oct and unchanged in away Dec.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.23 lower Wednesday afternoon at $297.33/cwt. Select was $2.57 lower at $271.78/cwt.

Weakness on the live side and a day of stronger Corn futures added pressure to Feeder Cattle, which closed an average of $1.08 lower.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher through Aug ‘22 and then mainly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

September 29th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 29, 2021

Short covering and lower Corn futures helped Feeder Cattle futures mostly rebound from the previous day’s pressure.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.00 higher.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 17¢ lower in four contracts to an average of 39¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in all major feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Fed cattle prices last week were generally steady on a live basis at $123-$124/cwt. Dressed trade was $2 lower at $198 in Nebraska and $194-$198 in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.14 lower Tuesday afternoon at $301.56/cwt. Select was 3¢ lower at $274.35.

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ lower through new-crop contracts and then 2¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 10¢ lower.

September 28th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 28, 2021

Cattle futures closed lower Monday, pressured by Friday’s Cattle on Feed report with unexpectedly higher placements. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.68 lower (38¢ to $3.00 lower). They received extra pressure from Corn futures, which closed an average of 12¢ higher in the front six contracts, apparently based on early yields.

Soybean futures closed up across the board, mostly 2¢ to 6¢ higher.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. 

Live price last week were generally steady at $123-$124/cwt. Dressed trade was $2 lower at $198 in Nebraska and $194-$198 in the western Corn Belt.

 Choice boxed beef cutout value was 62¢ lower Monday afternoon at $302.70/cwt. Select was 15¢ lower at $274.38.

September 27th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 27, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend in any region.

Live price last week were generally steady at $123-$124/cwt. Dressed trade was $2 lower at $198 in Nebraska and $194-$198 in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday, amid fairly light action as traders positioned ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report and the end of the week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher, except for 27¢ lower in spot Sep.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 34¢ lower.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 641,000 head, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was 16,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimate total cattle slaughter of 20.11 million head was 627,000 head more (+3.2%) than the same period last year. Estimated year to date beef production of 20.1 billion lbs. was 627 million lbs. more (+3.2%) than the same time last year.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Sept 11 was 909 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 11 lbs. lighter than the same week last year. The average dressed heifer weight of 831 lbs. was 9 lbs. heavier than the previous week but 5 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.28 lower Friday afternoon at $303.32/cwt. Select was 46¢ lower at $274.53.

September 26th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 24, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from a standstill to limited trade on light demand through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were too few transactions to trend in any region.

So far this week, live price are generally steady with last week at $123-$124/cwt. Dressed trade is $2 lower at $198 in Nebraska and $194-$198 in the western Corn Belt.

Resurgent equity markets helped Cattle futures mainly increase Thursday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ higher, except for 5¢ lower in spot Oct.

Recently higher Corn futures capped Feeder Cattle, which closed from an average of 33¢ lower in three contracts to an average of 37¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.23 lower Thursday afternoon at $305.60/cwt. Select was 51¢ lower at $274.99.

Net U.S. beef export sales (2021) for the week ending Sept. 16 totaled 15,800 metric tons, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report. That was 3% more than the previous week and 17% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Canada. 

Consensus favors Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report coming in about even with the previous year; slightly few placements and total cattle on feed.

 

September 23rd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 23, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow with moderate demand in Kansas and Nebraska through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Live prices were steady in Kansas at $123-$124/cwt., but $1 lower in Nebraska at $124. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $198.

Trade was limited on light demand in other regions. A light test brought steady money of $124 in the Texas Panhandle. Live sales in the western Corn Belt last week were $123-$124; dressed sales were $196-$200.

Higher outside markets and potential positioning ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report helped lift Cattle futures Wednesday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher (87¢ to $1.27 higher) except for 5¢ lower in spot Sep.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.02 higher (65¢ to $1.30 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.54 lower Wednesday afternoon at $307.83/cwt. Select was $2.51 lower at $275.50.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 8¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ higher through the front six contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

September 22nd, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 22, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Southern Plains and Western Corn Belt through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. In Nebraska, trading was mostly inactive with very light demand and not enough purchases to trend.

Last week in the Texas Panhandle, live sales traded at $124/cwt. In Kansas, live sales traded from $123-$124. In Nebraska, live sales traded at $124 and dressed mostly at 200. In the Western Corn Belt, live sales traded from $123-$124 and dressed at $196-$200.

Cattle futures mostly firmed Tuesday, despite continued pressure in Lean Hogs, tied to queasiness over China’s economic growth. After the bell, USDA announced confirmation of African Swine Fever in Haiti, which shares an island with the Dominican Republic, where it was recently confirmed.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ higher, except for an average of 7¢ lower in the front two contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ higher, except for an average of 22¢ lower in the front three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.29 lower Tuesday afternoon at $311.37/cwt. Select was $2.74 lower at $278.01.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 11¢ higher.

September 21st, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 21, 2021

Plenty of Monday’s market attention was focused beyond cattle to equities and other commodities as Wall Street investors sold heavily, apparently mostly due to concerns tied to China’s property market. Fears are a potential global domino effect in financial markets on top of ongoing worries about the pandemic and economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 614 points, the S&P 500 closed 75 points lower and the NASDAQ was down 330 points.

Despite the heavy outside pressure, Cattle futures held their own.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ higher, except for unchanged in Mar and 5¢ lower in May.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 16¢ lower except for 55¢ higher in near Dec.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through new-crop contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 15¢ to 21¢ lower.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, prices were steady to unevenly steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska with live prices at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $123-$124 in Kansas and $124 in Nebraska. Live prices in the western Corn Belt were $1-$3 lower at $123-$124. Dressed traded was unevenly steady at $200 in Nebraska but unevenly steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $196-$200.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.19 higher Monday afternoon at $315.66/cwt. Select was $1 higher at $280.75.

September 20th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 20, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, prices are steady to unevenly steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska with live prices at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $123-$124 in Kansas and $125 in Nebraska. Live prices in the western Corn Belt were $1-$3 lower at $123-$124. Dressed traded was unevenly steady at $200.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct fed steer price was 83¢ lower on a live basis at $123.90/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was $2.14 lower at $200.81.

Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 83,000 head more than the previous week at 660,000. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 23.7 million head was 843,000 head more (+3.7%) than the same time last year. Total year-to-date beef production of 19.57 billion lbs. was 643.3 million lbs. more (+3.4%) than the same period last year.

Cattle futures sagged lower Friday amid outside market weakness and week-end positioning.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 89¢ lower (57¢ lower at the back to $1.20 lower).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.53 lower at $314.47/cwt. Select was 52¢ lower at $279.75.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 12¢ lower through Aug ‘22 and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ lower.

September 19th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 17, 2021

Cattle futures managed to close marginally lower to narrowly mixed Thursday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 34¢ lower in four contracts to an average of 56¢ higher.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ lower, except for an average of 6¢ higher in two contracts.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Southern Plains and mostly inactive on light demand in the North through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, prices are steady to unevenly steady in the Southern Plains and Nebraska with live prices at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $123-$124 in Kansas and $125 in Nebraska. Live prices in the western Corn Belt are $1-$3 lower at $123-$124. Dressed traded is unevenly steady at $200.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.82 lower Thursday afternoon at $318.00/cwt. Select was $3.62 lower at $280.27.

Net U.S. beef export sales for the week ending Sept. 9 were 15,300 metric tons, according to USDA’s weekly U.S. Export Sales report. That was 23% more than the previous week and 24% more than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, China, Mexico, and Canada.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through May ‘22 and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower.

September 16th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 16, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in the Southern Plains through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were generally steady at $124/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and $123-$124 in Kansas.

Prices were unevenly steady in Nebraska at $125 on a live basis and $200 in the beef.

There were too few transactions to trend in the western Corn Belt.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.07 lower Wednesday afternoon at $319.82/cwt. Select was $6.73 lower at $283.89.

Cattle futures retreated Wednesday but held on to most of the previous session’s gains. Resurgent Corn futures added pressure to Feeder Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.20 lower (2¢ at the back to  to $2.15 lower toward the front).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower (10¢ lower at the front to $1.10 lower at the back), except for 5¢ higher in spot Oct.

Corn futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 12¢ higher through Nov ‘22 and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

September 15th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 15, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $124-$127 in the North. Dressed trade was at $198-$203.

Cattle futures were finally oversold and cheap enough to generate buying interest Tuesday. Support included the fact that the JBS plant in Grand Island — offline Monday due to a fire on the rendering side — was reportedly back up and running.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.96 higher ($2.57 to $3.45 higher).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.16 higher ($1.65 to $2.82 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.04 lower Tuesday afternoon at $322.89/cwt. Select was $1.54 lower at $290.62.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher across the front half of the board and then fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower, except for 4¢ higher in spot Sep.

September 14th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 14, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $124-$126 in Nebraska and $124-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was at $198-$203. 

Last week’s five-area direct average steer price was $124.79/cwt. on a live basis, which was 64¢ less than the previous week. The average steer price in the beef was 97¢ lower at $200.82.

Widespread reports of an overnight for at the JBS packing facility in Grand Island, Neb. — apparently halting production, at least for Monday — shoved already faltering Cattle futures lower. Overall weakness in commodity markets also contributed pressure.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.09 lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 lower

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 57¢ lower Monday afternoon at $247.59/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $218.01/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ lower through Jly ’22 and then 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower through Aug ’22 and then fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

September 13th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 13, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural marketing Service.

Last week, live prices were steady to $1 lower at $123-$124/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $124-$125 in Nebraska and $124-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $2-$5 lower in Nebraska at $198 and steady to $3 lower in the western Corn Belt at $203.

Cattle futures continued lower Friday, pressured by growing concerns about rising Delta variant infections hampering economic recovery and demand.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 lower (50¢ lower in the back contract to $2.10 lower in Nov ’21).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower, (33¢ lower in the front contract to $1.13 lower at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.36 lower Friday at $327.22/cwt. Select was $3.08 lower at $298.37.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending Aug. 28 was 901 lbs., which was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week and 15 lbs. lighter than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 821 lbs. was 1 lb. heavier than the previous week but 13 lbs. lighter than the previous year.

Estimated total cattle slaughter the holiday shortened week was 577,000 head, according to USDA, which was 47,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 23.04 million head is 834,000 more (+3.76%) than the same period last year.

Estimated year-to-date total beef production of 19.03 billion lbs. was 648.1 million lbs. more (+3.53%) than the same time the previous year.

Corn futures closed higher Friday, despite bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates that increased ending stocks with more projected planted acres and higher estimated yield.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 9¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 15¢ to 19¢ higher.

September 12th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 10, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon. Although there were too few transactions to trend, there was some live trade at $124-$125/cwt. and some in the beef at $198. The previous day, established trend was as $126 and $203, respectively.

Trade was limited on light demand in Kansas with a few live sales steady with the previous day at $123.

Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt. Live prices the previous day were at $124-$125; $203 dressed.

Trade was at a standstill in the Texas Panhandle. Live prices the previous day were at $123-$124.

Cattle futures offered hope again early in yesterday’s session but closed lower yet again, except for front-month Live Cattle.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $1.28 lower at the back).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower, except for 2¢ to 65¢ higher in the front three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.28 lower Thursday afternoon at $332.58/cwt. Select was $1.72 lower at $296.45.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 12¢ lower with most of the pressure in new-crop contracts.

September 9th, 2021|

Cattle Current Podcast—Sept. 9, 2021

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few transactions to trend, there were a few live sales in Nebraska at $126/cwt. There were also some early dressed sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $203. Last week, live prices were $125-$126 in Nebraska and $125-$128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade in the regions was at $200-$203.

Trade in the Southern Plains was limited on light demand. There were a few live sales at $124, steady with the previous day. Last week, live sales in Kansas were at $125-$126 and at $123-$124 in the Texas Panhandle.

Cattle futures tried to gain traction early in Wednesday’s session but ran out of steam amid continued concerns about declining beef values and demand uncertainty.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 lower (22¢ lower at the front to $1.77 lower toward the back).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower amid heavy trade.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 33¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $334.86/cwt. Select was $3.73 lower at $298.17.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower, except for 2¢ higher in spot Sep.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 2¢ higher through Sep ’22 and then fractionally lower.

For the record, 59% of the nation’s corn crop was in Good or Excellent condition (week ending Sept. 5), according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report. That was 1% less than the previous week and 2% less than the five-year average.

57% of the soybean crop was in good or excellent condition versus 56% the previous year and 65% for average.