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—Aug. 12, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were a few early negotiated cash fed cattle sales in Kansas on Tuesday at $103/cwt. on a live basis, and a few in the western Corn Belt at $105.

The recent bump higher in fed cattle prices and a promising outlook for more of the same this week, along with higher wholesale beef values, helped Cattle futures gain a little ground Tuesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ higher (50¢ to $1.15 higher), except for 7¢ lower in the back contract.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 93¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 88¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $208.08/cwt. Select was $1.09 higher at $195.02.

Grain futures mainly hovered on Tuesday as traders awaited Wednesday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through May ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower. 

Soybean futures closed unchanged to 1¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

August 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 11, 2020

The weekly five-area weighted average steer price last week was $101.34/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.68 more than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $163.20, which was $3.17 higher.

Stronger cash fed cattle prices and firmer wholesale beef values helped Cattle futures gain a little ground Monday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher (2¢ to 85¢ higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.73 higher Monday afternoon at $207.20/cwt. Select was $1.18 higher at $193.93.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.            

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

August 10th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 10, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was mainly $3 higher through Friday afternoon at $103/cwt. on a live basis and at $163 in the beef.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average steer price was $101.28 on a live basis, which was $2.79 higher than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $163.19, which was $3.17 higher than the prior week. Compared to the same time last year, though, those prices were $12.83 less and $19.38 less, respectively.

Cattle futures edged lower on Friday, entrenched in the long-worn sideways channel, and with some likely profit taking.

Except for 17¢ higher in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower (7¢ to 87¢ lower).

Except for 22¢ and 7¢ higher in two away contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 81¢ higher Friday afternoon at $205.47/cwt. Select was 74¢ higher at $192.75.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ lower. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 10¢ lower.

August 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 7, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade had yet to fully develop through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, but early prices are mostly $3 higher, with established trade in the Southern Plains at mostly $100/cwt. Although too few to trend, there were some early trades in Nebraska ($163 dressed) and in the western Corn Belt at $103 on a live basis and at $163 in the beef.

Cattle futures were mixed but mostly softer. The latest U.S. Export sales report offered no support. Net beef export sales for the week ending July 30 were down 55% from the previous week and down 35% percent from the prior four-week average, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. June exports were down hard (see below).

Except for 32¢ and 42¢ higher on either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ lower.

Except for 15¢ lower in Sep, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 87¢ lower (52¢ to $1.32 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher Thursday afternoon at $204.66/cwt. Select was $1.19 higher at $192.01.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 25 was 903 lbs., which was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 34 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. was the same as the previous week but 29 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

Total cattle slaughter for the week of 639,971 head was 11,692 head fewer than the same week last year, but beef production of 533.7 million lbs. was 7.8 million lbs. more.

Corn futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed. 

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

August 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 6, 2020

There was no negotiated cash fed cattle trade summary available from USDA at press time Wednesday, but indications continued to point to higher prices for the week.

For instance, Choice steers and heifers sold $3.50 to $3.75 higher at the fat auction in Tama, Iowa. There were 127 head of Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,382 lbs. and bringing an average of $104.32/cwt.

Cattle feeders offered 1,474 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction—all from the Southern Plains. Of those, 1,400 head sold: 960 head for delivery of 1-9 days at an average weighted price of $99.95/cwt.; 440 head for delivery at 1-17 days for a weighted average price of $100.

Except for 2¢ and 5¢ lower in two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 34¢ higher.

Except for 15¢ lower in Sep, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 58¢ lower Wednesday morning at $203.66/cwt. Select was 56¢ higher at $191.01.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

August 5th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 5, 2020

Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly lower on Tuesday, awaiting cash direction. Early indications are cash fed cattle have some room to grow this week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower.

Except for an average of 14¢ higher in two mid-board contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 42¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $204.24/cwt. Select was 5¢ higher at $190.45.

Positive crop conditions and weather weighed on grain futures, Tuesday.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 9¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 14¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then 4¢ to 9¢ lower.

August 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 4, 2020

Last week’s five-area direct weighted average steer price was $98.66/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.42 more than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.03, which was $1.93 more than the prior week.

Cattle futures continued to maintain and extend recent gains Monday, except for the back months of Feeder Cattle. Support includes cash strength, thoughts of increased food service demand when schools resume this fall and the highest level of open interest since the middle of March.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 42¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 47¢ higher across the front half of the board to an average of 65¢ lower across the back half.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.40 higher Monday afternoon at $204.66/cwt. Select was 51¢ higher at $190.40.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

August 3rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Aug. 3, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week generally $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $97/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $100 in Nebraska, $98 in Colorado and steady at $101-$102 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $160.

Through Thursday, the average five-area direct weighted steer prices was $98.49/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.26 more than the previous week, but $15.48 less than the same time last year. The average dressed steer price of $160.02 was $1.92 higher than the previous week, but $24.49 less than the previous year.

Cattle futures closed higher again Friday, helped along by cash strength, as well as week-end and month-end positioning and book squaring.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.63 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.46 higher Friday afternoon at $203.26/cwt. Select was $1.61 lower at $189.89.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher. 

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

August 1st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 31, 2020

So far for the week, negotiated cash fed cattle prices on a live basis are $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $97/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at $100, steady in Colorado at $98 and steady to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $100-$102. Dressed prices are $2 higher at $160.

Cattle futures closed higher again Thursday. Along with cash strength, support included bullish export news with net sales of 29,500 metric tons (mt) for the week of July 23—a market year high—up 89% from the previous week and up 81% from the previous four-week average. That according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Except for 15¢ lower in away Oct, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.05 higher (67¢ higher at the back to $1.85 higher toward the front).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 69¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $201.80/cwt. Select was $2.01 higher at $191.50.

The average dressed steer weight the week ending July 18 of 899 lbs. was 3 lbs. less than the prior week but 33 lbs. more than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. was the same as a week earlier but 34 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

July 30th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 30, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $1 higher in the Southern Plains Wednesday at $97/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were also some live sales in Nebraska at $98 and in the western Corn Belt at $99-$101. Early dressed sales were at $160.

Slaughter steers and heifers also sold steady to $1 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 184 head of Choice 2-3 steers weighed an average of 1,475 lbs. and brought an average price of $101.12.

Cash strength helped Cattle futures extend gains Wednesday.

Except for 2¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ higher (47¢ to $1.07 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 98¢ higher (25¢ to $1.47 higher), amid extremely light trade.

Wholesale beef prices continue to drag bottom, though. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.85 lower Wednesday afternoon at $201.11/cwt. Select was $1.17 higher at $189.49.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower through May ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 5¢ lower though May ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

July 29th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 29, 2020

Although too few transactions to trend, there was some early negotiated cash fed cattle trade Tuesday. Live prices in the Southern Plains were on either side of steady at $95/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and $95.00-$97.50 in Kansas, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Early dressed sales in the western Corn Belt were at $161, compared to $158 last week.

Cattle futures closed higher Tuesday, off of session highs and square in the same trading channel of recent weeks.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ higher (22¢ to $1.17 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ higher (15¢ to $1.67 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 41¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $202.96/cwt. Select was $1.81 lower at $188.32.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 12¢ lower.

July 28th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 28, 2020

Cattle futures closed mostly lower Monday, despite logic suggesting a friendly to neutral Cattle on feed report Friday. Besides technical pressure and near expiration of spot Live Cattle, less estimated week-to-week cattle slaughter and the higher year-to-year cattle inventory could have lent bearishness.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ lower, except for 75¢ higher in the back contract.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.90 lower (35¢ to $3.12 lower), except for an average of 22¢ higher in the back three contracts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 78¢ lower Monday afternoon at $202.55/cwt. Select was 50¢ lower at $190.13.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

July 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 27, 2020

Through Thursday, the average five-area direct fed steer price was $97.23/cwt. on a live basis, which was 91¢ higher than the previous week, but $18.20 less than the same time last year.

Regionally, negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was generally $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $96/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $98 in the Northern Plains and $99-$100 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trades were mostly $1 higher at $158.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ higher, except for 35¢ and 32¢ lower in Feb and Apr and unchanged in away Dec.

Except for 2¢ higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed from unchanged to an average of 34¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 49¢ lower Friday afternoon at $201.77/cwt. Select was 16¢ lower at $190.63.

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

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

July 25th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 24, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week so far is generally $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $96/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $98 in the Northern Plains and $99-$100 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trades are mostly $1 higher at $158.

Cattle futures softened a touch Thursday, despite firmer cash fed cattle and wholesale beef prices, and ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report and the semiannual Cattle inventory report.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower (20¢ at the back to $1.12 lower toward the front).       

Except for 50¢ higher in spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed from unchanged to an average of 14¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.11 higher Thursday afternoon at $202.26/cwt. Select was $1.51 higher at $190.79.

The average dressed heifer weight for the week ending July 11 was 902 lbs. which was 6 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 37 lbs. heavier than the same week last year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 829 lbs. was 3 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 38 lbs. more than the prior year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

July 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 23, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices trended higher through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Live sales in Colorado were $2 higher than last week at $98/cwt. In Nebraska, live trades were 50¢ to $2 higher at $98; dressed sales were $1.00-$1.50 higher at $158.00-$158.50.

Cattle feeders sold 422 head of the 1,022 offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction—all from the Southern Plains. Of those 103 head sold for a weighted average price of $96/cwt. (1-9 day delivery) and 319 head sold for a weighted average price of $96.12 (9-17 day delivery). Those prices mirrored country trade in the region on Tuesday.

Cattle futures closed mixed, but mostly slightly higher on Wednesday, with more strength later in the session. Some positioning is likely Thursday, ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report and the semiannual Cattle inventory report.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 24¢ lower through the front four contracts to an average of 42¢ higher.  

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 31¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 27¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $201.15/cwt. Select was $2.02 lower at $189.28.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

July 22nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 22, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales in the Southern Plains on Tuesday at $96/cwt., which was $1 higher than last week.

Cattle futures closed mixed on Tuesday, amid sluggish activity, as traders apparently waited for more cash direction.

Except for 2¢ higher in Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 34¢ lower.        

Except for 27¢ lower and 2¢ lower in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher (15¢ to $1.30 higher at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 86¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $200.88/cwt. Select was 29¢ lower at $191.30.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

July 21st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 21, 2020

Cattle futures softened some on Monday, likely with some profit taking from last week’s strong performance.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower (25¢ lower to $1.00 lower in spot Aug). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.31 lower (32¢ to $2.30 lower).

Wholesale beef values edged higher Monday after dropping to the lowest levels last week since December of 2017.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.27 higher Monday afternoon at $201.74/cwt. Select was $1.28 higher at $191.59.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

July 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 20, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week generally steady.

The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price through Thursday was $96.32/cwt. on a live basis, which was 35¢ higher than the previous week, but $16.70 less than the same week last year. The average steer price in the beef was $157.58, which was 9¢ less than the previous week and $25.39 less than a year earlier.

Cattle futures meandered higher by Friday’s close, supported by the week’s optimism built by cash feeder prices and thoughts that the low may be in the books for fed cattle prices.

Except for unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 36¢ higher.       

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 33¢ lower Friday afternoon at $200.47/cwt. Select was 99¢ lower at $190.31.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 4 was 896 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was even with the previous week and 35 lbs. heavier than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight was 826 lbs., on par with the previous week but 34 lbs. heavier than the same week last year.

Estimated total cattle slaughter for the week ending July 18 was 650,000 head, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. That would be 7,000 head fewer (-1.07%) than the previous week’s estimate and 5,000 head fewer (-0.76%) than the same week last year. Year to date estimated total cattle slaughter of 17.15 million head is 1.01 million head fewer (-5.56%) than last year.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.

July 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 17, 2020

Cattle futures stepped higher Thursday, supported by firmer cash prices, chatter about the low for fed cattle being established and an increase in weekly exports.

Net beef export sales of 27,800 metric tons for the week ending July 9 were up noticeably from the previous week and up 68% from the prior four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, and Canada.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.33 higher (67¢ to $2.05 higher).  

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher (67¢ to $3.20 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 4¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $200.80/cwt. Select was 7¢ lower at $191.30.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 8¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 4¢ higher.

July 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 16, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued on Wednesday at mainly steady prices, with live sales at $95/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $96 in the Northern Plains, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed trade in the western Corn Belt was at $157-$160.

Cattle feeders offered 1,224 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. Of those, 275 head–three Kansas lots–sold for a weighted average price of $95.62/cwt. with delivery of 1-9 days.

Choice 2-4 steers (169 head) weighing an average of 1,379 lbs. brought an average of $101.79 at the fat auction in Tama, IA, which was 50¢ to 75¢ lower than the prior week.

At Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, though, slaughter steers and heifers sold steady to $2 higher. There were 459 Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,451 lbs. and bringing an average of $100.88.

Cattle futures bounced higher, supported by firm cash fed cattle, as well as current cash demand for feeder cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 85¢ higher (30¢ higher at the back to $2.50 higher in spot Aug).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.40 higher (32¢ higher to $2.70 higher in spot Aug).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $200.76/cwt. Select was 52¢ higher at $191.37.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures got a boost from Wednesday’s announcement that China bought 389,000 metric tons for delivery in 2020-21.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 8¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 3¢ higher.

July 15th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 15, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade got off to a steady start Tuesday with live prices in the Southern Plains at $95/cwt., but a few up to $96.25 in Kansas, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Cattle futures softened with some likely profit taking as traders take stock of the potential upside beyond the backlog of fed cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ lower (32¢ lower to $1.22 lower).          

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ lower (30¢ to $1.20 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.34 lower Tuesday afternoon at $200.92/cwt. Select was $1.03 lower at $190.85.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

July 14th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 14, 2020

The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price last week was $95.98/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.11 higher than the previous week but $17.39 less than the same week last year. The average price in the beef was $157.60, which was $3.92 higher than the prior week but $25.21 less than the prior year, according to USDA. Fed cattle transactions of 83,634 head were 3,098 head fewer than the prior week but 19,304 head more (+30%) than the same week a year earlier.

Firmer to higher cash fed cattle prices helped Cattle futures close mostly higher Monday. Feeder Cattle were also supported by a steep decline in Corn futures.

Except for an average of 25¢ lower through the front three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 31¢ higher.       

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.41 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.24 lower Monday afternoon at $203.26/cwt. Select was $2.41 lower at $191.88.

Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and continued positive crop progress weighed on grain futures to start the week.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through Jul ’21 and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 15¢ lower through May ’21 and then 5¢ to 10¢ lower.

July 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 13, 2020

The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price through Thursday was $95.97/cwt. on a live basis and $157.67 in the beef. That was $1.06 and $3.84 higher, week to week, respectively.

Speculation by some that that the low is in for cash fed cattle price, along with normalizing wholesale beef values, helped support Cattle futures to end the week. Lower Corn futures on Friday also supported Feeder Cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.24 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 91¢ higher Friday afternoon at $204.50/cwt. Select was 54¢ lower at $194.29.

Increased beginning corn and soybean stocks projected in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (see below) weighed on futures Friday.

Corn futures closed mostly 10¢ to 11¢ lower through Jul ’21 and then mostly 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 9¢ to 12¢ lower.

July 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 10, 2020

The week’s mostly steady to stronger negotiated cash fed cattle trade helped lift Cattle futures on Thursday.

Except for 30¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher.

That was despite the latest U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For the week ending July 6, net U.S. beef export sales of 9,500 metric tons (mt) were 23% less than the previous week and 51% less than the previous four-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan, South Korea, China, Mexico, and Taiwan.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ higher.

At $133.69, the CME Feeder Cattle Index was at the highest level since the first part of March.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 24¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $203.59/cwt. Select was 69¢ lower at $194.83.

USDA’s latest weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report underscores the continued recovery in beef packing capacity. Total fed cattle slaughter for the week of June 27 was 532,820 head, which was 20,029 more than the previous week–the most since the last week of March–but 5,221 head fewer than the previous year. Total cattle slaughter of 664,812 head was 19,151 head more than the previous week, but 5,499 head fewer than the previous year.

That same report speaks to the continued backlog of fed cattle, with the average dressed steer weight for the week at 896 lbs., which was 6 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 42 lbs. more than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight of 826 lbs. was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 37 lbs. heavier than the same time a year earlier.

July 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 9, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued on Wednesday with prices mainly steady to higher, compared to last week. Live prices in the Texas Panhandle were steady to $2 higher at $95/cwt.; steady to $1 lower in Kansas at $94-$95. For the week, live sales are steady in Nebraska at $95-$96 and $3-$5 higher in the beef at $157-$160. In the western Corn Belt, live sales are $3 higher than last week at $99-$100 and $5-$7 higher in the beef at $160.

Cattle feeders offered 1,390 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. Of those, 659 head sold, all from Kansas: 509 head for delivery at 1-9 days for a weighted average price of $95.16; 150 head for delivery at 1-17 days for a weighted average price of $95.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.47 lower Wednesday afternoon at $203.83/cwt. Select was $1.32 lower at $195.52.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ lower through May ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

July 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 8, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were a few early negotiated cash fed cattle sales in the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday at $95/cwt. on a live basis, and a few in Kansas at $94-$95. There were also a few dressed trades in Nebraska at mostly $157-$160 and a few in the western Corn Belt at $160 (a few live sales at $100).

Cattle futures paused the recent rally, giving back a minority of gains.

Except for 25¢ higher in near Oct and 2¢ higher at the back, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower.

Except for 5¢ higher in Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ lower (25¢ lower at the back to $1.22 lower in spot Aug).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $205.30/cwt. Select was 13¢ lower at $196.84.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ lower through Jul ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower through Nov ’21 and then fractionally lower to 1¢ higher.

July 7th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 7, 2020

Early dressed sales in the western Corn Belt on Monday were $5-$7 higher than last week at $160/cwt., according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were some live sales in Kansas at $93-$95 (steady to $2 lower) and some dressed sales in Nebraska at $155-$160 ($5-$6 higher).

Cattle futures built on the previous session’s gains, supported by surging outside markets and likely helped along by technicals.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher (40¢ higher to $1.25 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher (55¢ to $1.37 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 2¢ higher Monday afternoon at $205.46/cwt. Select was $1.79 lower at $196.97.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

July 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 3-6, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the holiday-shortened week steady to $2 lower on a live basis in the Southern Plains at $93-$95/cwt.; steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $95-$96 and unevenly steady in the western Corn Belt at $96-$97. Dressed trade was $1 lower in Nebraska at $154-$155 and steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $152-$155.

Cattle futures extended gains, though, for no apparent reason.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.08 higher (32¢ higher to $2.10 higher in spot Aug).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.78 higher ($1.47 to $2.55 higher).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 6¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $205.44/cwt. Select was 33¢ higher at $198.76.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 20 was 890 lbs., which was 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 36 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 823 lbs. was 1 lb. lighter than the previous week, but 33 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier.

Grain futures softened Thursday, following strong gains earlier in the week. Pressure likely included week-end positioning and profit taking, as well as the bearish weekly Export Sales report (week ending June 25) from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Net export corn sales of 361,100 metric tons (mt) for 2019-2020 were down 22% from the previous week and 32% from the prior four-week average.

Net soybean export sales of 241,700 mt for 2019-2020 were a marketing-year low, down 60% from the previous week and 63% from the prior four-week average.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 7¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

July 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—July 1, 2020

There was no Afternoon Slaughter Cattle Review from USDA at press time. However, the Direct Slaughter Cattle Reporting Dashboard from AMS had live cattle on Tuesday bringing an average of just over $97/cwt.; close to $153 in the beef.

Cattle futures started the day in positive territory before USDA’s grain-friendly Acreage and Grain Stocks reports pounded Feeder Cattle futures.

Other than $3.35 lower in expiring spot Jun and 20¢ higher in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 20¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.00 lower (65¢ lower in spot Aug to $1.20 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.39 lower Tuesday afternoon at $206.97/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $199.90.

Corn and soybean futures bounced higher Tuesday, buoyed by the aforementioned USDA reports.

Corn futures closed 12¢ to 15¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then 4¢ to 7¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 16¢ to 20¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 12¢ higher.

June 30th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 30, 2020

Packers up north got a head start on the holiday-shortened week Monday, paying steady to $3 less for negotiated cash fed cattle at $153/cwt. on a dressed basis in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area average direct fed steer price last week was $96.21/cwt. on a live basis, which was $4.57 less than the prior week. The average steer price in the beef was $154.78, which was $5.92 less. Prices the same week last year were $110.13 and $179.02, respectively.

Even so, Cattle futures ended Monday higher, helped along by outside markets and despite the bounce in Corn futures. Higher wholesale beef values also helped.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher.

Except for 20¢ lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ higher. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.19 higher Monday afternoon at $208.36/cwt. Select was $1.86 higher at $200.71.

Grain futures traded higher, perhaps buoyed by positioning ahead of Tuesday’s Grain Stocks and Acreage reports due from USDA.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 9¢ higher through Sep ’21 and then 4¢ to 6¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly 5¢ to 6¢ higher.

June 29th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 29, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week solidly lower, according to reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service. Regionally, live prices were $5-$7 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $93-$95/cwt., $5 less in Kansas at $95, $3-$7 lower in Nebraska at $95 and $1-$4 less in the western Corn Belt at $98. Dressed trade was $3-$7 less at $155-$156 in Nebraska and at $153-$156 in the western Corn Belt.

The five-area average direct fed steer price through Thursday was $96.24/cwt. on a live basis, which was $4.58 lower than the previous week and $14.34 less than the same period a year earlier. The average dressed steer price was $154.78, which was $5.96 less than the prior week and $24.58 less than a year earlier.

Cattle futures softened to end the week, amid the lower cash fed cattle prices, possible month-end and quarter-end positioning, as well as the picture painted by the monthly Livestock Slaughter report (see below).

Except for 52¢ higher in waning spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower (5¢ to 97¢ lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.08 lower (65¢ lower to $1.75 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 lower Friday afternoon at $207.17/cwt. Select was $1.08 lower at $198.85.

USDA estimated total cattle slaughter for the week at 680,000 head, which would be 3.7% more than the previous week and 1.5% more than the same week last year. Total beef production under federal inspection was estimated at 562.3 million lbs., which would be 3.9% more than the previous week and 5.3% more than the same week last year.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ lower.

June 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 26, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued at lower money for the week with live sales in the Texas Panhandle on Thursday down $5-$7 at $93-$97/cwt.

Cattle futures closed mainly higher, with support likely including lower corn prices and positive export news.

Weekly net U.S. beef export sales as of June 18 were 24,400 metric tons (mt), which were 21% more than the previous week and 52% more than the prior four-week average, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Other than unchanged to an average of 15¢ lower in three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.43 lower Thursday afternoon at $208.26/cwt. Select was $1.76 lower at $199.93.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 13 was 896 lbs., which was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 47 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 824 lbs., which was the same as a week earlier, but 37 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ lower through May ’21 and then mostly 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

June 25th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 24, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued lower Tuesday, with dressed trade in Nebraska mostly $3-$7 lower than last week at $155/cwt.

Even so, Cattle futures found some spark, helped along by outside markets.

Except for 87¢ lower in spot Jun and 17¢ lower at the back, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ higher (37¢ to $2.07 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.39 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.25 lower Tuesday afternoon at $211.81/cwt. Select was 73¢ lower at $203.57.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher.

June 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 23, 2020

Although too few to trend, there were a few early live sales in the Texas Panhandle on Monday at $95/cwt. There were a few dressed trades in Nebraska at $152-$155.

Cattle futures closed narrowly lower Monday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower, (7¢ lower at the back to 80¢ lower at the front).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 34¢ higher Monday afternoon at $214.06/cwt. Select was 39¢ higher at $204.30.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower in the front four contracts and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower. 

June 22nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 22, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were lower to sharply lower last week, with significantly heavier carcasses than a year ago and the continued backlog of market-ready cattle.

Based on reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service, the last established market in the Texas Panhandle was at $98/cwt., which was $6-$10 less than the previous week. Until then, prices were about $5 less at around $100, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Live prices were $4-$6 lower in Kansas at mostly $100-$102, steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $98-$102 and $3-$4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $99-$102. Dressed trade was steady to $12 lower at $158-$160.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average price for steers on a live basis was $100.82/cwt., which was  $4.02 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $160.74, which was $5.91 less. Prices at the same time last year were at $110.43 and $180.56, respectively. Keep in mind that carcass weights are contra-seasonal and significantly heavier than last year.

Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 63¢ lower through the front five contracts (10¢ lower to $1.37 lower in spot Jun) and then an average of 16¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 24¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ higher Friday afternoon at $213.72/cwt. Select was 17¢ lower at $203.91.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

June 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 19, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued in Kansas on Thursday with live prices at $96-$102/cwt., but mostly $100-$102, which was $2-$6 lower than the last week.

Cattle futures softened Thursday, with continued light trade, lower cash prices and the ongoing decline in wholesale beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 71¢ lower. 

Beef exports continue to be a bright spot.

Net U.S. beef export sales of 20,100 metric tons for the week ending June 11 were 1% less than the previous week but 67% more than the previous four-week average, according to the U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increased sales were mainly to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.37 lower Thursday afternoon at $213.56/cwt. Select was $4.00 lower at $204.08.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 6 was 892 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 46 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 824 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 42 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher. 

June 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 18, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued $2-$6 lower on a live basis Wednesday at $100-$102/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $102 in Nebraska; $99-$102 in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday. Dressed trade was at $160-$162, which was $5-$10 lower in Nebraska and steady to $10 lower in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle feeders offered 1,220 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction; none sold.

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.25-$2.50 lower at the fat auction in Tama, IA. There were 122 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,378 lbs., bringing an average of $104.13/cwt.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $3-$6 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. There were 498 Choice 3-4 steers weighing an average of 1,533 lbs. and bringing an average of $102.76.

Cattle futures mostly tread water Wednesday amid continued light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ higher, except for unchanged in Dec.

Except for 32¢ lower in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 36¢ higher. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.96 lower Wednesday afternoon at $217.93/cwt. Select was $5.09 lower at $208.08.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher. 

June 17th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 17, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued the early-week’s lower tone through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Direct Slaughter Cattle Dashboard from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Live steers averaged $102.81/cwt. and live heifers averaged $101.62. In the beef, steers averaged $164.62 and heifers averaged $163.41.

Cattle futures rallied higher on Tuesday, amid relatively light trade, helped along by strength in outside markets, normalizing supply chains and possibly some early positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 99¢ higher (25¢ higher in spot Jun to $1.22 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $2.03 higher ($1.70 higher in spot Aug to $2.30 higher at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 72¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $227.89/cwt. Select was $1.18 lower at $213.17.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly unchanged.

June 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 16, 2020

Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle sales started the week on a mostly lower note, with live trades at $100/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $98-$100 in Kansas and at $100-$105 in Nebraska. Early dressed trades in Nebraska were at $159-$167; mostly $167 in the western Corn Belt, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

The weighted five-area direct average price for steers last week, on a live basis, was $104.47/cwt., which was $7.92 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $12.64 less at $166.40. Prices for the same week last year were $113.62 and $184.48, respectively.

Cattle futures followed equity markets on Monday, down early before recovering into the close.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ higher, except for unchanged in spot Jun.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 56¢ higher (7¢ higher in spot Aug to 77¢ higher at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.03 lower Monday afternoon at $228.61/cwt. Select was $4.92 lower at $214.35.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

June 15th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 15, 2020

Through Thursday, the average five-area direct fed steer price (AMS) was $104.84 on a live basis, compared to $112.68 the previous week. The dressed steer price was $166.65, versus $179.17 the prior week.

Regionally, live prices were $3-$4 lower in the Southern Plains at $104/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and at $103-$107 in Kansas. Live trade was $5-$10 lower in Nebraska at $105-$108; $5-$9 less in the western Corn Belt at $103-$105. Dressed trade was $10-$20 lower in Nebraska at $165; $13-$15 lower in the western Corn Belt at $160-$172.

Cattle futures drifted lower on Friday amid light trade and lower cash prices

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 72¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 88¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values closed lower, minus the steep pitch of recent weeks. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.92 lower Friday afternoon at $230.64/cwt. Select was 61¢ lower at $219.27.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower.

June 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 12, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued lower on Thursday, with live trade in the Texas Panhandle $4 lower at $104/cwt. and $1-$5 lower in Kansas at $103-$107, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“With the slaughter pace inching closer to normal and beef cutout values dropping, the focus may soon be turning to the surplus of market ready cattle that history says will have to be whittled away at by getting to a price low enough to stimulate surplus demand,” noted the AMS reporter on hand for the weekly sale at South Central Regional Stockyards in Vienna, MO.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed to narrowly lower, fading more intense pressure early in the session. Declining cash prices and sharply lower outside markets added drag, while export sales provided some lift. Net beef export sales were up 66% (week ending June 4) from the previous week and up noticeably from the prior four-week average, according to the weekly Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 35¢ lower to 22¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 54¢ lower.

The average five-area direct live steer price (FOB) in May was $111.53/cwt., which was $9.51 more than the previous month, according to USDA. The average dressed steer price in the beef was $179.02 (delivered), which was $19.75 more than the previous month.

Wholesale beef values closed lower, minus the steep pitch of recent weeks. Choice boxed beef cutout value was 50¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $235.56/cwt. Select was $2.96 lower at $219.88.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending May 30 was 891 lbs., which was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 49 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 826 lbs. was even with the prior week and 47 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Other than fractionally higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower. 

June 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 11, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade staggered ahead Wednesday with live sales in the Southern Plains mostly unevenly steady at $108/cwt. A day earlier, dressed trade in Nebraska was $10-$20 lower than last week at $165, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Cattle feeders offered 1,447 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction on Wednesday. Just one lot—228 head of Texas heifers—sold for a weighted average price of $105/cwt. for delivery at 1-17 days.

Choice steers and heifers sold $2.50-$3.00 lower at the fat auction in Tama, IA, where 120 head of Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,375 lbs. brought an average price of $106.59.

At Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, slaughter steers and heifers sold steady to $4 lower. There were 206 head of Choice 3-4 steers weighing an average of 1,590 lbs. and bringing an average of $105.27.

Cattle futures closed mostly lower with the softer cash tone and continued decline in wholesale beef values.

Other than 27¢ higher in spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.07 lower (67¢ lower at the back to $1.57 lower in spot Aug).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $10.94 lower Wednesday afternoon at $236.06/cwt. Select was $5.11 lower at $222.84.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Other than fractionally higher to 2¢ higher in the front four contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

June 10th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 10, 2020

Other than a few dressed trades reported by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday at $166/cwt. and too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped.

Cattle futures closed mostly higher with more active trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 higher through the front five contracts (10¢ higher in Feb to $2.20 higher in spot Jun), and then an average of 12¢ lower. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 73¢ higher (32¢ higher toward the back to $1.17 higher in spot Aug).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.58 lower Tuesday afternoon at $247.00/cwt. Select was $3.17 lower at $227.95.

As of Tuesday morning, beef packing facilities were operating at 98% of their average capacity, compared to the same time last year, according to USDA. Pork facilities were at 95%, and poultry facilities were operating at 98%.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 6¢ lower through May ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 4¢ lower through Jly ‘21 and then mainly 7¢ to 8¢ lower.

June 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 9, 2020

Cattle futures softened to start the week, extending losses from the previous session. Pressure included last week’s softer cattle prices, light trade and demand uncertainty.

Other than 7¢ to 22¢ higher in the front three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ lower (15¢ lower to $1.10 lower at the back). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.17 lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.90 lower Monday afternoon at $254.58/cwt. Select was $15.30 lower at $231.12.

Corn futures closed 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower through Aug ‘21 and then mainly 3¢ higher.

June 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 8, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were lower across a broad range last week. The weighted average five-area direct live steer price was $2.97 lower week to week on Thursday at $112.68/cwt. The dressed price was $4.13 lower at $179.17. Prices were $113.51 and $184.16 at the same time last year.

Softer cash prices, declining wholesale beef values and the outlook for continued price erosion weighed on Cattle futures Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.59 lower in the front four contracts, then an average of 52¢ lower (17¢ to 95¢ lower). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.15 lower, from 55¢ lower in spot Aug to $1.35 lower at the back.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $10.78 lower Friday afternoon at $261.48/cwt. Select was $13.99 lower at $246.42.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher across the front half of the board and then mainly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

June 7th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 5, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were sharply lower in the Southern Plains on Thursday at $105/cwt., which was $13 less than the bulk of the previous week’s trade. For the week, established live prices in the North are $3-$4 lower than the previous week at $109-$117 in Nebraska and at mostly $110 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices for the week are steady to $10 lower at $175-$185.

Cattle futures faded the softer cash prices, though, with support including the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Net sales of 12,300 metric tons of beef for the week ending May 28 were 7% more than the previous week and 97% more than the prior four-week average. Increased beef export sales were mostly to South Korea, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, and China.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 86¢ higher, from 27¢ higher in spot Jun to $1.12 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 89¢ higher, from 50¢ higher in spot Aug to $1.17 higher at the back.

Wholesale beef values continue to plunge, adjusting back to more normal fundamentals. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $23.64 lower Thursday afternoon at $272.26/cwt. Select was $16.37 lower at $260.41.

Total fed cattle slaughter for the week ending May 23 was 444,378 head, which was 51,816 head more (+13.2%) than the previous week and the most since the first week of April, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Total cattle slaughter of 571,506 head was 52,383 head more (+10.1%) than the prior week and the most since the first week of April. Compared to the prior year, though, fed cattle slaughter was still 14.5% less and total cattle slaughter was 11.6% less.

The average dressed steer weight for the week was 894 lbs., which was 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 52 lbs. more than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 826 lbs. was 5 lbs. less than the previous week, but 41 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

The lowest U.S. Dollar since March supported Grain futures.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ higher.

June 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 4, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued softer week-to-week on Wednesday. Live prices were $117/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $110-$117 in Kansas and mostly $117 in Nebraska. Dressed trades were at $175-$185.

Cattle feeders offered 1,736 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. Just one lot–199 steers from Texas–sold at a weighted average price of $110.50/cwt. for delivery at 1-17 days.

Despite softer cash prices, surging outside markets helped support Cattle futures on Wednesday.

Except for 10¢ lower in the back two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ higher, from 2¢ higher to $1.15 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 84¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values continue to plunge as packing capacity recovers. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $22.83 lower Wednesday afternoon at $295.90/cwt. Select was $13.80 lower at $276.78.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

June 3rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 3, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued on Tuesday up north with dressed sales steady to $9 lower than the previous day at mostly $178/cwt.

Softer cash tones and the expected plunge in wholesale beef values pressured Cattle futures.

Except for 42¢ lower in the back two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.83 lower, from $1.07 lower toward the back to limit $3 lower in spot Jun.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.01 lower. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $22.42 lower Tuesday afternoon at $318.73/cwt. Select was $26.25 lower at $290.58. 

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then mostly 4¢ higher, perhaps helped along by the notice of 132,000 metric tons of export sales to China for 2020-21. 

June 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Daily—June 2, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued on Tuesday up north with dressed sales steady to $9 lower than the previous day at mostly $178/cwt.

Softer cash tones and the expected plunge in wholesale beef values pressured Cattle futures.

Except for 42¢ lower in the back two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.83 lower, from $1.07 lower toward the back to limit $3 lower in spot Jun.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.01 lower. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $22.42 lower Tuesday afternoon at $318.73/cwt. Select was $26.25 lower at $290.58. 

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher. 

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then mostly 4¢ higher, perhaps helped along by the notice of 132,000 metric tons of export sales to China for 2020-21. 

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher again Tuesday, buoyed once again by trader optimism regarding the opening of the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 267 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 25 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 56 points higher.

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Producer sentiment improved in May, although more are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their operation’s profitability, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The index was up 7 points from April to a reading of 103, but it remained nearly 40% below its all-time high of 168 set in February of this year. The Ag Economy Barometer is based on responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers. The May survey was conducted May 18-22.

More specifically, the Ag Economy Barometer includes the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations. The former improved 11 points in May to 83; the latter was up 4 points to a reading of 112. Another sub-index, the Farm Capital Investment Index increased 12 points to a reading of 50.

Although each sub-index improved in May, each was down more than 30% compared to February, before coronavirus impacted markets.

“This month’s survey was conducted the same week that USDA announced the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), so awareness of that program’s details could be one of the key reasons for this month’s barometer improvement,” says James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “Yet some farmers remain worried about their bottom line and are still looking for options to alleviate those concerns.”

In the May survey, more than 70% of respondents indicated they were very worried (34%) or fairly worried (37%) about the impact of coronavirus on their farm’s profitability, up from 67% in April. Their two biggest concerns were market access (42%) and financial (39%). Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated they believe it will be necessary for Congress to pass another bill to provide more economic assistance to U.S. ranchers and farmers.

More than 25% of respondents who rent farmland said they expect to ask their landlords to lower their cash rental payments in 2021 as a result of COVID-19. Mintert suggests this could lead to downward pressure on cash rental rates next year.

June 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 2, 2020

Early negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Monday was unevenly steady with the bulk of last week’s trade. Live prices were at $118/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dresses sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were at $178-$187.

Cattle futures closed mixed but mainly higher Monday as traders weigh short term beef demand against increasing supplies and lower boxed beef values.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, an average of 70¢ lower through the front three contracts (5¢ to $1.42 lower) and then an average of 88¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.05 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $22.19 lower Monday afternoon at $341.15/cwt. Select was $23.24 lower at $316.83.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to 1¢ higher.

June 1st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—June 1, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued across a broad range last week. On a live basis, prices were steady to $5 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $115-$120/cwt., $5 less in Kansas at $115, steady to $7 less in Nebraska at $112-$120 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $115. Dressed prices were steady to $12 lower in Nebraska at $178-$190 and $5-$15 lower in the western Corn Belt at $175-$185.

Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted steer price was $115.65/cwt. on a live basis and $183.30 in the beef. Week to week, that was $1.64 less and 45¢ less, respectively.

Cattle futures closed lower Friday, likely influenced by week-end and month-end position squaring. Never mind wonderments about how much packers are currently supporting fed cattle prices, relative to the lower levels suggested by fundamentals.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 lower, (7¢ lower at the back to $1.75 lower in spot Jun).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 lower (15¢ lower in spot Aug to $1.52 lower at the back).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.22 lower Friday afternoon at $363.34/cwt. Select was $4.02 lower at $340.07.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 6¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

May 31st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 29, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle sales were mixed on a live basis Thursday, compared to last week: steady in Nebraska at $119-$120/cwt., steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $115; steady to $5 lower in the Southern Plains at $115-$120. Dressed prices were steady to $12 lower at $178-$190.

Cattle futures closed mixed but mainly higher Thursday, bouncing back from early pressure.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher, except for 5¢ and 67¢ lower in near and away Oct, respectively.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, an average of 99¢ higher across the front half of the board (45¢ higher to $1.47 higher in spot Aug) to an average 12¢ lower across the back half.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $8.21 lower Thursday afternoon at $369.56/cwt. Select was $6.11 lower at $344.09.

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ higher through May ’21 and then mostly 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally lower.

May 28th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 28, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued steady to unevenly steady Wednesday across a broad range: $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and mostly $115 on a live basis in the western Corn Belt, but lower in Nebraska at $114-$115. Dressed sales so far this week are at $178-$190.

Cattle feeders consigned 1,164 head to Wednesday’s weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction–all from the Southern Plains. None sold.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold unevenly steady at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 262 head of Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,411 lbs. sold for an average of $110.40/cwt.

Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday, maintaining strong gains from the previous session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher (10¢ higher to $1.47 higher toward the front of the board). Spot June closed at $100.80, the highest level since the first part of March.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.72 lower Wednesday afternoon at $377.77/cwt. Select was $9.82 lower at $350.20.

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

May 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 27, 2020

The weekly weighted average live steer price (five-area direct) last week was $117.06/cwt., which was $4.75 higher than the previous week. The weekly weighted steer price in the beef was $3.70 higher at $183.35.

Higher outside markets, last week’s friendly Cattle on Feed report and recent cash strength helped lift Cattle futures Tuesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.06 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.86 higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $11.25 lower Tuesday afternoon at $385.49/cwt. Select was $14.16 lower at $360.02.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher. Support included announcement of new export sales to China.

May 26th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 25-26, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up mainly $5-$10 higher on a live basis last week at mostly $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $119-$120 in Nebraska. Dressed trade was mostly $10 higher at mainly $190.

Cattle futures hovered Friday, amid light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed, from an average of 54¢ lower (5¢ to $1.10 lower in spot Jun) to an average of 16¢ higher.

Except for 7¢ lower in new spot Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed unchanged to 7¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.07 lower Friday afternoon at $396.74/cwt. Select was $8.35 lower at $374.18.

USDA estimated total cattle slaughter for the week at 555,000 head, which would be 56,000 head more (+11.2%) than the previous week, but 92,000 head fewer (-14.2%) than the same week a year earlier. Year to date, cattle slaughter of 12.11 million head is 893,000 head fewer (-6.9%) than the same period least year.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

May 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 22, 2020

In light trade on Thursday, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mostly steady with the previous day’s higher prices: mainly around $120/cwt. on a live basis and at $180-$190 in the beef.

Recent strength in cash prices added firmness to Cattle futures Thursday, amid light trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 46¢ higher (7¢ to 92¢ higher).

Except for 2¢ higher in two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed unchanged to 37¢ lower.

On average, analysts surveyed by Urner Barry and reported by the Daily Livestock Report, expect April placements to be 22.9% less than a year earlier, April marketings to be 25.4% less and cattle on feed to be 5% less, for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity. The monthly Cattle on Feed report is due out Friday afternoon.

Wholesale beef values continue to decline as packing capacity continues to return (see below).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.23 lower Thursday afternoon at $401.81/cwt. Select was $8.65 lower at $382.53.

The average dressed steer weight was 896 lbs. the week ending May 9, according to USDA’s weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 44 lbs. heavier than the same week last year. The average dressed heifer weight was 829 lbs., which was 3 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 35 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

May 21st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 21, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade picked up steam Wednesday in both volume and price. Live sales were steady to $10 higher at $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and mainly $120 in Nebraska. Dressed sales were steady to $10 higher at mostly $180-$190 in Nebraska and at mostly $190 in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle feeders offered 2,782 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, but there were no sales.

Cattle futures ended lower, though, amid recently declining wholesale beef values and perhaps with some positioning ahead of the long weekend and Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.20 lower (37¢ lower in spot Jun to $1.50 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.42 lower ($1.42 lower in spot May to $2.92 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.43 lower Wednesday afternoon at $404.04/cwt. Select was $2.31 higher at $391.18.

After 1¢ lower in the front two contracts, Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

May 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 20, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued to be light on Tuesday. The only established trend reported by AMS so far this week is mostly $180/cwt. on a dressed basis in the western Corn Belt. Although too few to trend, early live and dressed sales in Nebraska so far this week are at the top of last week’s range.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Tuesday, amid sparse interest and direction.

Live Cattle futures closed from 30¢ lower to 22¢ higher, with open interest continuing to decline.

Except for 82¢ higher in spot May, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower, in light trade.

The most recent CME Feeder Cattle Index of $126.84 was the highest since the end of March.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.48 lower Tuesday afternoon at $409.47/cwt. Select was $6.00 lower at $388.87.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

May 19th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 19, 2020

Although too few to trend, early negotiated cash fed cattle prices on Monday continued at the higher levels paid in the north toward the end of last week. Live sales in Nebraska were at $119-$120/cwt. Dressed sales there and in the western Corn Belt were at $190.

Cattle futures closed higher Monday, extending the previous session’s minimal gains, helped along by continued cash price strength and significantly higher outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 87¢ higher (25¢ higher to $1.72 higher in spot Jun).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 94¢ higher (57¢ higher to $1.87 higher in spot May).

Wholesale beef values continued their expected, precipitous decline as packing capacity continues to expand ever so slowly.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $19.37 lower Monday afternoon at $414.95/cwt. Select was $24.19 lower at $394.87.

Corn futures closed mainly fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher.

May 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 18, 2020

Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle prices bounced higher on Friday at $120/cwt. on a live basis in the Southern Plains and at $119-$120 in Nebraska. Also too few to trend, dressed prices in Nebraska were at $190.

The five-area direct weighted average steer price through Thursday was $11.36 higher than the previous week at $111.40/cwt. The average price in the beef was $19.90 higher at $179.30.

Cash price strength helped lift Cattle futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher, (15¢ higher to $2.87 higher in spot Jun).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $16.60 lower Friday afternoon at $434.32/cwt. Select was $18.34 lower at $419.06.

Corn futures closed mainly fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

May 17th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May, 15, 2020

Cattle futures closed lower on Thursday for the second consecutive session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.51 lower, except for 25¢ higher in spot Jun,

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.77 lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $15.07 lower Thursday afternoon at $450.92/cwt. Select was 16¢ higher at $437.40.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower across the front half of the board, and then mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

May 14th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 14, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices continued higher across a broad range Wednesday. Live sales in Nebraska were $15 higher than last week at $110/cwt. on a live basis and $20-$30 higher in the beef at $170-$180. Live sales in the western Corn Belt were mostly $12 higher than last week at mainly $115. Dressed trade was steady to $5 higher at $170-$185.

In the Southern Plains so far this week, live prices in Kansas are at $115, steady with the top of the previous week’s wide range. The price in the Texas Panhandle is at $110, compared to $95-$115 last week.

Similar gains were seen at Wednesday fed cattle auctions.

Choice steers and heifers sold $10 higher in the fat auction at Tama, IA, where 95 Ch 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,466 lbs. brought an average price of $117.55/cwt.

At Sioux Falls in South Dakota, slaughter steers sold $17-$22 higher and fed heifers sold $10-$18 higher. There were 215 Ch 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,446 lbs., bringing an average price of $111.78. “More packer buyers were present and willing to chase the market to get cattle bought after buying cattle In the country at sharply higher prices on Monday and Tuesday,” according to the AMS reporter.

Cattle feeders also offered 4,601 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, selling 1,272 head for a weighted average price of $110. Money was the same on 450 head sold for delivery at 1-9 days and for 822 head sold for delivery at 1-17 days. Sold lots were from Texas and Nebraska.

Cattle futures continued the week’s volatile rollercoaster, though, giving back most of what was gained in the previous session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.24 lower (60¢ lower at the back to $3.30 lower in spot Jun).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.49 lower.

Wholesale beef values declined sharply Wednesday, perhaps suggesting the Covid-skewed top is at least near.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.40 lower Wednesday afternoon at $465.99/cwt. Select was $13.73 lower at $437.24.

Grain futures lost some ground, with pressure from the previous day’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ lower through May ‘21, and then 1¢ lower to fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ lower through Jan ‘21 and then 5¢ to 7¢ lower.

May 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 13, 2020

Cattle futures closed sharply higher Tuesday, regaining much of what was lost in the previous session. Support included stronger cash fed cattle prices, the ongoing heft of wholesale beef values and perhaps USDA’s latest projections of less total red meat and poultry production this year (see below).

Other than 25¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.66 higher ($1.32 to $4.50 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.93 higher ($2.22 higher at the back to $3.65 higher in spot May).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.81 higher Tuesday afternoon at $475.39/cwt. Select was $2.00 lower at $450.97; the first day-to-day decline since Apr. 8.

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher, except for 2¢ to 5¢ higher in the front three contracts.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher in the front four contracts and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

May 12th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 12, 2020

Cattle futures closed sharply lower Monday with pressure likely including the significant decline in open interest at the end of last week and disappointment that week-to-week gains in estimated cattle slaughter were not more significant (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.31 lower (97¢ lower at the back to $3.00 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.61 lower ($2.45 to $4.27 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.70 higher Monday afternoon at $468.58/cwt. Select was $3.98 higher at $452.97.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

May 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 11, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week on a decidedly upbeat note. Live sales in the Southern Plains were at $115/cwt., which was $5 more than earlier in the week and $10-$20 higher than the previous week. Live sales in Nebraska were $19-$20 higher than the previous week at $114-$115. Live sales in the western Corn Belt were mainly $3-$10 higher than the previous week at mostly $103; dressed sales there were $20-$30 higher at mostly $180.

Cattle futures closed lower Friday on likely profit taking, but still significantly higher week to week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ lower to an average of 44¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ lower (65¢ lower to $2.37 lower in spot May).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.34 higher Friday afternoon at $460.88/cwt. Select was 42¢ higher at $448.99.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 7¢ higher.

May 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Daily—May 11, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week on a decidedly upbeat note. Live sales in the Southern Plains were at $115/cwt., which was $5 more than earlier in the week and $10-$20 higher than the previous week. Live sales in Nebraska were $19-$20 higher than the previous week at $114-$115. Live sales in the western Corn Belt were mainly $3-$10 higher than the previous week at mostly $103; dressed sales there were $20-$30 higher at mostly $180.

Cattle futures closed lower Friday on likely profit taking, but still significantly higher week to week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ lower to an average of 44¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ lower (65¢ lower to $2.37 lower in spot May).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.34 higher Friday afternoon at $460.88/cwt. Select was 42¢ higher at $448.99.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 7¢ higher.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed higher again Friday, despite continued quantification of national unemployment caused by COVID-19.

The unemployment rate rose to 14.7% in April as total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday. The number of persons who usually work full time declined by 15.0 million. The number who usually work part time declined by 7.4 million.

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by $1.34 to $30.01. The increase mostly reflects the substantial job loss among lower-paid workers, according to BLS.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 455 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 48 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 141 points higher.

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“Soon, U.S. consumers will begin to see in their local meat case the effects of the beef and pork plant shut downs in April, with potentially 30% less meat on shelves and prices up to 20% above last year,” according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division: Closed Meat Cases Today Mean Empty Meat Cases this Summer. “For cattle and hog producers, the bottlenecks created by the plant slowdowns and shut downs have meant they will lose billions of dollars this year and be forced to euthanize millions of pigs. In spite of President Trump’s executive order to re-open the plants, per capita COVID-19 cases around U.S. meat plants have continued to climb, raising the risk of further plant capacity disruptions.”

Will Sawyer, lead animal protein economist with CoBank explains, “Margins for cattle and hog farmers have fallen to multi-year lows. As meat plants have closed, farmers are left with few options for their livestock, requiring herds to be culled. Shrinkage in the U.S. livestock herd will likely make the food supply shortage more acute later in the year.”

He pegs current pork and beef production approximately 35% less than the same time last year, likely assuring retail shortages and price inflation.

“Grocery stores are likely already rationing their current meat supplies and will likely draw on meat supplies in cold storage over the next month. The supply chain and inventory from the meat plant to local grocery store meat cases is less than a few weeks,” Sawyer says.

Key points from the CoBank report include:

  • The spread of COVID-19 among people who work in many beef and pork plants across the country has led to plant slowdowns and shut downs, creating a bottleneck in the U.S. meat and livestock supply chain.
  • Meat supplies for retail grocery stores could shrink by nearly 30% this Memorial Day, leading to retail pork and beef price inflation as high as 20% relative to prices last year.
  • As livestock prices have been collapsing, industry associations predict 2020 losses at $13.6 billion for U.S. cattle producers (NCBA) and nearly $5 billion for U.S. hog producers (NPPC).
  • While we expect pork processing to pick up in the coming weeks, U.S. hog producers may still be forced to euthanize as many as 7 million pigs in thesecond quarter alone, worth nearly $700 million at historical average prices. This would further diminish meat supplies this fall and add to the billions of dollars of losses from lower livestock prices.
  • President Trump’s executive order to reopen closed meat plants, announced April 28, could help stem the tide of additional plant closures and pave the way for closed plants to reopen. However, attracting workers to fill the thousands of vacant positions at meat plants across the U.S. is still an issue.
May 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 8, 2020

Cattle futures took another strong step higher on Thursday, lifting front months to the highest levels since early-to-mid March. Ongoing indications that the bottom in packing capacity and beef production may have been established continued to provide support, as did the week’s mostly stronger cash prices.

Except for 17¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.46 higher ($2.07 higher toward the back to $4.50 higher in the front three contracts). That’s an average of $6.39 higher in the last two sessions.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.49 higher ($3.45 higher at the back to $6.17 higher in spot May). That’s an average increase of $8.82 in the last two sessions.

Wholesale beef values continued higher Thursday, but at a more moderate pace. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.36 higher Thursday afternoon at a $458.54/cwt. Select was $16.61 higher at $448.57.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Apr. 25 was 891 lbs., which was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 37 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 818 lbs. was 5 lbs. lighter week to week but 24 lbs. heavier year over year. Fed cattle slaughter of 350,563 head was 161,914 head fewer (-31.59%). Beef production of 381.1 million lbs. was 131.7 million lbs. less (-25.68%).

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then unchanged to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

May 7th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 7, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices bounced higher in some areas Wednesday, although the wide spread continues.

Live prices in the Southern Plains were mostly $5 higher than the previous week at mainly $110/cwt.

Dressed sales in the western Corn Belt were mainly $20-$30 higher than the previous week at mostly $180.

Prices in Nebraska were mostly steady at $95 on a live basis and at mostly $150 in the beef.

Cattle feeders offered 5,119 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction on Wednesday. Of those, 679 head sold for a weighted average price of $95.05/cwt.; all from the Southern Plains and for delivery at 1-17 days.

Higher cash prices and growing optimism about packing capacity moving beyond an established low point lifted Cattle futures mostly limit higher on Wednesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.93 higher, limit up through the front six contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed from an average of $4.33 higher, limit up $4.50 in the front five contracts.

Wholesale beef values took yet another step higher. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $20.19 higher Wednesday afternoon at a $449.18/cwt. Select was $21.25 higher at $431.96.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 10¢ lower.

May 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 6, 2020

The week’s negotiated cash fed cattle trade was off to a slow start through Tuesday afternoon. Although too few transactions to trend, AMS reported sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt across a broad range at $95/cwt. on a live basis and at $145-$170 in the beef.

On the other end of the trade, wholesale beef values continued higher with temporary beef scarcity seen in reports of some retailers limiting beef purchases per customer and some burger joints plumb running out.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $18.77 higher Tuesday afternoon at a $428.82/cwt. Select was $33.88 higher at $410.54.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Tuesday, as traders try to make sense of all the above, relative to a few weeks and a few months down the road.

After $1.60 lower in spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed from 65¢ lower to 50¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed from an average of 36¢ lower to an average of 21¢ higher.  

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 2¢ higher through the front four contracts and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 4¢ higher through the front five contracts and then 2¢ to 6¢ lower.

May 5th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 5, 2020

Cattle futures continued to edge higher to start the week, but with plenty of continued uncertainty surrounding supply chain disruptions (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 98¢ higher, (70¢ higher at the back to $1.32 higher).

Wholesale beef values took another giant leap higher Monday as buyers chase decreased supplies.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $32.60 higher Monday afternoon at a $410.05/cwt. Select was $19.53 higher at $376.66. That made the Choice-Select spread $33.39.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 13¢ lower through near Sep and then 4¢ to 9¢ lower.

May 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 4, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week across a wide range but generally steady with the previous week with live prices at $95-$100/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $95-$105 in Kansas and Nebraska and at $93-$100 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were at $150-$160.

Through Thursday, the negotiated five-area daily weighted average direct live steer price was $1.03 less than the previous week at $95.92/cwt. It was 23¢ more in the beef at $154.50.

Cattle futures firmed further, supported by the week’s Executive Order to keep packing and processing plants open, sky-high boxed beef prices and some states beginning to ease stay-at-home orders. Resurgent Lean Hog futures also provided support.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 80¢ higher, (45¢ to $1.50 higher).

Except for $1.30 lower in Mar, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher, (5¢ higher at the back to $1.15 higher toward the front).

Demand continues to run well ahead of wholesale beef supplies.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.89 higher Friday afternoon at a $377.45/cwt. Select was $6.97 higher at $357.13.

Corn futures closed from 1¢ lower to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through Nov ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

May 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—May 1, 2020

Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued Thursday across a broad range, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Live sales were reported in the Southern Plains at $95-$96/cwt., $95-$100 in the western Corn Belt and $93.75-$95.00 in Nebraska. Dressed prices ranged from $147 to $160.

Live Cattle futures continued to firm, though, perhaps with hopes that capacity returns to beef packing sooner rather than later (see below), given the previous day’s Executive Order mandating that meat packing and processing facilities remain open.

Other than $4.40 higher in expiring spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher, (15¢ higher at the back to $1.67 higher in new spot Jun), except for 2¢ lower in away Apr.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.56 lower, (37¢ lower in expiring spot Apr to $1.95 lower). 

Wholesale beef values climbed by double digits again.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $10.18 higher Thursday afternoon at a $367.56/cwt. Select was $10.25 higher at $350.16.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Apr. 18 was 889 lbs., which was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 32 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 823 lbs., which was 3 lbs. less than the prior week but 24 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier.

Beef production for the week was 395.6 million lbs., which was 36 million lbs. fewer than the prior week (-8.34%) and 118 million lbs. less (-22.98%) than the same week last year.

Weekly export sales added support to grain markets Thursday. Net corn export sales were 87% more than the previous week, led by Mexico, and 19% more than the prior four-week average, according to the U.S. Weekly Export Salesreport from UADA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Net soybean export sales were noticeably higher than the previous week, led by China, and noticeably higher than the prior four-week average.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ higher in the front three contracts and then 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 18¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.

April 30th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 30, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade so far this week is steady to mixed with live sales in the Texas Panhandle at $95-$100/cwt. and at $90-$100 in Kansas, where there were too few transactions to trend. Up north, live prices are steady in Nebraska at $95 and up to $5 higher in the western Corn Belt at mostly $100. Dressed sales are steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $150; steady in the western Corn Belt at $150-$160.

Cattle feeders offered 4,484 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, selling 818 head. Of those, 174 head sold for a weighted average price of $100/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days. Another 644 head for delivery at 1-17 days sold for a weighted average price of $96.57.

President Trump signed an executive order late Tuesday, using the Defense Production Act, to mandate that meat packing and processing facilities remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To ensure worker safety, these processors will continue to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” according to a White House Fact Sheet (see below).

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Wednesday, as traders weigh short-term pressure, due to current disruptions in packing and processing, against a hopeful surge in demand as the economy reopens.

Live Cattle futures closed 42¢ lower to 25¢ higher, with sluggish trade.

Except for an average of 31¢ lower in three contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ higher, in extremely light trade.

Wholesale beef values continued to climb Wednesday.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $26.56 higher Wednesday afternoon at a $357.38/cwt. Select was $19.03 higher at $339.91.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.

April 29th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 29, 2020

Volatility in negotiated cash fed cattle trade continues so far this week. Dressed prices were at $160/cwt. in the western Corn Belt Monday, then $150 on Tuesday with too few transactions to trend. Likewise, with too few transactions to trend early dressed sales in Nebraska were at $150, compared to $150-$160 the previous week.

Cattle futures edged higher Tuesday, making for a third consecutive session of mostly higher prices, underpinned by runaway wholesale beef values, while offering a glimmer of stability.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 45¢ higher.

Except for 77¢ lower in spot Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values continued to shatter records Tuesday.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $18.98 higher Tuesday afternoon at a $330.82/cwt. Select was $22.10 higher at $320.88.

According to various news reports, President Trump was close to signing an executive order, utilizing the Defense Production Act to mandate packing plants remain open, in order to protect the nation’s food supply (see below).

Other than 2¢ lower and 1¢ lower in the front two contracts, Corn futures closed mainly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ lower through Nov ’20 and then 3¢ to 8¢ higher.

April 28th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 28, 2020

Cattle futures started the week with modest gains, amid sluggish trade and supported by outside markets, as well as Friday’s bullish Cattle on Feed report.

Except for 17¢ lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values continued to rocket higher with the bottleneck in packer capacity disrupting the supply chain.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $18.47 higher Monday afternoon at a record high of $311.84/cwt. Select was $19.76 higher at $298.78.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 10¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

April 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 27, 2020

Reduced beef packing production, due to COVID-19, continues to boost uncertainty and wreak havoc on market fundamentals as cattle feeders compete for slaughter access. Consider last week’s fluctuating cash prices for fed cattle.

Through Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was $5-$10 lower on a live basis in the Southern Plains at $100/cwt. in Kansas and $95-$100 in the Texas Panhandle. It was up to $10 lower in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $95. Dressed trade was from $8 lower to $10 higher at mostly $160, compared to the previous week’s light test.

For all of the gyrations, five-area daily weighted average direct negotiated prices through Thursday were mainly steady week to week with live steers at $96.95 and dressed steers at $154.27.

So far, the packing bottleneck appears nowhere near as dire as that faced by pork producers in 1998, when the fat hog price plummeted to about $8/cwt. toward the end of the year, due to sudden and significantly reduced packing capacity. But, it’s understandable why some are recalling the memory.

Wholesale beef values are running the opposite direction, fueled by declining supplies and what seems to be at least constant demand.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.08 higher Friday afternoon at a record high of $293.37/cwt. Select was $6.13 higher at $279.02.

Cattle futures mainly consolidated and hovered, other than front-month Live Cattle.

Except for 97¢ and 30¢ lower in the front two contracts, and 10¢ lower in away Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ higher.

Logic suggests the market should view Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report as bullish to at least neutral, given the plunge in placements and spike in marketings. That may not be the case, though, as it also underscores how many more cattle than normal need to be placed at some point.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 10¢ lower.

April 26th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 24, 2020

Although still $7-$8 lower than last week, dressed trade in the north rebounded from the previous day to mostly $160/cwt. on Thursday.

Cattle futures continued to be pressured by uncertainty regarding slowing beef production and how soon some sense of normalcy can return.

Except for 10¢ and 7¢ higher in two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower (20¢ lower to $3.00 lower in spot Apr).

Except for 95¢ and 60¢ higher in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 lower.

Wholesale beef values took another broad step higher Thursday, as demand continues to outpace declining supplies.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $8.54 higher Thursday afternoon at a record high of $284.29/cwt. Select was $11.87 higher at $272.89.

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

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Sep ‘20, and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

April 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 23, 2020

Cattle feeders offered 4,671 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction on Wednesday. Of those, 860 head sold: 726 head for delivery at 1-9 days for a weighted average price of $100/cwt.; 174 head for delivery at 1-17 days for a weighted average price of $92.67. That was mainly on par with country trade so far this week.

Similarly, Choice 2-3 steers at Sioux Falls Regional (114 head) in South Dakota weighing an average of 1,453 lbs. sold for an average price of $100.15/cwt. across a range of $93.50-$102.00.

Wholesale beef values rocketed higher again Wednesday, as demand outpaces declining supplies.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $15.90 higher Wednesday afternoon to a presumed record high of $275.75/cwt. Select was $12.20 higher at $261.02.

All of that seemed to have Cattle futures stuck in a wait-and-see mode, with light support and two-sided trade, other than a sharp drop in spot Live Cattle, given the likely continuation of near-term pressure on cash prices as the supply chain tries to sort its COVID-19 worker challenges.

Except for $2.65 lower in waning spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed from 30¢ lower to 32¢ higher.

Except for 7¢ lower in May and 25¢ lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 27¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 8¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ lower to 4¢ higher through Mar ‘21, and then mostly 8¢ to 10¢ lower.

April 22nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 22, 2020

COVID-19 infections at packing plants, as well as precautionary measures, continue to hamper production speed and volume, while cleaving a wider divide between fed cattle prices and wholesale beef values.

Early negotiated cash fed cattle trade stumbled from the blocks Tuesday with dressed prices up north $5-$18 lower at $150/cwt. Live sales in Nebraska were mainly sharply lower at mostly $95. Early live sales in the Texas Panhandle were $5 lower at $100.

Wholesale beef values continued to scream higher, though, as buyers scramble to procure the declining supplies.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $11.47 higher Tuesday afternoon at $259.85/cwt. Select was $10.83 higher at $248.82. Week to week, that’s $33.18 higher for Choice and $33.05 higher for Select. For perspective, the highest price for Choice following the Tyson plant fire last summer was $241.74.

Cattle futures, especially Live Cattle sagged lower, helped along by another down day in equity markets. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.23 lower (82¢ to $1.92 lower).

Except for 37¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ lower.

 Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.

April 21st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 21, 2020

Slowing beef production took a toll on cash fed cattle prices last week, while putting the fire beneath wholesale beef values.

There were only 16,520 head confirmed fed steer and heifer trades last week, compared to 112,499 the same week last year, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

The AMS five-area direct average weekly weighted price for steers was $102.28/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.72 less than the prior week. In the beef, steers traded $10.82 less at $157.18.

On the other end, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $9.39 higher Monday afternoon at $248.38/cwt. Select was $10.79 higher at $237.99 (see below).

Cattle futures softened Monday with pressure from slowing beef production and outside markets. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ lower (30¢ to $1.20 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ lower (7¢ lower toward the back to $2.00 lower toward the front).

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 6¢ lower, except for 8¢ and 7¢ lower in the front two contracts.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 6¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

April 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 20, 2020

As expected, slowing beef production ended up hammering fed cattle prices.

Keeping in mind it was a light test, negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended last week steady to sharply lower. Live trades were mostly steady in the Southern Plains at mainly $105/cwt. They were steady to $11 lower in the north at $94-$105 in Nebraska and at $95-$105 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were steady to $18 lower at $155-$165 in Nebraska and at $150-$168 in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle feeders offered 5,778 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction held Friday. Just six lots–898 head–sold for a weighted average price of $105/cwt. for delivery at 1-17 days. Except for one lot from Nebraska, all cattle sold came from the Southern Plains.

Even so, cattle futures closed mostly higher Friday, supported by recent stability. 

Except for 85¢ and 17¢ lower in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ higher (45¢ higher to $1.27 higher).

Except for 22¢ lower in Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values continued higher to end the week.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.12 higher Friday afternoon at $238.99/cwt. Select was $1.22 higher at $227.20.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower. 

April 19th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 17, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). There were a few dressed trades reported in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $155/cwt., but too few to trend. The price there last week was at $168. Given the surge in wholesale beef prices this week, some are betting on at least steady money.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.34 higher Thursday afternoon at $235.87/cwt. Select was $3.76 higher at $225.98. That’s $10.01 more for Choice since Monday and $14.58 more for Select.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending Apr. 4 was 889 lbs., which was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 24 lbs. heavier than the prior year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 825 lbs., the same as the prior week but 21 lbs. heavier than the same week last year.

Cattle futures closed higher Thursday, building on stability from the previous session. Trade and open interest continued to creep higher. 

Weekly beef export Sales (Apr. 3-9) reported by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service were also supportive. Net sales of 20,200 metric tons (mt) reported for 2020 were up 28% from the previous week and 16% from the prior four-week average. Increases came primarily from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (70¢ higher to $1.65 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 higher ($1.42 higher at the back to $2.90 higher toward the front).

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 6¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

April 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 16, 2020

Cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday, mostly higher for Feeder Cattle. Support included higher wholesale beef values, tied to slowing beef production, due to COVID-19. Based on futures prices the last couple of days, much of that appears to have been priced into the market previously.

Other than unchanged to 50¢ lower in three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 54¢ higher (7¢ higher at the back to $1.02 higher in the front two contracts).

Other than 60¢ lower in spot Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 95¢ higher (37¢ to $1.50 higher).

Wholesale beef values were sharply higher on good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.86 higher Wednesday afternoon at $230.53/cwt. Select was $6.45 higher at $222.22.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 6¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 9¢ lower.

April 15th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 15. 2020

Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday, recovering some ground lost in the previous session’s limit losses. Increased trade activity and higher outside markets provided support.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.77 higher ($1.17 higher to $2.70 higher in spot Apr).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.01 higher (40¢ to $2.80 higher).

Wholesale beef values were higher on Choice and sharply higher on Select with moderate to good demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 81¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $226.67/cwt. Select was $4.37 higher at $215.77.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ lower through Dec ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 4¢ lower.

April 14th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 14, 2020

Cattle futures closed limit-lower amid light trade and declining open interest and pressured by mounting concerns about beef packing production amid COVID-19.

Live Cattle futures closed limit-down $3.00.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to AMS.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.93 higher Monday afternoon at $225.86/cwt. Select was $3.07 higher at $211.40.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 9¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

April 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 13, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended up $7 lower on a live basis last week at $105/cwt. in the Southern Plains, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed trade in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt was $7-$12 lower at $168. A light test was noted in all regions. At least part of the pressure likely stems from slowing packing plant production, due to COVID-19 (see below).

Futures and equities markets were closed in observance of Good Friday.

Week to week on Thursday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $6.33 higher, from $1.17 higher in spot Apr to $8.82 higher.

Week to week on Thursday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $9.98 higher, from $8.85 to $11.75 higher.

Wholesale beef values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings on Friday, according to AMS.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.26 higher Friday afternoon at $223.93/cwt. Select was 76¢ higher at $208.33. Week to week, Choice was $6.51 lower and Select was $7.51 lower.

April 12th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 10, 2020

Cattle futures closed mixed to lower Thursday with pressure from Lean Hogs, as well as likely profit taking and position squaring heading into the long weekend; futures and equities markets are closed in observance of Good Friday.

Except for $1.17 higher in spot Apr and 20¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.42 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 33¢ lower in four contracts to an average of 77¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 33¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $222.67/cwt. Select was $4.20 lower at $207.57.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Mar. 28 was 891 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 7 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 26 lbs. heavier than a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight was 825 lbs., which was 11 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 19 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

April 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 9, 2020

Cattle feeders offered 7,561 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange Auction Wednesday and sold 1,443 head for a weighted average price of $105/cwt.–746 head for delivery at 1-9 days and 697 head for delivery at 1-17 days. Except for one lot from Iowa, sales were from the Southern Plains, where last week’s negotiated price was mostly $112. Country trade in the region so far this week is also at $105.

Even so, Cattle futures continued higher in active trade, following outside markets, despite growing concerns about the potential of COVID-19 to reduce harvest capacity utilization. If that happens to any degree, then logic and last summer’s packing plant fire suggest higher beef prices and lower fed cattle prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.21 higher, (40¢ higher in the back contract to $4.50 higher in spot Apr).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.72 higher, ($1.22 higher at the back to $6.55 higher).

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.54 lower Wednesday afternoon at $222.34/cwt. Select was $5.98 lower at $211.77.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

After fractionally higher to 4¢ higher through May ’21, Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 7¢ higher.

The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates are scheduled to be released Thursday.

April 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 8, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service did report a few early trades in Kansas at $105/cwt., but too few to trend. Prices in the region last week were at $112.

Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle futures were limit-up across the board Tuesday, building on what was mostly modest to strong gains in the previous session. Higher outside markets (for most of the session), tied to hopefulness about peak coronavirus infections coming sooner rather than later, provided support. However, declining wholesale beef values, iffy demand patterns going forward, relative to supplies, and early indications of lower cash fed cattle prices this week make it hard to square the move with anything fundamental.

Live Cattle futures closed expanded limit-up $4.50 higher, in light trade.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-up $4.50 higher, also amid light trade.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and higher on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.17 lower Tuesday afternoon at $227.88/cwt. Select was $2.72 higher at $217.75.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

After fractionally mixed to 2¢ higher through Jan ’21, Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

April 7th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 7, 2020

The weekly five-area direct fed steer price last week was $8.23 less than the prior week on a live basis at $111.08/cwt. It was $11.95 less in the beef at $176.93.

Chatter to start the week included wonderment about reduced slaughter this week, given last week’s decline in volume, scheduled maintenance at packing plants and further indications that labor issues could intensify (see below).

Perhaps that was one reason behind the limit down move in spot Live Cattle futures (closing at $83.82), while buying interest picked up across most other contracts.

After $4.50 lower and 55¢ lower in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.74 higher, (52¢ higher to $2.30 higher toward the back.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.26 higher, ($1.20 to $2.90 higher).

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 39¢ lower Monday afternoon at $230.05/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $215.03.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher.

April 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 6, 2020

Cattle futures closed mixed amid a volatile trading session, with fairly active trade in Live Cattle and the previous session’s increased open interest.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.34 lower in the front three contract, (30¢ lower to $4.50 lower in spot Apr), but then an average of $1.04 higher (55¢ higher to $1.70 higher), except for unchanged in the back contract.

Except for 75¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.07 lower, (90¢ lower to $3.55 lower).

Wholesale beef values were lower to sharply lower on light demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.20 lower Friday afternoon at $230.44/cwt. Select was $6.28 lower at $215.84.

After 1¢ to 2¢ lower in the front two contracts, Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

April 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 3, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. However, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), there was a light test of live sales in all regions Wednesday at mostly $112/cwt. and at $175-$180 in the beef. That was $6-$8 less than last week on a live basis and $10-$15 less dressed.

Cattle future tumbled further Thursday, pressured by beef demand uncertainty, declining wholesale beef values and softer cash prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.28 lower, expanded limit-down in the front four contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $6.31 lower, expanded limit-down in the front five contracts.

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.53 lower Thursday afternoon at $232.64/cwt. Select was $3.01 lower at $222.12.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Mar. 21 was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 898 lbs., but 32 lbs. heavier than the same time a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 836 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 32 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ‘20 and then mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher.

April 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 2, 2020

Cash fed cattle trade took on a decidedly bearish tone Wednesday.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $17-$20 lower at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,411 lbs. brought an average price of $100.45/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at mostly $120.

Cattle feeders offered 4,696 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. Just 832 head sold: 662 head at a weighted average price of $113/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days; 170 head at a weighted average of $112.06 for delivery at 1-17 days. Most of the sales were from the Sothern Plains where last week’s negotiated cash price was $118-$120.

Cattle future fell hard Wednesday, limit down across the board, except one Live Cattle contract. Pressure included the softer cash outlook and diving wholesale beef values, as well as lower outside markets. News that a significant number of workers at JBS facilities in Greeley, CO stayed home Tuesday, due to confirmed cases of COVID-19, also weighed.

Except for 85¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.50 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.98 lower Wednesday afternoon at $235.17/cwt. Select was $3.83 lower at $225.13. Over the last two days, Choice was down $15.80 and Select was $13.01 lower. Also, drop value sank to a new multi-year low of $7.92/cwt.

Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 9¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 23¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

April 1st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Apr. 1, 2020

Cattle futures started weak and finished stronger Tuesday. Fundamental reasons were hard to come by, especially given the sharp decrease in wholesale beef values. Potential support could have stemmed from the rally in Lean Hogs (after the front two contracts) and pressure on Corn.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.34 higher (from 87¢ higher at the back to $3.00 higher toward the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher ($1.55 to $2.20 higher).

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.82 lower Tuesday afternoon at $243.15/cwt. Select was $9.18 lower at $228.96.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower through Mar ‘21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher. Pressure included Tuesday’s USDA reports.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

March 31st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 31, 2020

Cattle futures showed signs of support early but ended mostly lower on Monday.

After $1.75 lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed , from 52¢ lower to 17¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ lower (2¢ lower toward the front to $2.27 lower at the back).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.87 lower Monday afternoon at $250.97/cwt. Select was $4.24 lower at $238.14.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

After fractionally higher to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower.

The USDA Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports are scheduled to be released Tuesday morning.

March 30th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 30, 2020

Cattle futures, fell hard again Friday as traders continue to exit contracts and beef demand uncertainty grows.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.52 lower ($2.55 to limit-down $4.50 in spot April).

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50.

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 73¢ lower Friday afternoon at $252.84/cwt. Select was 21¢ higher at $242.38.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

After unchanged to 1¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

March 29th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 27, 2020

Cattle futures, continued to lose ground Thursday amid light demand, continued declines in open interest and concerns about beef demand relative to growing supplies.

For the week ending Mar. 14, the average dressed steer weight was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 901 lbs., but 36 lbs. heavier than the a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 835 lbs. was 5 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 30 lbs. heavier than the prior year.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.56 lower ($1.92 lower at the back to $3.00 in spot April).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.45 lower ($1.27 lower in expiring Mar to $4.50 lower at the back of the board).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.73 lower Thursday afternoon at $253.57/cwt. Select was 92¢ lower at $242.17.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

After mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher through Jan ‘21, Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

March 26th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 26, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices roared higher Wednesday with moderate trade and good demand in all regions. Live prices were $8-$10 higher than last week at $119-$120/cwt. Dressed sales were $15-$20 higher at $190.

Likewise, fed cattle prices were significantly higher in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday, with 1,614 head for current delivery (1-9 days) selling for a weighted average price of $119.77/cwt. Most of those were from the Southern Plains. Another 837 head sold for delivery at 1-17 days for a weighted average price of $117.73.

Cattle futures, though, closed mixed but mostly lower on likely profit taking and squeamishness about what happens with beef demand after the initial flood of consumer stockpiling runs its course (see below).

Except for $2.30 higher in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 lower (87¢ to $2.52 lower).

Except for $1.85 higher in spot Mar and 5¢ higher in Aug, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.02 lower (40¢ to $1.60 lower).

Wholesale beef values were lower to sharply lower on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.01 lower Wednesday afternoon at $255.30/cwt. Select was $2.39 lower at $243.09.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

After 1¢ to 5¢ lower in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.

March 25th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 25, 2020

Although there was too little negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Tuesday afternoon for AMS to report a trend, signs point to higher prices this week.

For instance, the five-area direct dressed steer and heifer price on Monday was $10 more than Friday at $185/cwt. Wholesale beef values remain elevated. Plus Cattle futures were limit-up again Tuesday, with expanded limits.

Live Cattle futures closed limit-up $4.50.

Except for $5.00 higher in spot, Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-up $6.75.

Choice boxed beef cutout values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.01 lower Tuesday afternoon at $256.31/cwt.; it was $229 at the same time last year. Select was 34¢ higher at $245.48.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Aug ‘21, and then mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

March 24th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 24, 2020

Although trade was light, Cattle futures closed limit up Monday, higher for the third consecutive session— higher in four of the last five sessions. Support included sky-rocketing wholesale beef values, Tyson’s announcement last week of a one-time support payment for cattle it harvests this week—$5/cwt. on a live basis and $7.94/cwt. in the beef—as well as the friendly Cattle on Feed report. China buying U.S. grain last week also helped.

Live Cattle futures closed limit-up $3.00. At $101.60, spot Live Cattle remains hugely discounted to cash.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-up $4.50.

Choice boxed beef cutout values were sharply higher on good demand and heavy offerings.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.57 higher Monday afternoon at $257.32/cwt. Select was $4.97 higher at $245.14.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 21¢ higher through Jan ‘21, and then 1¢ higher to mostly 2¢ lower.

March 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 23, 2020

When all was said and done, negotiated cash fed cattle trade last week was steady to $2 higher on a live basis at $110-$112/cwt. and fully steady in the beef at $175.

According to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association on Friday, “Tyson announced this afternoon that for all fed cattle harvested next week, they will make a one-time assistance payment to cattle feeders of $5/cwt. live and $7.94/cwt. dressed.”

Firmer cash prices and wholesale beef values helped Cattle futures extend gains Friday, following the previous session’s limit-up move, despite lower outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.82 higher, from 60¢ higher to $3.55 higher in spot Apr. Thursday to Thursday, Open Interest declined 46,267 contracts to 285,018, the lowest level since September of 2018.

Feeder Cattle futures closed and average 0f $4.56 higher.

Choice wholesale boxed beef values were sharply higher and Select was lower with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.88 higher Friday afternoon at $253.75/cwt. Select was 89¢ lower at $240.17.

Corn futures closed 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 19¢ higher through Sep ‘21, and then 6¢ to 8¢ higher.

March 21st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 20, 2020

Cattle futures closed limit-up Thursday, supported by higher outside markets, the dramatic rise in wholesale beef values for the week, as well as firming cash fed cattle prices.

Live Cattle futures closed limit-up $3.00 across the board.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-up $4.50 across the board.

Incidentally, analysts surveyed by Urner Barry and reported in the Daily Livestock Reportestimate feedlot placements in February to be 7.6% less than a year earlier, marketings in February to be 5.6% more and cattle on feed Mar. 1 to be 0.2% more. The monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report is scheduled for release Friday afternoon.

Wholesale beef values continued higher Thursday as retailers continue to re-stock.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.63 higher Thursday afternoon at $249.87/cwt. Select was $2.56 higher at $241.06. Week to week, Choice was up $43.86 and Select was up $43.18.

Corn futures closed 7¢ to 10¢ higher through Sep ‘20 and then mostly fractionally higher to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 13¢ to 17¢ higher through near Aug, 3¢ to 9¢ higher through the next three contracts and then mostly 4¢ lower.

March 19th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 19, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued Wednesday. Live trade in the western Corn Belt was $2-$5 higher than last week at $110-$112/cwt. Dressed trade was steady at $175. Although too few to trend through the afternoon, live trade in the Southern Plains was mostly steady to $3 lower at $110-$113. In Nebraska, live prices were steady at $110; steady to $5 lower in the beef at $170-$175.

Cattle feeders offered 4,680 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. Of those, 1,813 head sold: 1,415 head for delivery at 1-9 days brought an average weighted price of $112.76/cwt.; 398 head for delivery at 1-17 days brought an average weighted price of $111.00. Offerings were from the Southern Plains, Nebraska and Colorado.

Cattle futures started strong Wednesday and then turned sharply lower as equity markets tanked, basically losing what was gained in the previous session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.78 lower, from $2.55 lower at the back to $4.40 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.49 lower, from 97¢ lower in spot Mar to limit-down $4.50.

Wholesale beef values were sharply higher again, with good demand and heavy offerings.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.31 higher Wednesday afternoon at $247.24/cwt. Select was $9.18 higher at $238.50.

Corn futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ lower through Jly ‘21 and then mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then fractionally lower to 3¢ lower.

March 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 18, 2020

Although too few transactions to trend, there were some live negotiated cash fed cattle sales in Nebraska on Tuesday at $110/cwt. on a live basis and at $170-$175 in the beef. That was $5 higher than Monday on a live basis and steady with last week’s trade. Dressed sales were steady to $5 higher than on Monday; dressed sales last week were at mostly $175.

Elsewhere, established trends so far this week occurred on Monday, with live sales in the Texas Panhandle steady to $5 lower than last week at $105-$110 and $10 lower in Kansas at $100.

But, Cattle futures rallied Tuesday, finally. Whether a technical gasp or a step toward a turning point, harsh volatility will likely continue. Support included brighter cash prospects, soaring wholesale beef values and the bounce in equity markets, following the steep losses in the previous session.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.44 higher, from $1.77 higher at the back to $4.50 higher in the front three contracts.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.37 higher.

Wholesale beef values rocketed higher again Tuesday, with good demand and heavy offerings.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $15.77 higher Tuesday afternoon at $239.93/cwt. Select was $12.61 higher at $229.32. Over the last two days, Choice increased $31.99 and Select was up $27.34.

Corn futures closed 6¢ to 10¢ lower in the front three contracts and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Other than fractionally higher to 2¢ higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ lower.

March 17th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 17, 2020

Markets remain firmly entrenched in the COVID-19 panic that is forcing widespread disruptions to how people go about their business, while slowing economic wheels.

Live Cattle futures showed signs of life Monday, with surging wholesale beef values, but sank hard again, as did Feeder Cattle.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.73 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.47 lower, limit-down in all but one contract.

Wholesale beef values rocketed higher Monday, with heavy offerings, as retailers replenished supplies windrowed by consumers stocking up.  There was also likely some defensive buying against potential challenges in the supply chain.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $16.22 higher Monday afternoon at $224.36/cwt. Select was $14.73 higher at $216.71.

Corn futures closed 11¢ and 10¢ lower in the front two contracts and then mostly 4¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 18¢ to 27¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly 14¢ to 16¢ lower.

March 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 16, 2020

Note: Cattle Current is dependent on a couple other businesses to house the Cattle Current website, edit the podcast and the like. If Cattle Current goes missing in the days/weeks ahead, it will likely be due to COVID-19 disrupting one of those businesses. If such a disruption occurs, we’ll get back on schedule as quickly as possible.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was established at $110/cwt. on a live basis last week, which was $3 lower in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $5-$7 lower at $175-$176. There were trades at lower money later in the week, but too few to trend.

Cattle futures attempted to follow equity markets higher early on Friday, but ended mostly expanded limit-down, amid chatter about the potential of coronavirus to disrupt packing plant operations. I could find no confirmed reports of closures or reduced schedules for the major packers, but the vulnerability is a logical concern, given cattle numbers and strained packing capacity. 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $4.38 lower. That’s an average of $7.37 lower in the last two sessions.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $6.51 lower. That’s an average of $11.01 lower in the previous two sessions.

Wholesale beef values were sharply higher on good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.13 higher Friday afternoon at $2018.14/cwt. Select was $4.10 higher at $201.98. Although food service demand will likely suffer for a time as more consumers stay at home, retail demand is likely benefiting from those same consumers stocking up.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 10¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 3¢ lower.

March 15th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 13, 2020

Equities and futures markets plunged deeper Thursday amid a growing list of event cancellations, altered business schedules and continued widespread panic related to coronavirus and its impact on the domestic and global economies.

Except for $2.97 lower in the back two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed limit-down $3.00.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50 across the board. 

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and higher on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.16 lower Thursday afternoon at $206.01/cwt. Select was $1.39 higher at $197.88.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ lower.

March 12th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 12, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle traded in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $110/cwt. on a live basis Monday, which was $3 lower; $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at the same money. Early dressed sales were $5-$7 lower at $175-$176.

Three lots—460 head—were offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. All sold for an average weighted price of $110/cwt., with delivery of 1-9 days for 384 head; 1-17 days for the remainder.

Cattle futures reversed directions again Wednesday, closing mostly limit-down and subsumed once again by coronavirus fears and sharply lower outside markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.84 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.48 lower. 

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $207.17/cwt. Select was $2.22 lower at $196.49.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Incidentally, CME Group announced Wednesday evening that it will close its Chicago trading floor as of the close of business this Friday the 13th, as a precaution to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of coronavirus, in line with the advice of medical professionals. All products will continue to trade on CME Globex as they do today.

That organization joins an expanding list of companies, groups and sports leagues cancelling, suspending and altering. You may have heard the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo cancelled the remainder of this year’s run Wednesday afternoon, with 11 days left; the NCAA also announced attendance at the upcoming March Madness basketball tournaments for both women and men will be limited to players, families and essential staff…the list goes on.

March 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 11, 2020

Cattle futures finally found some traction Tuesday, gaining back a little better than half of the previous day’s sharp losses, once gain following the same trajectory as equity markets.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.79 higher ($1.10 higher to $2.60 higher in spot Apr). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.51 higher ($1.55 higher in spot Mar to $3.10 higher). 

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and sharply lower on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 27¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $207.09/cwt. Select was $3.61 lower at $198.71.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.

March 10th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 10, 2020

The weekly weighted average five-area direct price for fed steers was $1.68 lower on a live basis last week at $113.17/cwt. Steer prices in the beef were $3.98 lower at $180.80.

There were too few transactions to trend negotiated cash fed cattle in any region on Monday, but early sales were decidedly pessimistic with some live trade in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $110/cwt.; early dressed sales at $175.

Cattle futures started the week limit down and near limit-down as equity markets plunged amid continued uncertainty about COVID-19, coupled with the outbreak of an oil price war over the weekend that sent crude oil prices into free-fall.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.89 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed limit-down $4.50 across the board.

Wholesale beef values were generally steady on light demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 11¢ lower Monday afternoon at $207.36/cwt. Select was 25¢ lower at $202.32.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 15¢ to 21¢ lower.

March 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Mar. 9, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up $2 lower on a live basis last week in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $113/cwt. It was $1 higher to $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $113-$115. Dressed trade was $5 lower in Nebraska at $180-$182; steady to $5 lower at the same money in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle futures dropped like a rock again Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.42 lower ($1.82 lower at the back to $2.90 lower in spot Apr).

Spot Apr Live Cattle closed at $105.75 on Friday. That’s $22.20 less (-17.35%) than the recent high of $127.95 Jan. 10 and lower than the $110.17 shortly after the Tyson plant fire.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.36 lower.

Spot Mar Feeder Cattle closed at $130.70 on Friday, which was $16.75 less (-11.36%) than the recent high Jan. 10, but still slightly higher than the first week of September.

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and higher on Select with moderate to fairly good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 22¢ higher Friday afternoon at $207.47/cwt. Select was $1.51 higher at $202.57.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 7¢ lower through May ’21 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

March 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 6, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued $2 less than last week on Thursday at $113/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Although too few to trend there were some early dressed sales in Nebraska at $182, which was $3-$5 less than the previous week.

Cattle futures followed outside markets lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 93¢ lower (40¢ lower to $2.62 lower in spot Apr).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.87 lower ($1.70 to $2.77 lower).

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and weak on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 43¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $207.25/cwt. Select was 45¢ lower at $201.06.

Carcass weights continue heavier year over year, according to USDA’s latest Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report for the week ending Feb. 22.

The average dressed steer weight was 900 lbs., which was 26 lbs. more the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight was 13 lbs. more than a year earlier at 831 lbs. Week to week, dressed steer and heifer weights were 5 lbs. and 2 lbs. lighter, respectively.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 8¢ to 10¢ lower.

March 5th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 5, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the Southern Plains Wednesday at $113/cwt., which was $2 lower than last week. Trade was light to moderate on moderate demand.

There were 566 head (three lots) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction at an offer price of $114; with no takers.

Cattle futures continued joined at the hip to equity markets on Wednesday, surging higher on the day.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (50¢ to $1.17 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.92 higher ($1.32 to $2.72 higher).

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 20¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $206.82/cwt. Select was $1.19 lower at $201.51.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly unchanged to fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly 6¢ lower.

March 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 4, 2020

Equities climbed early Tuesday, helping to drag Cattle futures along, but late pressure took them lower.

Other than 5¢ lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 lower (60¢ to $1.47 lower). 

Except for 2¢ lower in spot Mar, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.96 lower ($1.17 to $2.50 lower).

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and higher on Select with moderate demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $206.62/cwt. Select was $1.54 higher at $202.70.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower.

March 3rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 3, 2020

Feeder Cattle futures led Live Cattle higher Monday. New-month positioning was likely a contributor. As well, the declining number of new coronavirus cases in China suggest the worst may be over in that nation, paving the way toward a resumption toward normal levels of commerce.

Other than 75¢ lower in recently minted away Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.82 higher (62¢ higher toward the back to $2.77 higher toward the front). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.09 higher ($1.32 to $2.45 higher).

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.23 higher Monday afternoon at $206.53/cwt. Select was $2.25 higher at $201.16.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 8¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 9¢ higher.

March 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—March 2, 2020

Through Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices for the week were $4-$5 less on a live basis at $115/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dressed trade was $3-$5 less in Nebraska at $185-$187 and mostly $7 lower in the western Corn Belt at mainly $183.

Through Thursday, the average five-area direct steer price was $115.07/cwt. on a live basis, which was $4.70 less than a week earlier. The average dressed steer price of $185.45 was $4.65lower.

Cattle futures took another strong step lower Friday, with ongoing pressure in outside markets from novel coronavirus fears, as well as week-end and month-end position squaring. 

Other than 7¢ higher in expiring Feb, Live Cattle futures closed and average of $2.04 lower ($1.45 lower toward the back to $2.90 lower at the front).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.62 lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 24¢ lower Friday afternoon at $205.30/cwt. Select was 78¢ lower at $198.91.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ lower.

March 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 28, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued lower Thursday with dressed trade in the western Corn Belt losing another $2-$4 at $180-$183/cwt., mostly $183. For the week, dressed prices there are $7-$10 lower than last week.

Although too few to trend, there were also some live trades in Nebraska at $112-$114, another $1-$3 lower than the market established earlier in the week, which was $4-$5 lower than last week.

Lower cash prices are, of course, tied to fears about the potential impact of novel coronavirus on the global economy. Those fears continued to drive equity markets and many futures markets sharply lower again Thursday.

Cattle futures closed off of session lows, but lost plenty of ground, especially in nearby contracts.

Live Cattle futures closed and average of $1.47 lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 34¢ lower to an average of 13¢ higher, with the heaviest volume of trade since last September.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.57 lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 15¢ lower to an average of 40¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and higher on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 80¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $205.54/cwt. Select was $1.09 higher at $199.69.

Carcass weights continue significantly higher year over year, according to the latest USDA Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Feb. 15 was 905 lbs., which was 2 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 26 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 833 lbs. was 1 lb. lighter than the previous week but 14 lbs. heavier than a year earlier.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 6¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 5¢ higher through Nov ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

February 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 27, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued with a lower undertone, Wednesday, although there were too few transactions to trend. A day earlier, live trade was $4-$5 lower week to week in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $115/cwt. Dressed trade was $3-$5 lower at $185-$187.

There were 755 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction—five lots from the Southern Plains. Four lots—627 head—sold for a weighted average price of $115.25/cwt.; 483 head for delivery at 1-9 days and 272 head for delivery at 1-17 days.

Choice steers and heifers sold $1.00-$1.50 lower at the fat auction in Tama, IA. There were 82 head of Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,457 lbs. and bringing an average price of $120.51. Country trade in the region last week was at $119-$120.

At Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, though, fat cattle sold $2-$4 lower with 176 Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,438 lbs., bringing an average of $116.84.

Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle, found some footing Wednesday, likely helped along by short covering.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 69¢ lower through the front four contracts to an average of 28¢ higher.

Except for 12¢ lower in Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 80¢ higher (10¢ higher to $1.85 higher in Apr).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.13 lower Wednesday afternoon at $206.34/cwt. Select was $1.30 lower at $198.60.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.

February 26th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 26, 2020

Although Cattle futures tested stability early in yesterday’s session, they crumbled again, beneath overall market panic about novel coronavirus and its potential economic impact. Losses, however, were less than the previous day.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.70 lower through the front four contracts and then an average of 56¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.06 lower (85¢ to $3.47 lower). That’s an average of $6.32 lower in the last two sessions.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and sharply lower on Select, with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 40¢ higher Tuesday afternoon at $207.47/cwt. Select was $2.47 lower at $199.90.

Grain futures rebounded, perhaps with the help of the lower U.S. dollar.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.

February 25th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 25, 2020

Weekend reports of a spike in novel coronavirus cases outside of China sent major U.S. financial indices and futures markets tumbling as investors and traders try to assess the current and potential impact on global economic growth.

Cattle futures plummeted mostly limit-down in Feeder Cattle and near limit-down in Live Cattle. Friday’s announcement that USDA is restoring access to the U.S. for Brazilian beef likely added to the weight.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.72 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.26 lower.

Growing pessimism prompted some early negotiated cash fed cattle trade in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $187/cwt. in the beef, which was $3 less than last week, but there were too few transactions to establish a trend.

Wholesale beef values were higher on Choice and firm on Select, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.98 higher Monday afternoon at $207.07/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $202.37.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 11¢ to 16¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then 5¢ to 9¢ lower.

February 24th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 24, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week steady to $1 higher on a live basis at $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $119-$120 in the north. Dressed trade was steady at $190.

Weaker outside markets and ample supplies continued to pressure Cattle futures Friday, although they closed off of session lows.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ lower, amid active trade.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 lower (42¢ to $1.37 lower).

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 59¢ higher Friday afternoon at $205.09/cwt. Select was 10¢ higher at $201.70.

February 22nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 21, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Thursday continued $1 higher than last week in the Southern Plains at $120/cwt. Live prices were steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $119-$120 and steady in the beef at $190.

Near term, increased slaughter numbers and heavier carcass weights year over year, magnified by the mostly open winter so far are keeping a firmer seasonal lid on wholesale beef prices. The average steer carcass weight the week ending Feb. 8 was 903 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 6 lbs. more than the previous week and 18 lbs. more than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 834 lbs. was 1 lbs. more than the previous week and 12 lbs. more than the same week last year.

Weaker outside markets amid the daily up and down tied to novel coronavirus also helped pressure Cattle futures Thursday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 lower (70¢ to $1.65 lower), but still higher week to week.

Except for 2¢ higher in spot Mar, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ lower. 

Analysts surveyed by Urner Barry and reported by the Daily Livestock Report expect to see January feedlot placements 1.9% more than the previous year, in Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. They anticipate January marketings to be 1% more and the Feb. 1 on-feed inventory to be 2.4%  more.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.07 lower Thursday afternoon at $204.50/cwt. Select was 16¢ lower at $201.60.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ lower.

February 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 20, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports, but had a firm to higher feel.

For one thing, there were some early live trades in the Texas Panhandle at $120/cwt., which was $1 higher than last week.

Earlier in the day, there were three Southern Plains lots (422 head) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no takers. One lot was passed out at $119.75/cwt.

Up North, Choice steers and heifers sold $1.75-$2.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA Wednesday. There were 91 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,434 lbs. and bringing an average of $123.15/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt was $119 last week.

Similarly, slaughter steers also sold $2-$3 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 184 Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,447 lbs. brought an average of $120.74.

Feeder Cattle futures gained more ground Wednesday on strong fundamentals, and perhaps positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday. That helped underpin Live Cattle. 

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed and mostly higher, from unchanged to an average of 11¢ lower in three contracts to an average of 20¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ higher (47¢ to $1.47 higher in spot Mar). That makes for an average of $5.87 higher over the last five sessions.

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 56¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $205.57/cwt. Select was $1.97 lower at $201.76.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Except for 5¢ and 3¢ higher in the front two contracts, Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

February 19th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 19, 2020

Cattle futures on Tuesday picked up where they left off last week, gaining more ground, albeit with light and two-sided trade.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 31¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 74¢ higher (30¢ to $1.10 higher).

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and sharply lower on Select with light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.13 lower Tuesday afternoon at $206.13/cwt. Select was $2.45 lower at $203.73.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

February 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 18, 2020

Through Friday, the five-area direct price for steers was $118.90/cwt. on a live basis and $190.27 in the beef. Week to week, that was $2.15 lower and $2.91 lower, respectively.

Futures and equity markets were closed Monday, in observance of Presidents Day, so it will be another day before finding out if the late-week momentum in Cattle futures carries ahead.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 83¢ lower Monday afternoon at $207.26/cwt. Select was 47¢ higher at $206.18.

February 17th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb.17, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week $2-$3 lower at $119/cwt. on a live basis and $3 lower in the beef at $190.

Recent oversold conditions continued to help lift Cattle futures higher Friday as traders positioned for the three-day weekend.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.17 higher, from 77¢ higher to $1.80 higher toward the front of the board.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.36 higher. That’s an average of $3.62 higher in the last two sessions.

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.64 higher Friday afternoon at $208.09/cwt. Select was $1.92 higher at $205.71.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ lower to 2¢ higher.

February 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 14, 2020

Lower prices for negotiated cash fed cattle continued in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt late Wednesday and Thursday with live sales $2-$3 lower at $119/cwt. and dressed sales $3 lower at $190.

Cattle futures continued to regain some footing amid more active trade and expanding open interest for the first time in a spell.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ higher, from 40¢ higher to $1.40 higher in the back contract.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.26 higher, from 60¢ higher to $1.77 higher toward the front of the board.

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 14¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $206.45/cwt. Select was $1.51 lower at $203.79.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

February 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 13, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in the Southern Plains Wednesday with live sales at $118-$119/cwt., but mostly $119, which was mostly $2 less than last week.

Southern Plains cattle selling in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction also brought $119. There were 413 head offered; 315 head sold for delivery at 1-9 days.

Even so, Cattle futures finally clawed back some losses amid oversold conditions.

Except for 12¢ and 2¢ lower on either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 56¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and higher on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.52 lower Wednesday afternoon at $206.31/cwt. Select was 77¢ higher at $205.30.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then mainly unchanged.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 7¢ higher through Nov ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

February 12th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 12, 2020

Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade took on a lower feel Tuesday with early live trades in Kansas and Nebraska at $119-$120/cwt., compared to $121 last week.

Cattle futures continued lower, pressured by the softer tone of the cash market.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.11 lower (67¢ to $1.50 lower).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.10 lower.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and higher on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.08 lower Tuesday afternoon at $207.83/cwt. Select was 83¢ higher at $204.53.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed unchanged to fractionally higher.

February 11th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 11, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended last week $1 lower on a live basis at $121/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $121-$122 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $1-$2 lower at mostly $193.

Softer cash prices, declining wholesale beef values and queasiness over demand from a potentially slowing global economy weighed on Cattle futures to start the week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 76¢ lower.

Except for 5¢ and 2¢ higher in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 97¢ lower (12¢ to $1.22 lower).

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.21 lower Monday afternoon at $208.91/cwt. Select was 19¢ lower at $203.70.

Corn futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

February 10th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 10, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was yet to fully develop through Friday afternoon but was shaping up lower. Live prices in the Southern Plains were $1 lower than the previous week at $121/cwt. Although too few to trend, early live sales in Nebraska were also $1 lower at $121, while early dressed sales were $1-$2 lower at $193-$195.

The lack of firm cash direction and weaker outside markets helped cap Live Cattle futures and pressure Feeder Cattle as Lean Hogs continued to extend gains.

Except for 5¢ lower in away Feb, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 14¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower (7¢ to 92¢ lower).

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and sharply lower on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 81¢ lower Friday afternoon at $210.12/cwt. Select was $2.07 lower at $203.89.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ higher through May ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed unchanged to 1¢ higher through near Jly and then mostly 4¢ lower.

February 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 7, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon.

Despite the lack of cash direction and recent softness, limit-up moves across most Lean Hog contracts helped buoy Cattle futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢ higher. Open interest continued its recent steep decline with 61,318 fewer contracts (-15.3%) between Jan. 21 and Feb. 5.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 93¢ higher (22¢ to $1.52. higher).

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 21¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $210.93/cwt. Select was $1.98 lower at $205.96.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

February 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 6, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon.

There were 627 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction and no takers.

After hints of early support, Cattle futures trailed lower Wednesday, pressured by the ongoing retreat of open interest in Live Cattle, softer wholesale beef values and the lack of cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.59 lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady to firm on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 21¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $210.72/cwt. Select was 43¢ higher at $207.94.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

February 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 5, 2020

Feeder Cattle futures extended gains on Tuesday, while Live Cattle closed a touch softer as open interest continues to decline, but retained most of the previous session’s gain.

Except for 5¢ higher in away Feb, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $210.93/cwt. Select was 9¢ higher at $207.51.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

February 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 4, 2020

After early support, then pressure, then support again, Cattle futures continued to rebound from the recent selloff. Friday’s Cattle inventory report likely offered some support, with less estimated year-over-year feeder cattle supply outside feedlots Jan. 1: 26.45 million head, which was is 0.40% less (-105,300 head). 

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ higher, from 30¢ to $1.05 higher. 

Except for $1.25 lower in away-Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 98¢ higher (57¢ to $1.12 higher).

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and sharply lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.44 lower Monday afternoon at $211.56/cwt. Select was $3.24 lower at $207.42.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

February 3rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Feb. 3, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week generally $2-$3 lower on a live basis at $122/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $122-$123 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $3-$4 lower at $195.

Although increasing worries about the economic impact of coronavirus weighed on equity markets Friday, Cattle futures—especially Feeder Cattle—continued to emerge from the week’s doldrums, likely helped along by short covering, month-end positioning and bullish expectations for Jan. 1 cattle numbers (see below).

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 32¢ lower to an average of 14¢ higher.

Except for 37¢ lower in newly minted away-Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher (40¢ to $1.30 higher).

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light to demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 35¢ lower Friday afternoon at $213.00/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $210.66.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower. 

February 1st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 31, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow with moderate demand in the Southern Plains through Thursday afternoon. Based on USDA reports, live prices were steady with the previous day at $122/cwt., which was $2 less than last week.

Cattle futures finally firmed on Thursday after taking their lumps for the previous five sessions, and in the face of another limit and near limit-down day for Lean Hogs.

Except for 2¢ lower in near Apr, Live Cattle futures close an average of 29¢ higher (2¢ to 62¢ higher).

Except for unchanged in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ higher (5¢ to 67¢ higher).

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 17¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $213.35/cwt. Select was 45¢ lower at $211.48.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 16¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then 5¢ to 10¢ lower.

January 30th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 30, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports.

There were 477 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction and no takers.

Slaughter steers and heifers sold $1-$2 lower at Sioux Falls in South Dakota with 105 Ch 2-3 steers brought an average price of $120.43/cwt. at an average weight of 1,441 lbs. Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at mostly $124-$125.

After glimmers of support early on, Cattle futures continued to trek lower with the overall lack of commodity support, no cash direction and longs fleeing the market.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 48¢lower. Between Jan. 21 and 28, open interest declined by 30,377 contracts (down 7.6%).

Except for 5¢higher in soon-to-expire Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢lower.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 67¢ higherWednesday afternoon at $213.52/cwt. Select was 23¢ lower at $211.93.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

January 29th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 29, 2020

Futures and equity markets recovered some ground on Tuesday from the previous day’s steep selloff tied to growing fears about the global spread of novel coronavirus. 

Although mainly lower, the decline in Cattle futures was soft rather than the limit and near limit-down moves in the previous session.

Live Cattle futures close an average of 38¢ lower, as open interest continued to dwindle.

Except for 15¢ and 22¢ higher in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 29¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and higher on Select with moderate to good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 74¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $212.85/cwt. Select was $1.66  higher at $212.16.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 5¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

January 28th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 28, 2020

Growing fears about the global spread of novel coronavirus hammered equity and futures markets Monday.

Live Cattle futures close an average of $2.29 lower, from $1.35 lower at the back to limit-down $3.00 toward the front.

Other than 5¢ higher in waning spot Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.84 lower, from $3.17 lower toward the back to limit-down $4.50 toward the front.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 90¢ lower Monday afternoon at $213.59/cwt. Select was 20¢ lower at $210.50.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 6¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jan ‘21 and then mostly 1¢ higher. 

January 27th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 27, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up generally steady to firm last week, with live prices in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $124/cwt. and at $124-$126 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $199 in Nebraska and mostly $198-$199 in the western Corn Belt.

Cattle futures continued lower, to a lesser degree than the previous session, helped along by weaker outside markets.

Other than an average of 13¢ higher in three contracts, Live Cattle futures close an average of 24¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 69¢ lower. 

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 83¢ lower Friday afternoon at $214.49/cwt. Select was 50¢ lower at $210.70.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower through Nov ‘21 and then mostly 1¢ higher. 

January 25th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 24, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued steady to firm Thursday with live sales at $124/cwt. in Nebraska and at $125 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were at $199 in Nebraska and at $198.00-$199.50 in the western Corn Belt. For the week, live sales in the Southern Plains also were steady at $124.

Cattle futures weakened, though, closing down triple digits, amid active trade. Pressure could have included the bounce higher in nearby Corn futures, demand wonderments related to the global spread of the coronavirus, as well as positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below) that will be released Friday afternoon. Definitive explanations were elusive, though.

Live Cattle futures close an average of $1.88 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.40 lower for an average of $3.47 lower in the last two sessions.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select, with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 36¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $215.32/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $211.20.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through the front three contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower in the front six contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

January 23rd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 23, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand was moderate in the Southern Plains through Wednesday afternoon, with live prices steady with the prior week at $124/cwt.

That matched the weighted average price of $124 for the single lot (112 head) of Kansas heifers that sold in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. The total offering was 561 head (four lots).

Likewise, Choice steers and heifers sold steady at the fat auction in Tama, IA with 123 head of Ch 2-3 steers bringing an average price of $125.84 at an average weight of 1,472 lbs.

At Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, though, slaughter steers sold steady to $1 lower: 223 head of Ch 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,569 lbs. and bringing an average price of $120.06.

Cattle futures softened Wednesday, led by Feeder Cattle, as the lack of detail and purchases associated with the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China continues to create unease in commodity markets.

Other than 2¢ higher in away Apr, Live Cattle futures close an average of 36¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.07 lower (45¢ to $1.62 lower).

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select, with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 45¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $214.96/cwt. Select was $1.45 lower at $212.02.

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

January 22nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 22, 2020

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed on Tuesday, amid lackluster trade and little direction.

Other than 2¢ higher in spot Feb, Live Cattle futures close an average of 9¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 26¢ lower across the front half of the board to an average of 20¢ higher across the back half.  

Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 13¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $214.51/cwt. Select was 1¢ lower at $213.47. Other than a single day last February, the Choice-Select spread the past four days ($1.04 to $1.43) is the narrowest since September of 2017.

Corn futures closed 1¢ lower across the front half of the board and then fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 13¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 6¢ to 7¢ lower.

January 21st, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 21, 2020

Cattle futures and equity markets were closed Monday, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Wholesale beef values were firm on moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 47¢ higher Monday afternoon at $214.64/cwt. Select was 73¢ higher at $213.48.

January 20th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 20, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon was steady on a live basis in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $124/cwt., but $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $123-$125. Dressed sales were steady to $2 lower at $198-$200.

Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday, but with a firmer feel in Live Cattle as traders positioned ahead of the three-day weekend.

Other than unchanged and 5¢ lower in the back three contracts, Live Cattle futures close an average of 33¢ higher.

Other than 17¢ and 7¢ higher in two nearby contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower amid light trade.

Wholesale beef values were higher on moderate to good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.27 higher Friday afternoon at $214.17/cwt. Select was $1.28 higher at $212.75.

Corn futures closed 12¢ to 13¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher, basically recovering what was lost in the previous session.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ higher. 

January 18th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 17, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices began to take shape through Thursday afternoon. Live prices in the Southern Plains were steady at $124/cwt. Although too few to trend, early dressed prices up north were steady to $2 lower at $198-$200, based on USDA reports.

Although backing away from session lows, reduced momentum in the cash market helped push Cattle futures lower, as did likely selling and profit taking by those who provided fuel ahead of the phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China. That and Senate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement hold plenty of promise, but plenty of questions remain.

Live Cattle futures close an average of 51¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed unchanged to an average of 27¢ lower through the front five contracts and then an average of 6¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 37¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $212.90/cwt. Select was $1.80 higher at $211.47.

Corn futures closed 11¢ to 12¢ lower in the front three contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 7¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

January 16th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 16, 2020

Cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, but early indicators were for at least steady prices.

For instance, Choice steers and heifers sold $2 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA. Ch 2-4 steers (144 head) weighing an average of 1,416 lbs. sold for an average of $126.26/cwt.

Similarly, slaughter steers and heifers sold $2-$3 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota. There were 201 Ch 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,440 lbs. and bringing an average of $122.41.

Country trade in the western Corn Belt last week was at $124-$126.

There were 734 head offered in Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange auction, with 435 head—two lots of steers in the Southern Plains—selling for a weighted average price of $124.22 for delivery at 1-9 days. The price was a tick higher than last week’s country trade in the region.

Futures market reaction to signing of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China (see below) was largely muted Wednesday, likely a combination of some betting on the come ahead of the deal and the fact that details remain sketchy.

Live Cattle futures close an average of 19¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower through the front five contracts and then an average of 44¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 23¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $212.53/cwt. Select was 63¢ lower at $209.67.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢-13¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then 8¢ lower.

January 15th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 15, 2020

Wholesale beef values bounced higher Tuesday on good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.21 higher in the afternoon at $212.76/cwt. Select was $2.07 higher at $210.30.

That and stronger Lean Hog futures helped Live Cattle futures close an average of 22¢ higher.

Other than unchanged and 10¢ higher in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 12¢ lower.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

January 14th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 14, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended last week mainly steady on a live basis at mostly $124/cwt. and mostly $1-$2 higher in the beef at mainly $200.

Cattle futures basically gave back gains from the previous session on Monday, likely pressured by nearby Lean Hogs, as well as the mostly steady, rather than higher cash fed cattle prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 30¢ lower (2¢ lower to 87¢ lower in spot Feb).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 99¢ lower (45¢ lower at the back to $1.60 lower toward the front).

Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on moderate to good demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 51¢ higher Monday afternoon at $210.55/cwt. Select was $1.68 higher at $208.23.

Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.

January 13th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 13, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light to moderate on moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, but there were too few transactions to trend. Early dressed sales in both regions were at $200/cwt. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $124-$126.

Hints of steady to higher cash pries and strong fundamentals helped lift Cattle futures Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ higher Friday afternoon at $210.04/cwt. Select was 13¢ lower at $206.55.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then fractionally higher.

January 12th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 10, 2020

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed on Thursday, capped by pressure from Lean Hogs and the lack of cash direction. Perhaps there was also some hesitation over what Friday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates could say about feed prices.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 9¢ higher across the front half of the board to an average of 19¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady to firm on moderate to fairly good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 46¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $209.96/cwt. Select was 15¢ higher at $206.68.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ lower.

January 9th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan.9, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Early indications are for steady to higher prices again this week, with the expectation of a bit snugger harvest-ready supplies.

There were 525 head offered in the year’s first weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no takers. Two lots of steers from Texas and Kansas were passed on at $123.00/cwt. and $124.25, respectively.

Cattle futures mostly rebounded from the previous session’s softer tones, led by Feeder Cattle.

Except for 17¢ and 32¢ lower in the front two contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 91¢ higher (40¢ to $1.40 higher).

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 6¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $209.50/cwt. Select was 29¢ lower at $206.53.

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher.

January 8th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 8, 2020

Cattle futures retraced some ground from the previous session’s strong and somewhat surprising rally, but kept the lion’s share of gains.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 80¢ lower (40¢ lower to $1.52 lower in spot Jan).

Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ lower Monday afternoon at $209.56/cwt. Select was 2¢ higher at $206.82.

Corn futures closed unchanged to fractionally mixed.

Soybean futures closed mostly unchanged to 1¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then fractionally higher to 2¢ higher.

January 7th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 7, 2020

The five-area direct weighted average fed steer price last week was $124.21/cwt., which was $1.93 more than the previous week. The weighted average price of $198.60 in the beef was $3.38 higher.

Stronger cash prices, the promise of improving wholesale beef values and a return to full trade following the holidays all helped underpin the significant rally in Cattle futures Monday. Stabilizing outside markets were also positive.

Except for $1.70 lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.66 higher (95¢ to $2.55 higher in spot Feb).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.92 higher ($2.02 higher at the back to $4.07 higher in spot Jan).

Wholesale beef values were higher on good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.16 higher Monday afternoon at $209.65/cwt. Select was $1.41 higher at $206.80.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower through Sep ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

January 6th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 6, 2020

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed on Friday with live sales $2 higher at $124/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $2-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $125. Dressed sales were mostly $4 higher in Nebraska at mainly $199 and $3-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $198-$199.

Cattle futures softened though, amid lower outside markets fueled by heightened geopolitical tensions (the U.S. military strike in Iran), as well as what appeared to be some liquidation by non-commercial traders in the previous session. There was also some question about how the military action in Iran might affect the scheduled signing of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China. Lean Hogs closed limit-down in spot Feb and near limit-down in the next two contracts.

Except for 35¢ higher in away Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ lower (7¢ lower to $1.05 lower in spot Feb).

Except for 7¢ higher in in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and higher on Select with moderate to fairly good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 24¢ higher Friday afternoon at $208.49/cwt. Select was $2.76 higher at $205.39.

Grain futures lost ground on the day, between anemic weekly export data, as well as wonderments about the potential fallout from the U.S. defensive action in Iran.

Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ lower through Dec ’20 and then mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

January 4th, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 3, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon. There were a few early live sales in the western Corn Belt at $125/cwt., but too few to trend. Prices in that region last week were at $121-$123.

Cattle futures mostly edged lower, with the heaviest trade since the middle of last month.

Except for $3.00 lower in newly minted away Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Except for 25¢ higher in Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.17 lower Thursday afternoon at $208.25/cwt. Select was 51¢ higher at $202.63.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

January 2nd, 2020|

Cattle Current Podcast—Jan. 1-2, 2020

As expected, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon.

Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly lower, amid light holiday trade.

Except for 2¢ to 60¢ higher in three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Except for 2¢ higher in Sep, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 13¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 24¢ lower Tuesday afternoon at $209.42/cwt. Select was $3.29 lower at $202.12.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher (mostly 1¢ higher).

December 31st, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 31, 2019

The 5-area direct weighted average price for steers last week was $122.28/cwt. on a live basis and $195.22 in the beef. Week to week, that was $1.92 higher and $3.37 higher, respectively.

Cattle futures hovered on either side of even Monday, amid light holiday trade.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 16¢ lower to an average of 24¢ higher (60¢ higher in nearly spent spot Dec).

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 25¢ lower across the front half of the board to an average of 37¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on good demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 70¢ higher Monday afternoon at $209.66/cwt. Select was 84¢ higher at $205.41.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 11¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher. Presumably, support included more positive chatter about the Phase-one U.S.-China trade deal being signed as early as next week.

December 30th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 30, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was yet to be fully developed through Friday afternoon, but early prices were higher. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $122/cwt., which was $2 higher than the previous week. Likewise, AMS reported live sales in Kansas at $122, which was $2 higher than the prior week. In Nebraska, dressed sales were mostly $3 higher at mostly $196. Although too few to trend, early dressed sales in the western Corn Belt were $3-$4 higher at $195-$196.

Stronger cash undertones helped Cattle futures maintain most of the gains from the previous session.

Except for 10¢ lower in near Feb and unchanged in Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 16¢ higher.

Except for 10¢ higher in spot Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 22¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.19 lower Friday afternoon at $208.96/cwt. Select was 68¢ lower at $204.57.

Corn futures closed 1¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 8¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then fractionally lower.

December 28th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 27, 2019

Hopes grew Thursday for higher weekly cash fed cattle prices as Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle, climbed higher, apparently on the backs of non-commercial traders’ continued positioning ahead of support that could come with a U.S.-China trade deal. The next round of winter predicted to hit cattle feeding areas later this week was likely also supportive.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.49 higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.42 lower Thursday afternoon at $210.15/cwt. Select was 61¢ higher at $205.25.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.

December 26th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 25-26, 2019

Merry Christmas to All!

Cattle futures edged mostly higher amid light holiday trade Tuesday.

Except for unchanged in Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ higher.

Except for 5¢ lower in Mar and Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 12¢ higher.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

December 24th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 24, 2019

Week to week on Monday, the 5-area direct average steer price was $120.36/cwt. on a live basis, which was $1.19 higher than the previous week. In the beef, the average steer price was $3.85 higher at $191.85.

More placements than expected in Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below) pressured Cattle futures to start the week; that and sluggish holiday trade.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly lower, from 35¢ lower to 17¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were higher to sharply higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.87 higher Monday afternoon at $211.57/cwt. Select was $3.61 higher at $204.64. The Choice-Select spread was the narrowest since March at $6.93.

Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

December 23rd, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 23, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were generally $1 higher on a live basis last week: $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains; $120-$121 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $2-$4 higher at $192.

Cattle futures meandered lower Friday, amid holiday trade. The monthly Cattle on Feed report issued after the close could add some pressure to start the week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 16¢ lower, except for 10¢ and 17¢ higher in the front two contracts. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were steady to firm on moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 71¢ higher Friday afternoon at $209.70/cwt. Select was 4¢ higher at $201.03.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher through Jul ’21 and then fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed narrowly mixed through Aug ’20 and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

December 21st, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 20, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $1 higher at $120/cwt. in Kansas through Thursday afternoon. Although too few to trend, live sales were generally $1-$2 higher at $120-$121 in Nebraska and at $121 in the western Corn Belt. Early dressed sales were $2-$4 higher at $192.

Cattle futures were mixed on Thursday but closed mostly slightly higher, supported by stronger cash prices and sluggish trade.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 34¢ lower across the front four contracts to an average of 27¢ higher. 

Other than 7¢ lower in Mar, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ higher (7¢ to 85¢ higher).

Wholesale beef values were weak on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 58¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $208.99/cwt. Select was also 58¢ lower at $200.99.

Corn futures closed fractionally mixed through Jul ’21 and then unchanged to 4¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 4¢ lower through Aug ’20 and then mostly 1¢ lower.

December 19th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 19, 2019

Prospects for negotiated cash fed cattle prices got a shot in the arm from the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. One lot of Texas steers—268 head—sold out of a total offering of 878 head, for a weighted average price of $120/cwt., which was $1 higher than last week’s country trade in the region.

Similarly, Choice steers and heifers sold $1.00-$1.50 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA. There were 305 Ch 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,453 lbs. and bringing an average price of $120.54, which was at the upper end of the previous week’s country price.

Cattle futures wavered, amid the lack of cash direction and sluggish overall trade.

Other than 2¢ higher in spot Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ lower. 

Other than 7¢ higher toward the back, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were lower to sharply lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.24 lower Wednesday afternoon at $209.57/cwt. Select was $1.90 lower at $201.57.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower.

Other than fractionally lower in the front four contracts, Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ higher.

December 18th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 18, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon.

Feeder Cattle futures mostly edged higher and Live Cattle mostly wandered lower.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ lower (5¢ to 95¢ lower) to an average of 7¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 14¢ higher, except for 10¢ and 27¢ lower on either end of the board.

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.27 lower Tuesday afternoon at $212.81/cwt. Select was $2.04 lower at $203.47.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher through Jly ‘21; and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Jan. ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

December 17th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 17, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up steady to $1 higher in the Southern Plains last week at $119/cwt. on a live basis; steady to $2.50 higher in the Northern Plains at $119.00-$120.50. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $188-$190.

Week to week the 5-area average direct live steer price was just 25¢ higher at $119.17, but with average live weights 34 lbs. heavier at 1,506 lbs. In the beef, the average steer price was 10¢ less at $188.00 with average dressed weights 45 lbs. heavier at 992 lbs.

Cattle futures wandered narrowly lower Monday, maintaining most of the previous session’s strong gains, and in the face of higher Corn futures.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 18¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in the back contract.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for 5¢ higher in the back contract

Wholesale beef values were higher on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Gains over the last two days suggest the seasonal bottom might be established.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 79¢ higher Monday afternoon at $217.08/cwt. Select was $1.27 higher at $205.51.

Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 6¢ higher through Jly ‘21; and then mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ higher through Jan. ’21 and then mostly 3¢ higher.

December 16th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 16, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued to develop through Friday afternoon at no worse than steady money, according to USDA reports. Early live sales were at $119/cwt. in Nebraska and at $120 in the western Corn Belt. Early dressed sales were steady in the western Corn Belt at $188 and as much as $6 higher in Nebraska at $188-$194. Earlier in the week, live sales were steady in Kansas at $119. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members selling steers steady at $119 and heifers $1 higher at nearly $119.

Cattle futures closed sharply higher Friday, buoyed by strong demand and anticipation of snugger fed cattle supplies heading into the next quarter. Trader optimism was likely heightened by the phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China.

“U.S. pork and beef products have been subject to burdensome retaliatory duties in China since 2018, and this has made it very difficult for the U.S. industry to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing need for high-quality proteins. But long before retaliatory duties entered the picture, non-tariff barriers were a major, persistent obstacle for U.S. exporters looking to expand their business in China,” says Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. “China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing destination for imported red meat, and the U.S. industry is excited about the prospects for expanded opportunities in China.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.42 higher (70¢ to $2.45 higher).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.09 higher ($1.42 to $3.12 higher).

Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 64¢ higher Friday afternoon at $216.29/cwt. Select was $1.68 higher at $204.24.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher through Jly ‘21; and then mostly unchanged.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 9¢ higher through Jan. ’21 and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.

December 14th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 13, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was light on light to moderate demand in Kansas through Thursday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Prices were steady with last week at $119/cwt.

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed again on Thursday.

Live Cattle futures closed from an average of 18¢ lower to an average of 14¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed from an average of 25¢ lower to an average of 13¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on Choice and lower on Select with light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.00 lower Thursday afternoon at $215.65/cwt. Select was $1.16 lower at $202.56.

Corn futures closed mostly 4¢ to 6¢ higher; 9¢ higher in spot Dec.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ higher through Nov. ’20 and then fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

December 12th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 12, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend in any region.

There were 1,068 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, but no takers.

Midwestern fat auction prices were less than encouraging: $1-$2/cwt. lower at Sioux Falls, a touch lower at Tama. Yet, logic suggests packers need to be somewhat aggressive given the upcoming mid-week holidays.

Despite the lack of cash direction, Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 60¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ higher (47¢ higher at the back to $1.15 higher toward the front).

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.84 lower Wednesday afternoon at $218.65/cwt. Select was $1.63 lower at $203.72.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ lower through Nov. ’20 and then 3¢ to 4¢ lower.

December 11th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 11, 2019

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed for the second consecutive session on Tuesday, amid seasonally declining wholesale beef prices and awaiting cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed from an average of 22¢ lower across the front half of the board to an average of 11¢ higher.

Other than unchanged and 5¢ lower in Sep and Oct, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower to sharply lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.15 lower Tuesday afternoon at $221.49/cwt. Select was $1.14 lower at $205.35.

Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.

December 10th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 10, 2019

Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Monday, unable to get much lift from stronger cash prices or last week’s massive total cattle slaughter of an estimated 679,000 head under federal inspection.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 11¢ lower to an average of 18¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from an average of 19¢ lower to an average of 32¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 92¢ lower Monday afternoon at $223.64/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $206.49.

Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.

December 9th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 9, 2019

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

Cattle futures closed higher Friday, supported by stronger cash trade and higher outside markets.

Other than 17¢ lower in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 65¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.04 lower Friday afternoon at $224.56/cwt. Select was 82¢ lower at $207.30.

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 5¢ higher through Sep ’21 and then fractionally higher.

Over the weekend, various reports suggested China will reduce or waive import tariffs on some agricultural products imported from the U.S., including some shipments of pork and soybeans. If that’s true, then both markets could see some bounce to start the week. On the other hand, with additional U.S. tariffs scheduled to be imposed on Chinese imports Dec. 15, the move may create more uncertainty.

December 9th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 6, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed in Kansas Thursday, with live prices mostly $1 higher than last week at $119/cwt.; light to moderate trade and moderate demand.

Cattle futures closed marginally mixed.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.35 lower Thursday afternoon at $225.60/cwt. Select was $2.19 lower at $208.12.

Corn futures closed mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 6¢ higher.

December 5th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 5, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade perked up Wednesday, but too few transactions to trend, according to USDA reports.

There were 1,189 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, with 860 head selling for a weighted average price of $118.36/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days. That was three lots from Kansas and Nebraska.

Cattle futures sagged lower Wednesday, perhaps pressured by seasonally declining wholesale beef values and the lack of cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.56 lower.

Wholesale beef values were sharply lower on light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.20 lower Wednesday afternoon at $226.95/cwt. Select was $2.00 lower at $210.31.

Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly fractionally lower.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 7¢ higher through Sep ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.

December 4th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 4, 2019

Cattle futures mainly hovered on Tuesday, awaiting cash direction and in the face of a plunge on Wall Street.

Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 20¢ lower to 25¢ higher.

Other than 2¢ and 10¢ lower in two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 33¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on light demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.46 lower Tuesday afternoon at $230.15/cwt. Select was 67¢ lower at $212.31.

After 1¢ lower and fractionally lower in the two front contracts, Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through Sep ’21 and then 3¢ higher.

December 3rd, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 3, 2019

The 5-area direct average steer price last week was $118.21/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.25 higher than the previous week. The average dressed price of $186.83 was $3.24 higher. Total volume of just 51,310 head, pressured by both the holiday and winter storms suggests packers need to be in a buying mood this week.

Cattle futures began the week narrowly mixed, amid relatively light trade, with little urgency one direction or the other.

Except for unchanged and 5¢ higher in the middle of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 23¢ lower.

Except for unchanged to 12¢ lower in the front three contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 40¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and sharply higher on Select with moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 49¢ higher Monday afternoon at $232.61/cwt. Select was $2.64 higher at $212.98.

Corn futures closed mostly unchanged to fractionally higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 6¢ lower through Nov ’20 and then most fractionally lower.

December 2nd, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Dec. 2, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was mainly $2-$3 higher on a live basis at $118/cwt. in Kansas, $118-$120 in Nebraska and $117-$118 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $187.

Cattle futures softened Friday, amid light holiday trade and month-end positioning.

Other than unchanged to 10¢ higher in the last three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 28¢ lower.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 53¢ lower (15¢ lower at the back to $1.05 lower in spot Jan).

Wholesale beef values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 12¢ lower Friday afternoon at $232.12/cwt. Select was 30¢ lower at $210.34.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 8¢ higher through Sep ’20 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then most unchanged to fractionally lower.

November 30th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 28-29, 2019

Although undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, there was some negotiated cash fed cattle trade in Kansas, with live prices $2 higher than last week at $118/cwt.

Similarly, Choice steers and heifers sold $3.00-$3.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA on Wednesday. There were 124 Ch 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,477 lbs. that brought an average of $118.12.

Cattle futures closed higher, supported by positive fundamentals, this week’s winter storms and the presumption that Tyson’s Kansas plant will resume operation next week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ higher (47¢ higher to $1.02 higher at the front of the board.

Other than 57¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 40¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $232.24/cwt. Select was $1.65 lower at $210.64.

Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 5¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower.

November 27th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 27, 2019

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Tuesday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Recent fundamentals and this week’s winter storms suggest prices should be no worse than steady.

Cattle futures mostly edged higher, amid light trade and waiting for cash direction.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢ higher, with open interest continuing to build.

After 35¢ and 12¢ lower at the front of the board, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ higher.

Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and firm on Select with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.40 lower Tuesday afternoon at $231.84/cwt. Select was 38¢ higher at $212.29.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.

Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 8¢ lower through Aug ’21 and then mostly 3¢ lower.

November 26th, 2019|

Cattle Current Podcast—Nov. 26, 2019

Logic suggested markets should view Friday’s Cattle on Feed as at least neutral, with placements 2% less than expected. However, the fact that placements were 10% higher year over year also suggested there might be an opportunity for bears to press their case with follow-through selling. Instead, Cattle futures climbed higher to start the week, gaining back a lion’s share of Friday’s retreat.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.27 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.72 higher.

Wholesale beef values were firm on moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 67¢ higher Monday afternoon at $233.24/cwt. Select was 59¢ higher at $211.91.

Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ higher through Mar ’21 and then 1¢ higher.

Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 4¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 1¢ higher.