Weekly Market Highlights

Weekly Market Highlights 2017-06-02T12:10:16+00:00

Weekly Market Highlights

Stay in the Market

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Feb. 8, 2019

Calves and feeder cattle traded mixed last week with heavier receipts and a firmer tone across much of the key trade areas.

Steers and heifers sold from steady to $2/cwt. lower in the North Central part of the country. Prices were to steady to $4 higher in the Southeast and South Central areas, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Some auctions in the southern areas reported spots up to as much as $10

higher on what would be considered cattle suitable for grazing. Demand for those kind is expected to be good in anticipation of grass,” say AMS analysts. “Most grazing areas are not showing any signs of drought stress currently.”

However, there appears to be less wheat pasture than originally anticipated.

Winter wheat planted area for harvest in 2019 is estimated at 31.3 million acres, down 4% from last year and down 4% from 2017, according to the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings report.

“This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record,” say analysts with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). “Seedings, which began in early September, fell behind the 5-year average seeding pace in early October and remained behind the 5-year average seeding pace for the duration of the planting season. Seeding was mostly complete by November 11.”

Year to year, winter wheat area seeded is 6% less in Kansas, 5% less in Oklahoma but on par in Texas.

“Despite the optimism in the cash market, there continues to be some trepidation in the futures market,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The market has been moving sideways for three straight months and there is no sign of it breaking out in either direction. Moving from March through August, the seasonal expectation is priced in the market with August feeder cattle futures trading $7 higher than the March contract. This does provide a little solace, but it does not provide many opportunities for price risk management.”

Week to week on Friday Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.74 higher (62¢ to $2.30 higher).

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up last week $1 higher on a live basis at $125/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $1.00-$1.50 higher in the north at $124.50-$126.00. Dressed sales were up to $3 higher at $200.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (95¢ to $1.95 higher).

“Live cattle futures would suggest prices will continue to move sideways into April, but untethered optimism holds the hope that prices will increase a few more dollars heading towards grilling season,” Griffith says.

In the meantime, the recent reopening of USDA’s data spigot offers some indication of how much winter weather is impacting carcass weights.

Dressed steers weights for the week ending Jan. 5 were 6 lbs. lighter year over year at 896 lbs., according to the Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Dressed heifer weights were 8 lbs. lighter at 892 lbs. A week earlier, year over year, dressed steer weights were 9 lbs. lighter and dressed heifer weights were 13 lbs. lighter.

Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service project fed steer prices for at $122-$126/cwt. for the first quarter, $119-$127 in the second, $109-$119 in the third and at $108-$118 in the fourth. That’s from the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Wholesale beef values were mixed. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.09 higher at $215.35/cwt. Select was $1.98 lower at $211.17.

Total beef production for last year was revised down 75 million lbs. from the December estimate to 26.86 billion lbs., according to WASDE. That’s just shy of the historic record, but still 677 million lbs. more than the previous year (+2.6%).

Likewise, estimated beef production for this year was revised down by 175 million lbs. to a record-large 27.61 billion lbs.

“Preliminary Yearly Federally Inspected Slaughter cattle numbers for 2018 showed a 2.6% increase over 2017 and a 7.2% larger harvest over the previous five-year average,” say AMS analysts. “Total cow slaughter in 2018 was 7.0% over year ago and 10.4% over the previous five-year average. Beef cow slaughter showed the way with an 8.6% larger number than a year ago and 14.1% larger than the previous five-year average.”

“Prices of calves, feeder cattle, and slaughter cows are in no way considered strong by those who are selling, but the prices are showing improvement which brings optimism,” Griffith says. “The most favorable aspect of the market may be that seasonal price trends continue to work their way into the market, which can aid producers in decision making because they can use seasonal expectations for purchasing and selling. This is important because seasonal trends for many classes of cattle were shot out of the air during the marketing years 2014 through 2016.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 8

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

259,700

(+49,000)

56,100

(+2,200)

22,300

(+18,800)

338,100

(+13,700)

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 7 Change
$141.69  –  $0.17

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8  Change
600-700 lbs. $159.44 –    1.84
700-800 lbs. $147.62 –    1.66
800-900 lbs. $142.40 +   0.10

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $166.92 +   3.19
600-700 lbs. $151.52 +   3.02
700-800 lbs. $142.22 +   1.04

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $160.36 +   0.82
500-600 lbs. $148.72 –    0.80
600-700 lbs. $138.60 +   0.19

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $215.35 +  $1.09
Select $211.17 –   $1.98  
Ch-Se Spread $4.18 +  $3.07

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 8 Change
Mar $144.100 +   $1.575
Apr $145.900 +   $1.900
May $146.900 +   $2.300
Aug $150.900 +   $2.200
Sep $151.125 +   $2.025
Oct $150.950 +   $1.775
Nov $150.500 +   $1.500
Jan ’20 $147.600 +   $0.625
Live Cattle   Feb. 8 Change
Feb ’19 $127.375 +   $1.925
Apr $127.925 +   $1.650
Jun $118.100 +   $1.950
Aug $114.575 +   $1.575
Oct $116.025 +   $1.350
Dec $118.225 +   $1.350
Feb ’20 $119.400 +   $1.125
Apr $119.700 +   $1.450
Jun $112.350 +   $0.950
Corn futures Feb. 8 Change
Mar ’19 $3.742 –  $0.040
May $3.822 –  $0.048
Jul $3.900 –  $0.046
Sep $3.934 –  $0.040
Dec $3.992 –  $0.030
Mar ’20 $4.086 –  $0.026
Oil CME-WTI Feb. 8 Change
Mar $52.72 –   $2.54
Apr $53.09 –   $2.46
May $53.55 –   $2.33
Jun $54.02 –   $2.19
Jul $54.45 –   $2.05
Aug $54.81 –   $1.90

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25106.33 +  42.44
NASDAQ     7298.20 +    34.33
S&P 500     2707.88 +       1.35
Dollar (DXY)          96.64 +       1.07
February 9th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Feb. 1, 2019

Although winter weather continued to limit auction receipts, calf and feeder cattle prices finally bounced higher last week. Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $1-$4/cwt. higher with instances of $6 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“The big story was the Polar Vortex that encompassed 70% of the United States population with freezing and below freezing temperatures,” say AMS analysts.  “Mid-week travel was brutal on both man and beast; some auctions either rescheduled due to the cold or cancelled.”

Not counting recently minted away Jan, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower (22¢ to $1.10 lower in spot Mar).

“The increase in auction prices this week had little to do with stronger feeder cattle futures as futures continue to trade sideways as they have done for three months,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The most likely factor that supported prices was stocker producers attempting to get a few spring grass cattle purchased prior to the seasonal price increase.”

At their annual Outlook Seminar last week, CattleFax analysts said they expect steer calf prices (550 lbs.) to average about $164/cwt. this year, about $9 less than last year. They anticipate prices could increase to the mid $180s in the spring, and could erode to $140 in the fall.

CattleFax projects feeder steer (750 lbs.) prices this year at an average $147/cwt., down about $3 from last year. They expect a trading range of $130-$160.

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended up last week at steady money to a little higher with moderate trade and demand on Friday. Live prices were $1 higher at $124/cwt., except for steady in the western Corn Belt at $123-$126. Dressed sales were steady to $3 higher at $197-$200.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 47¢ lower.

“Cattle feeders have their eyes set on year-ago prices, which nearly reached $130, based on the 5-area weighted average price during the third week of February and stayed near $126 or higher through the end of March,” Griffith says. “The key this year will be for cattle feeders to maintain prices in the mid $120 area or higher for April and into May. The little bit of leverage they have now will help.”

CattleFax projects the average fed steer price this year at $117/cwt., with downside risk to $100 and upside resistance at around $130.

Incidentally, CattleFax analysts say feed and grain prices are expected to remain stable this year, with corn acreage increasing an expected 2 million acres to total 91 million acres and soybeans declining 2.2 million acres to 87 million acres.

“Corn is expected to trade in a range of $3.60 to $4.10/bu. during the first half of the year,” according to CattleFax analyst Mike Murphy. He added that hay acreage isn’t expected to change significantly from last year, but increased winter precipitation across much of the United States should help provide a strong start to the 2019 hay crop.

Wholesale beef prices were mixed. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.75 lower at $214.26/cwt. Select was $1.12 higher at $213.15.

“The comprehensive cutout is 3% ahead of a year ago in the month of January, averaging $213.21/cwt.,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center, in the latest Livestock Monitor. “The end of the holiday season should have brought about seasonally higher chuck and round primal values, but in the first four weeks of the year, chuck, round, and flank primal values have been the only cuts lagging.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 1

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

210,700

(+23,900)

53,900

(+18,400)

3,500

(-28,600)

268,100

(+13,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 31 Change
  $141.86  –  $1.35

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 1  Change 
600-700 lbs. $161.28 +   3.58
700-800 lbs. $149.28 +   2.31
800-900 lbs. $142.30 +   0.88

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.73 +   1.94
600-700 lbs. $148.51 +   1.93
700-800 lbs. $141.18 +   0.36

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 1 Change 
400-500 lbs. $159.54 +   6.66
500-600 lbs. $149.52 +   4.18
600-700 lbs. $138.41 +   2.81

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 1 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.26 –   $2.75
Select $213.25 +  $1.12  
Ch-Se Spread $1.11 –   $3.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 1 Change
Mar $142.525 –    $1.100
Apr $144.000 –    $0.725
May $144.600 –    $0.475
Aug $148.700 –    $0.675
Sep $149.100 –    $0.725
Oct $149.175 –    $0.425
Nov $149.000 –    $0.225
Mar $146.975       n/a

 

Live Cattle   Feb. 1 Change
Feb ’19 $125.450 –   $0.600
Apr $126.275 –   $0.575
Jun $116.150 –   $0.550
Aug $113.000 –   $0.500
Oct $114.675 –   $0.400
Dec $116.875 –   $0.400
Feb ’20 $118.275 –   $0.375
Apr $118.250 –   $0.450
Jun $111.400 –   $0.400

 

Corn futures Feb. 1 Change
Mar ’19 $3.782 –  $0.020
May $3.870 –  $0.016
Jul $3.946 –  $0.018
Sep $3.974 –  $0.016
Dec $4.022 –  $0.010
Mar ’20 $4.112 –  $0.008

 

Oil CME-WTI Feb. 1 Change
Mar $55.26 +  $1.57
Apr $55.55 +  $1.57
May $55.88 +  $1.57
Jun $56.21 +  $1.55
Jul $56.50 +  $1.54
Aug $56.71 +  $1.55

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 1 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25063.89 +  326.69
NASDAQ     7263.87 +    99.01
S&P 500     2706.53 +    41.77
Dollar (DXY)          95.57 –       1.01
February 4th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 25, 2019

Although winter weather continued to soften feedlot demand in some areas, calf and feeder cattle prices gained some spark after the middle of the week.

Overall, analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) quoted prices steady to $5 lower early in the week and then steady to $5 higher.

“Those early-week sales all had a downward trend that was spillover from the previous week, followed by lower futures on Tuesday,” AMS analysts say. “Buyer interest waned early in the week due to the winter weather that came in over the weekend. Between mud, snow, ice, or a mixture of all the above, transporting cattle proved to be difficult and sales either cancelled or continued on with lighter receipts.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.86 higher in the front two contracts, an average of 5¢ lower in the back two contracts, and an average of 19¢ higher in between.

Besides the weather and wobbly futures market, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee explains auction receipts may be diluted by the lack of price bounce that typically occurs in January.

“Many producers have become accustomed to holding calves through December and marketing them in January. This has become a common practice for some due to tax reasons and more so for others to capitalize on a price increase that has occurred nine out of the last 10 years (2008-2017 data) from December to January,” Griffith says, in his weekly market comments. “The expectation would be for calf values to begin increasing slowly over the next couple of months and peak once spring grass is ready to graze. However, calf grazing operations may be hesitant to bid up grass cattle prices with the soft feeder cattle prices that are a drag on the market.”

Although there wasn’t a monthly Cattle on Feed report issued Friday, due to the government shutdown, several analysts estimated December placements and the Jan. 1 cattle on feed inventory about 2% higher year over year. Most projected December marketings a little on either side of even.

Speaking of the which, the White House and Congress announced Friday a resolution to reopen the government, at least until Feb. 15, the new deadline for all involved to reach agreement on a budget and border security. While welcome, a cloud of uncertainty remains over which missing market data and reports, if any, USDA will release. For that matter, there’s no telling which February reports will be prioritized, given the possibility of the government shutting down again at the middle of the month.

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

Negotiated cash fed cattle sales sold steady in the beef on Friday at $197/cwt. Live sales were steady to mostly $1 lower at $123 in Kansas and Nebraska and at $123.00 to $125.50 in the western Corn Belt. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members selling steers at $123, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.

Although the deep winter conditions are taking a toll on cattle performance, Griffith points out, “The same conditions could be one factor contributing to strong finished cattle prices as slaughter weights are sure to be declining.”

Wholesale beef values also continue to be supportive.

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.86 higher at $217.01/cwt. Select was $2.58 higher at $212.03.

“Wholesale beef markets are starting 2019 with a continuation of generally strong prices seen last year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his recent market comments. “For the first three weeks of the year, boxed beef cutout prices are up 2.9% for Choice and 3.4% for Select compared to the same period last year.” 

“In 2018, weekly boxed beef prices averaged 2.2% higher year over year compared to 2017,” Peel explains. “Wholesale beef prices were higher in 2018 despite a projected 2.8% increase in beef production and larger pork and poultry supplies.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 25

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

186,800

(-80,900)

35,800

(-27,800)

32,100

(-28,300)

254,400

(-80,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 24 Change
  $143.21  +  $1.16

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 25  Change 
600-700 lbs. $157.70 +   0.29
700-800 lbs. $146.97 +   0.14
800-900 lbs. $141.42 –    0.29

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 25 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.79 +   3.67
600-700 lbs. $146.58 +   2.19
700-800 lbs. $140.82 +   3.11

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Jan. 25 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.88 +   0.18
500-600 lbs. $145.34 +   1.51
600-700 lbs. $135.60 +   0.03

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 25 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $217.01 +  $3.86
Select $212.03 +  $2.58  
Ch-Se Spread $4.98 +  $1.28

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 25 Change
Jan ’19 $143.375 +   $1.925
Mar $144.625 +   $1.800
Apr $144.725 +   $0.325
May $145.075 +   $0.025
Aug $149.375 +   $0.075
Sep $149.825 +   $0.325
Oct $149.600 –    $0.075
Nov $149.225 –    $0.025

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 25 Change
Feb ’19 $126.050 –   $0.475
Apr $126.850 –   $0.525
Jun $116.700 –   $0.750
Aug $113.500 –   $0.100
Oct $115.075 –   $0.025
Dec $117.275 –   $0.250
Feb ’20 $118.650 –   $0.025
Apr $118.700 –   $0.050
Jun $111.800 –   $0.150

 

Corn futures Jan. 25 Change
Mar ’19 $3.802 –  $0.014
May $3.886 –  $0.014
Jul $3.964 –  $0.008
Sep $3.990 –  $0.006
Dec $4.032 –  $0.004
Mar ’20 $4.120 –  $0.006

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 25 Change
Mar $53.69 –   $0.35
Apr $53.98 –   $0.32
May $54.31 –   $0.33
Jun $54.66 –   $0.33
Jul $54.96 –   $0.31
Aug $55.16 –   $0.29

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 25 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24737.20 +   30.85
NASDAQ     7164.86 +      7.63
S&P 500     2664.76 –       5.95
Dollar (DXY)          95.81 –       0.55
January 26th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 18, 2019

Winter weather and muddy feedlot pens continued to hamper calf and feeder cattle demand last week, with steers and heifers selling $2-$6/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  

“The larger drop in the market occurred in the regions affected by Winter Storm Gia the previous weekend and the forecasted Winter Storm Harper last weekend,” explained AMS analysts. “A vast area of the Plains states are dealing with excess moisture this time of year with more on the way.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.27 lower across the front half of the board ($1.00 lower to $4.67 lower in spot Jan) and then an average of 40¢ lower.

“Feedlots are in no humor to purchase cattle and transport them through wet and icy road conditions to then run the calves off the truck into muddy pens,” says  Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “At the same time, cattle feeders are in no humor to pay big dollars for feeder cattle that will be placed against the June and August Live Cattle futures that are at a $10 and $14 discount to April, respectively.”

Locally, Griffith pointed out the aforementioned summer discount had pressured load lot prices for heavy yearlings about $5/cwt. lower in January, compared to the previous month, as much as $15 lower compared to November.

“The bright spot is that the price of a 900 lb. steer is the same as the price of an 800 lb. steer, which provides incentive to keep feeding cattle and growing them larger,” Griffith says. “The price signal on heavy feeder cattle is the market signal feedlot managers are sending to producers. At this time, the best decision may be to keep feeding 700 and 800 lb. feeder cattle and keep an eye on the cash market.”

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

Although cattle feeders with muddy lots were looking to move cattle, and presumably, packers had a need to refurbish inventory, fed cattle trade remained at an impasse through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports. However, indications suggested prices no worse than steady, perhaps a touch higher.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed 25¢ to $1.55 higher in the front three contracts and then an average of 57¢ lower.

“Since the middle of November, the February live cattle contract price has increased by $9, which amounts to approximately $120 per head value increase,” Griffith explains. “On the cash side of the business, prices increased $10/cwt. from the middle of November to the previous week and this last week’s prices appeared geared to gain another couple of dollars. Over this time period, cattle feeding margins and packer margins have been flipped as cattle feeders appear to be in control of the leverage.”

Leverage should have been supported last week by firmer wholesale beef prices. Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 69¢ higher at $213.15/cwt. Select was $3.18 higher at $209.45. The Choice-Select spread was the narrowest since September of 2017 at $3.70.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 18

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

267,700

(-99,200)

63,600

(-1,400)

3,800

(-150,600)

335,100

(-251,200)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 17 Change
  $142.05   –  $3.41

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18  Change 
600-700 lbs. $157.41 –    3.29
700-800 lbs. $146.83 –    3.17
800-900 lbs. $141.71 –    1.90

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18 Change
500-600 lbs. $158.12 –    4.68
600-700 lbs. $144.39 –    $4.93
700-800 lbs. $137.71 –    $6.02

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 18 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.70 –    $5.64
500-600 lbs. $143.83 –    $4.68
600-700 lbs. $135.57 –    $4.41

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 18 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.15 +  $0.69
Select $209.45 +  $3.18  
Ch-Se Spread $3.70 –   $2.49

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 18 Change
Jan ’19 $141.450 –    $4.675
Mar $142.825 –    $2.075
Apr $144.400 –    $1.350
May $145.050 –    $1.000
Aug $149.300 –    $0.600
Sep $149.500 –    $0.400
Oct $149.675 –    $0.200
Nov $149.250 –    $0.400

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 18 Change
Feb ’19 $126.525 +   $1.550
Apr $127.375 +   $1.000
Jun $117.450 +   $0.250
Aug $113.600 –   $0.675
Oct $115.100 –   $1.025
Dec $117.525 –   $0.725
Feb ’20 $118.675 –   $0.575
Apr $118.750 –   $0.250
Jun $111.950 –   $0.150

 

Corn futures Jan. 18 Change
Mar ’19 $3.816 + $0.034
May $3.900 + $0.034
Jul $3.972 + $0.030
Sep $3.996 + $0.024
Dec $4.036 + $0.022
Mar ’20 $4.126 + $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 18 Change
Feb $53.80 +   $2.21
Mar $54.04 +   $2.13
Apr $54.30 +   $2.03
May $54.64 +   $1.94
Jun $54.99 +   $1.88
Jul $55.27 +   $1.81

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 18 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24706.35 +   710.40
NASDAQ     7157.23 +   185.75
S&P 500     2670.71 +      74.45
Dollar (DXY)          96.36 +        0.69
January 19th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 11, 2019

Weather and heavy post-holiday volume—the most receipts since July of last year—pressured calf and feeder cattle prices last week. Steers and heifers sold from $4/cwt. lower to $1 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Heavy rain and snow has most of the trade area in very muddy conditions and these conditions are discouraging calf buyers from buying at this time,” according to the AMS reporter on hand for Monday’s auction at Oklahoma National Stockyards.

“Weather scares started mid-week when Winter Storm Gia was named and projected to move through the heart of the country later in the week and into the weekend,” explained AMS analysts. “Feedyards that were already wet will see more moisture fall from the sky, dashing any hopes that they will dry out anytime soon…Muddy feedyards in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa want to get cattle moved out of the poor pen conditions, as cattle performance has been seriously impeded due to above average moisture recently.”  

Weather impacts provided support to Cattle futures, though.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.60 higher week to week on Friday (90¢ to $2.10 higher).

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.70 higher (92¢ higher to $3.05 higher in spot Feb).

Peering a little further ahead, in his weekly market comments, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says, “Calf prices should slowly and steadily increase through March and into early April. The expectation is for 500-lb. steer prices to peak near $160/cwt. per with a first-quarter average price of $155. The $160 price is a couple of dollars lower than the 2018 apex, but the calf and feeder cattle markets may be under pressure the next three to four months as industry participants attempt to figure out the fed cattle marketing schedule. The feeder cattle market may end up receiving a more direct blow than the calf market in the near term as calf buyers continue to bet on the come. However, the calf market will not be immune to the pressure.”

Cattle feeder and packers continued their standoff through late Friday afternoon, with negotiated cash fed cattle trade undeveloped, according to USDA reports. However, according to AMS there were a few dressed sales in the Northern Plains at $197/cwt., which was $2 more than the previous week.

Cattle feeding margins are well into the black in early January and cattle feeders are setting asking prices at levels that will only improve margins,” Griffith says.

“Cattle feeders are not in any mood to bid up feeder cattle due to the severe discounts in deferred live cattle futures. The feeder and fed cattle spread is certainly the dichotomy present in today’s market. The feeder-fed cattle spread is not at a record level by any stretch of the imagination, but it has narrowed tremendously since the end of October. Part of this narrowing is due to supply and demand fundamentals while the other part is likely due to expectations. If profits continue in the feedlot then some of those dollars will eventually be passed down.”

On the other side of the trade, though packer returns remain positive, according to various sources, margins are narrowing with seasonally lower wholesale beef values and seasonally higher fed cattle prices.

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.05 lower at $212.46/cwt. Select was $1.39 lower at $206.27.

“Packer margins have no doubt shrunk in the last few months, and carcass weights coupled with lower yields will have an impact moving forward with product tonnage being available in the marketplace,” say AMS analysts.

Scant Data Adds Uncertainty

With the partial government shutdown dragging into the fourth week, the lack of publicly available market data is becoming more apparent.

“Actual slaughter data has been among the most missed weekly market data. That data is compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) but is released by the Agricultural Marketing Service. It provides valuable information on weights, production, and the number of head slaughtered,” explain analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the most recent Livestock Monitor.

There was no monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on Friday, as originally scheduled. Next week’s monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook is also in doubt.

“The next couple of weeks hold several vital reports that could affect the tone of the entire year,” say LMIC analysts. “For example, the annual Cattle Inventory is scheduled to be published at the end of this month. That report provides one of only two point estimates in the size of the beef herd, and the number of replacement animals producers are holding. The monthly Cattle on Feed report (due Jan. 25) also is at risk. Without that type of information, cattle markets will be flying blind.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 11

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

366,900

(+287,600)

65,000

(+41,800)

154,400

(+147,000)

586,300

(+476,400)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 10 Change
  $145.46   –  $0.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11  Change 
600-700 lbs. $160.70 +   $0.35
700-800 lbs. $150.00 +   $0.96
800-900 lbs. $143.61 +   $0.32

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.80 +   $0.05
600-700 lbs. $149.32 –    $4.25
700-800 lbs. $143.73 –    $3.20

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 11 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.34 +   $0.75
500-600 lbs. $148.51 –    $2.08
600-700 lbs. $139.98 +   $0.29

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 11 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.46 –   $2.05
Select $206.27 –   $1.39   
Ch-Se Spread $6.19 –   $0.66

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 11 Change
Jan ’19 $146.125 +   $1.225
Mar $144.900 +   $2.075
Apr $145.750 +   $2.100
May $146.050 +   $1.875
Aug $149.900 +   $1.400
Sep $149.900 +   $0.900
Oct $149.875 +   $1.300
Nov $149.650 +   $1.950

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 11 Change
Feb ’19 $124.975 +   $3.050
Apr $126.375 +   $2.375
Jun $117.200 +   $1.650
Aug $114.275 +   $0.925
Oct $116.125 +   $1.150
Dec $118.250 +   $1.450
Feb ’20 $119.250 +   $1.600
Apr $119.000 +   $1.800
Jun $112.100 +   $1.275

 

Corn futures Jan. 11 Change
Mar ’19 $3.782 –  $0.048
May $3.866 –  $0.044
Jul $3.942 –  $0.040
Sep $3.972 –  $0.024
Dec $4.014 –  $0.026
Mar ’20 $4.106 –  $0.026

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 11 Change
Feb $51.59 +   $3.63
Mar $51.91 +   $3.63
Apr $52.27 +   $3.62
May $52.70 +   $3.60
Jun $53.11 +   $3.55
Jul $53.46 +   $3.50

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 11 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23995.95 +   562.79
NASDAQ     6971.48 +   232.62
S&P 500     2596.26 +      64.32
Dollar (DXY)          95.67 –         0.53
January 12th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Jan. 4, 2019

Calf and feeder cattle prices wobbled from the new-year gate last week.

“Muddy pen conditions, as temperatures increased in the North and with rain and snow in the South, caused concerns, especially on the placements of heavier-weight cattle,” say analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). They note receipts were hindered by heavy rains across the Southeast, winter storms in the North Central and South Central regions, as well as the fact that some auction remained closed for the holidays.

Compared to two weeks earlier, steers weighing less than 700 lbs. traded mostly $1-$4/cwt. higher, with instances of up to $9 higher in Nebraska, according to AMS. Steers weighing more than 700 lbs. sold steady to $4 lower.

“The feeder cattle market has found itself in a precarious situation due to the holiday marketing disruption, unfavorable weather conditions for moving cattle, and a potential loss of information from the partial government shutdown,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.68 lower week to week on Friday ($1.35 lower to $4.17 lower in spot Jan). Pressure included negative and volatile outside markets along with increasing grain prices.

Cash Fed Cattle Hold Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was generally steady in Nebraska and the Southern Plains at $123/cwt. ($122.00-$122.50 in Nebraska). Live sales were $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $121-$122. Dressed trade was steady in Nebraska at $195; steady to $4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $194-$195.

AMS analysts note, “Poor feedlot conditions have continued to plague most feeding regions, lowering cattle performance.”

Week to week on Friday, not counting newly minted away Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.02 lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 64¢ lower.

“The finished cattle market finished off 2018 strong and has started 2019 with the same strength,” Griffith says. “The gains in the fed cattle market during December established strong profit margins for cattle on a cash-to-cash basis and likely resulted in many of these cattle profiting $100 per head or better. On the other hand, many feedlot managers likely had cattle hedged, resulting in slightly lower margins in some instances. Regardless of the situation, cattle feeders are enjoying the price escalation for finished cattle and the recouping of dollars lost on previous sets of cattle. The questions to be answered now are how long positive margins will last and how will it influence the feeder cattle market as competition develops.”

Fed cattle prices continue to be supported by firmer boxed beef cutout values than some expected.

Week to week, wholesale beef values were about steady. Choice boxed beef cutout value was at $214.51/cwt. Friday afternoon and Select was at $207.66.

“The volume (boxed beef) reported this week was slightly more than last week,” say AMS analysts. “On the Choice side, rib cuts were steady to weak, while all other cuts sold firm to higher. Ground beef prices were slightly higher on lighter volume. Forward-negotiated sales remain light but mostly steady when compared to the prior week. Beef trimmings were higher on moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 4

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

79,300

(-104,000)

23,200

(+6,300)

7,400

(+3,400)

109,900

(-94,800)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 3 Change
  $145.60   –  $1.66

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4  Change 
600-700 lbs. $160.35 +   $1.65
700-800 lbs. $149.04 –    $2.01
800-900 lbs. $143.29 –    $6.32

 

South Central*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.75 +   $1.33
600-700 lbs. $153.57 +   $4.75
700-800 lbs. $146.93 +   $0.91

 

Southeast*

Steers-Cash Jan. 4 Change 
400-500 lbs. $157.59 +   $5.20
500-600 lbs. $150.59 +   $6.25
600-700 lbs. $139.69 +   $3.54

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 4 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.51 +  $0.10
Select $207.66 +  $0.14   
Ch-Se Spread $6.85 –   $0.04

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 4 Change
Jan ’19 $144.900 –    $4.175
Mar $142.825 –    $4.050
Apr $143.650 –    $3.550
May $144.175 –    $2.850
Aug $148.500 –    $2.375
Sep $149.000 –    $1.575
Oct $148.575 –    $1.350
Nov $147.700 –    $1.550

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 4 Change
Feb ’19 $121.925 –   $2.250
Apr $124.000 –   $2.400
Jun $115.550 –   $1.400
Aug $113.350 –   $0.725
Oct $114.975 –   $0.525
Dec $116.800 –   $0.425
Feb ’20 $117.650 –   $0.600
Apr $117.200 –   $0.900
Jun $110.825       n/a

 

Corn futures Jan. 4 Change
Mar ’19 $3.830 + $0.076
May $3.910 + $0.078
Jul $3.982 + $0.078
Sep $3.996 + $0.064
Dec $4.040 + $0.066
Mar ’20 $4.132 + $0.066

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 4 Change
Feb $47.96 +   $2.63
Mar $48.28 +   $2.68
Apr $48.65 +   $2.75
May $49.10 +   $2.83
Jun $49.56 +   $2.92
Jul $49.96 +   $3.01

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 4 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23433.16 +   370.89
NASDAQ     6738.86 +   154.34
S&P 500     2531.94 +      46.21
Dollar (DXY)          96.20 –         0.18
January 6th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 28, 2018

Most auctions were closed for the holiday last week, so there were no price trends for calves and feeder cattle. When sales start in the new year, they should receive support from recently stronger cash fed cattle prices and futures prices. Snugger front-end supplies and harsh winter weather in some cattle-feeding areas suggest that support should continue for a while.

Near-term wildcards continue to include volatile equity markets, tied to worries about rising interest rates and slowing global economic growth, as well as the government shutdown.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.22 higher week to week on Friday (87¢ higher at the back to $1.72 higher in spot Jan).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon. Though too few to trend, there were a few live sales reported in the western Corn Belt on Thursday at $119.00-$121.50/cwt., which was about $1 higher than the previous week. A few dressed sales were reported steady at $190.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.81 higher through the front four contracts ($1.00 to $3.20 higher), week to week on Friday and then an average of 63¢ higher.

Week to week, wholesale beef values maintained the previous week’s sharp gains. Choice boxed beef cutout value was at $214.41/cwt. Friday afternoon and Select was at $207.52.

2018 Overview

Depending on your abacus, cattle prices this past year were unsurprising and mostly on par with the previous year. As long as weather and demand hold up, it’s hard to argue that prices will be much different in 2019.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) projected calf prices for the first quarter of 2019 at $168-$172/cwt., according to Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist at Kansas State University, in December. Yearling prices were projected at $147-$150 and fed prices at $118-$121. 

Given record large supplies of both beef and competing meats, holding the price line last year was due in large part to steady domestic demand and extraordinary international demand.

“Each of the major meats—beef, pork and poultry—are projected to reach record levels in 2018 and will combine to push total U.S meat production to a record level of 102.3 billion lbs., up 2.6% year over year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his mid-December market comments. “However, 2018 per capita meat consumption in the U.S. is projected at 218.7 lbs., up 1.0% year over year. The smaller increase in meat consumption compared to production is largely due to the net movement of meat offshore through meat exports.”

What’s more, odds favor additional beef cowherd expansion in 2018, albeit just a little.

LMIC analysts expect to see 0.2-0.4% growth as of January 1.

“The beef cow herd likely increased less than 1% year over year in 2018 to a projected Jan. 1, 2019 level of about 31.9 million head,” Peel says. “This may be the cyclical peak in herd inventory or very close to it. From the 2014 low of 29.1 million head, this cyclical expansion has increased the beef cow herd by 2.8 million head or 9.6% over five years. The last full cyclical herd expansion occurred in 1990-1996 resulting in an 8.8% herd expansion in six years.”

Moreover, Peel explains beef cowherd dynamics are finally returning to normal, following the unprecedented market forces that drove volatility during the past decade. That included drought-induced herd liquidation (2011-2013) that took more cows out of production than would otherwise be expected, followed by the recent rapid expansion.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Last available

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 27 Change
  $147.26   + $1.37

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec. 21  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.70 –    $0.09
700-800 lbs. $151.05 –    $0.08
800-900 lbs. $149.61 +   $0.50

South Central

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec.21 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.42 +   $4.69
600-700 lbs. $148.82 +   $3.35
700-800 lbs. $146.02 +   $1.90

Southeast

Last available

Steers-Cash Dec. 21 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.39 +   $4.88
500-600 lbs. $144.34 +   $2.37
600-700 lbs. $136.15 –    $2.85

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 28 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.41 +  $0.36
Select $207.52 +  $0.02   
Ch-Se Spread $6.89 +  $0.34

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 28 Change
Jan ’19 $149.075 +   $1.725
Mar $146.875 +   $1.350
Apr $147.200 +   $1.225
May $147.025 +   $0.975
Aug $150.875 +   $1.100
Sep $150.575 +   $1.075
Oct $149.925 +   $1.400
Nov $149.250 +   $0.875

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 28 Change
Dec $124.075 +   $3.200
Feb ’19 $124.175 +   $1.475
Apr $126.400 +   $1.575
Jun $116.950 +   $1.000
Aug $114.075 +   $0.775
Oct $115.500 +   $0.650
Dec $117.225 +   $0.500
Feb ’20 $118.250 +   $0.625
Apr $118.100 +   $0.600

 

Corn futures Dec. 28 Change
Mar ’19 $3.754 –  $0.030
May $3.832 –  $0.030
Jul $3.904 –  $0.030
Sep $3.932 –  $0.020
Dec $3.974 –  $0.018
Mar ’20 $4.066 –  $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 28 Change
Feb $45.33 –    $0.26
Mar $45.60 –    $0.29
Apr $45.90 –    $0.33
May $46.27 –    $0.34
Jun $46.64 –    $0.34
Jul $46.95 –    $0.33

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 28 Change
Dow Industrial Average  23062.27 +   616.90
NASDAQ     6584.52 +   251.52
S&P 500     2485.73 +      69.11
Dollar (DXY)          96.38 –         0.57
December 29th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 21, 2018

Calf and feeder cattle prices were mostly steady to higher last week as buyers tried to shore up orders ahead of the holiday break.

Steer and heifer calves traded $4-$8/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Feeder steers sold steady to $3 higher while feeder heifers sold steady to $3 on either side of steady.

“Very few auctions will hold sales next week, causing buyers to scramble to procure cattle for wheat pasture before the holiday break,” AMS analysts explained. “Auction receipts across much of the Southeast were hampered due to wet weather conditions and the upcoming holiday interruption. This year marks the wettest December on record for many southeastern states, especially Alabama, Georgia and Florida.”

Except for 10¢ higher in September, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ lower week to week on Friday.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was steady to a touch higher than the previous week, through late Friday afternoon. For the week, live sales were steady at $119/cwt. in Kansas and Nebraska. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $3 higher at $190. Live sales in the western Corn belt were $1-$2 higher at $118-$120, while dressed sales were $3 higher at $190.

“Feedyards in Nebraska and Iowa remain plagued with muddy conditions, while another round of cold wet weather is expected,” say AMS analysts. “Northern

producers are dealing with several weeks of mud and are now reporting close to 1% yield loss. Estimated cattle harvest numbers for the week were 659,000 head.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher through the front three contracts, week to week on Friday (30¢ higher to $1.30 higher) and then an average of 35¢ lower (10¢ lower to $1.00 lower).

“Finished cattle prices are trading close to steady with year-ago prices and are trading at their highest level since the middle of May,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Cash prices have increased about $6 in the last five weeks and are about 11% higher than their summer low in late August and early September.”

Griffith expects cattle prices next year to be similar to this year, as long as domestic and international demand for U.S. beef remain strong.

“Markets could be swayed in either direction as trade deals are signed or discarded,” Griffith says. “This means there is more risk in cattle prices moving lower in 2019 than there is of cattle prices moving higher, given supply and demand fundamentals. Thus, producers should plan for lower returns the next 12 months.”

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.09 higher Friday afternoon at $214.05/cwt. Select was $4.36 higher at $207.50.

Retail beef prices continue higher than a year earlier, despite heftier supplies.

November Choice retail beef prices were $5.911/lb., up from $5.840 in October and 1.8% above the November 2017 price of $5.807, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. Through November, Choice retail beef prices averaged 0.2% more than the previous year. The all-fresh retail beef price averaged 0.7% more for the same period.

“Packer demand has accelerated the pace of fed cattle slaughter in fourth-quarter 2018, which supports a slightly higher beef production forecast for 2018,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

The aggressive slaughter pace pushed estimated beef production for this year 25 million lbs. higher to 26.9 billion lbs. ERS analysts note lighter carcass weights and less projected cow slaughter in the fourth quarter partially offset increased steer and heifer slaughter. Likewise, beef production for 2019 was reduced slightly based on the expectation of lighter carcass weights. Estimated beef production for next year was reduced by 25 million lbs. to 27.8 billion lbs.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 20 Change
  $145.89   –  $1.02

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 21  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.70 –    $0.09
700-800 lbs. $151.05 –    $0.08
800-900 lbs. $149.61 +   $0.50

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec.21 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.42 +   $4.69
600-700 lbs. $148.82 +   $3.35
700-800 lbs. $146.02 +   $1.90

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 21 Change 
400-500 lbs. $152.39 +   $4.88
500-600 lbs. $144.34 +   $2.37
600-700 lbs. $136.15 –    $2.85

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 21 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.05 +  $3.09
Select $207.50 +  $4.36   
Ch-Se Spread $6.55 –   $1.27

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 21 Change
Jan ’19 $147.350 –    $0.225
Mar $145.525 –    $0.250
Apr $145.975 –    $0.275
May $146.050 –    $0.300
Aug $149.775 –    $0.050
Sep $149.500 +   $0.100
Oct $148.525 –    $0.500
Nov $148.375 –    $0.075

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 21 Change
Dec $120.875 +   $1.300
Feb ’19 $122.700 +   $0.300
Apr $124.825 +   $0.325
Jun $115.950 –   $0.125
Aug $113.300 –   $0.375
Oct $114.850 –   $0.100
Dec $116.725 –   $0.100
Feb ’20 $117.625 –   $0.400
Apr $117.500 –   $1.000

 

Corn futures Dec. 21 Change
Mar ’19 $3.784 –  $0.062
May $3.862 –  $0.060
Jul $3.934 –  $0.052
Sep $3.952 –  $0.048
Dec $3.992 –  $0.044
Mar ’20 $4.086 –  $0.040

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 21 Change
Feb $45.59 –    $5.88
Mar $45.89 –    $5.87
Apr $46.23 –    $5.83
May $46.61 –    $5.78
Jun $46.98 –    $5.70
Jul $47.28 –    $5.64

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 21 Change
Dow Industrial Average  22445.27 –   1655.24
NASDAQ     6333.00 –      577.67
S&P 500     2416.62 –      183.33
Dollar (DXY)          96.95 –           0.11
December 22nd, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 14, 2018

Improving weather conditions, stronger cash fed cattle prices the previous week and firmer Cattle futures helped lift calf and feeder cattle prices

Compared to the previous week, steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). There were instances of up to $10 higher on some weight categories. Year to date, AMS analysts note auction receipts are the most since 2011.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.07 higher week to week on Friday ($2.45 to $3.90 higher).

“Order buyers had an easier time of finding orders this week as the mud started to firm up in areas that had very muddy pens since the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” say AMS analysts. “Time is of the essence as feedyards and backgrounders will soon be reluctant to receive incoming cattle during the holidays…Producers’ time to finish their marketing needs for the year are waning as many auctions take off for two full weeks around the holidays.”

Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments that feeder prices could increase early next year with resurgent demand from farmer-feeders.

“Farmer-feeders generally become active in the feeder cattle market immediately following harvest, but harvest was delayed in many areas due to precipitation, which meant farmer-feeders remained on the sidelines,” Griffith says. “As harvest is now coming to completion in many areas, farmer-feeders will begin to exercise some of their purchasing power.”

So, logic suggests atypically concentrated farmer-feeder demand later than usual. Griffith emphasizes the notion is no guarantee of higher prices after the first of the year, but adds that farmer-feeder purchasing power gains strength with low grain prices.

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices in the Southern Plains on Friday were mainly steady with the previous week at $119/cwt. Early dressed sales in Nebraska were $1 higher at $188. Though too few to trend, early live sales in the western Corn Belt were $1 higher at $117, while early dressed sales of $187 were trading at the upper end of the previous week’s trading range in the region.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.04 higher week to week on Friday (45¢ higher in the back contract to $1.45 higher).

“The December Live Cattle contract traded as low as $111 at the end of August and was still only trading in the $114-$115 range one month ago,” Griffith says. “However, prices have been slowly increasing since the middle of November with nearly a $5 move. The increase is supporting late-year finished cattle marketings, but many feedlots have turned their focus to the February and April contracts that have witnessed similar price escalations.” He notes the April contract is the focus for most of the cattle placed in October and November, as well as heavy cattle placed in December.

“Packers have a vested interest in moving every animal they can through the pipeline with positive margins and the way the holidays fall at the end of the

year,” explain AMS analysts. “With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays on a Tuesday, tempered harvest schedules are expected to almost come to a screeching halt.”

In the meantime, they note the previous week’s estimated 667,000-head cattle slaughter, if realized, would be the second largest weekly total since January of 2012.

Fed steer prices (5-area Direct) for the first quarter of 2019 are projected at $119-$125/cwt. by USDA’s Economic Research Service, in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Prices in the second quarter are projected to be $118-$128; and $109-$119 in the third.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.33 lower Friday afternoon at $210.96/cwt. Select was $2.64 higher at $203.14.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 14

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

257,900

(-72,500)

36,700

(-14,300)

26,400

(+22,800)

321,000

(-64,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 13 Change
  $146.91   + $1.84

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 14  Change 
600-700 lbs. $158.79 +   $2.13
700-800 lbs. $150.97 –    $0.47
800-900 lbs. $146.11 –    $3.37

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 14 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.73 +   $1.74
600-700 lbs. $145.47 +   $0.39
700-800 lbs. $144.12 +   $1.61

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 14 Change 
400-500 lbs. $147.51 +   $0.14
500-600 lbs. $141.97 +   $2.35
600-700 lbs. $139.00 +   $5.29

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 147 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $210.96 –   $3.33
Select $203.14 +  $2.64   
Ch-Se Spread $7.82 –   $5.97

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 14 Change
Jan ’19 $147.575 +   $3.190
Mar $145.775 +   $3.900
Apr $146.250 +   $3.725
May $146.350 +   $3.500
Aug $149.825 +   $2.725
Sep $149.400 +   $2.625
Oct $149.025 +   $2.450
Nov $148.450 –    $2.475

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 14 Change
Dec $119.175 +   $1.275
Feb ’19 $122.400 +   $0.875
Apr $124.500 +   $0.975
Jun $116.075 +   $1.450
Aug $113.675 +   $1.325
Oct $114.950 +   $1.200
Dec $116.825 +   $0.325
Feb ’20 $118.025 +   $0.950
Apr $118.500 +   $0.450

 

Corn futures Dec.14 Change
Dec $3.766 + $0.026
Mar ’19 $3.846 –  $0.008
May $3.922 –  $0.004
Jul $3.986 –  $0.006
Sep $4.000 + $0.008
Dec $4.036 + $0.006

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 14 Change
Jan ’19 $51.20 –    $1.41
Feb $51.47 –    $1.34
Mar $51.76 –    $1.29
Apr $52.06 –    $1.25
May $52.39 –    $1.19
Jun $52.68 –    $1.14

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 14 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24100.51 –     288.44
NASDAQ     6910.67 –        58.58
S&P 500     2599.95 –         33.13
Dollar (DXY)          97.06 +          0.35
December 16th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Dec. 07, 2018

Last week’s cattle markets unfolded against the backdrop of extreme volatility on Wall Street, tied in part to inversion of the yield curve, which some fear points to domestic economic recession sooner rather than later. Otherpressures included lingering, unresolved trade issues, and signs of slowing global economic growth.

Calf and feeder cattle prices came under pressure from hectic volume the previous week, wobbly cattle futures and a market channel clogged by winter weather the previous weekend.

Overall, steers and heifers traded $3-$8/cwt. lower in most areas, but held to unevenly steady in the North Central states, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Feedyards took money off orders as areas that were snowy last week

have awfully muddy pen conditions,” AMS analysts explained. “Prior to the large snowstorm that moved across the Plains last week, temperatures weren’t cold enough to get the ground frozen before the snow flew…Daily gains are greatly affected and those cattle that are in the latest stages of finish will have expected out-dates adjusted.” 

Heading into the most recent weekend, widespread snow, ice, rain and freezing rain were expected across the Southern Plains and Southwest.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.00 lower week to week on Friday, likely pressured some from the steady increase in grain prices the last couple of weeks. Spot Dec corn on the CME, for instance closed the week 15¢ higher compared to two weeks earlier.

“Given that calf prices have been sluggish this fall, producers still hanging on to the calf crop may benefit from hanging on a little longer, as January generally brings slightly higher prices,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Fed Prices Firm

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped through Friday afternoon, according to USDA reports, but early indications were for steady to higher money than the previous week’s higher prices.

For instance, there was some light to moderate trade in the western Corn Belt at $115-$117/cwt., which was $1 higher than the previous week. Early dressed sales were steady at $183-$185. By late in the day, AMS reported some dressed trade in Nebraska at $187, which was $2-$4 more than the previous week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.27 higher week to week on Friday across the front half of the board and then an average of 40¢ higher (7¢ to 65¢ higher) except for 65¢ lower in the back contract.

Wholesale beef prices provided a modicum of support for at least one more week.

“Boxed-beef cutout values continue to hold together, for the most part, but have started to feel some pressure as last-minute buying for upcoming holidays is happening,” said AMS analysts. 

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.68 higher Friday afternoon at $214.29/cwt. Select was $2.09 higher at $200.50.

“The domestic cattle markets continue to be supported by international beef demand, based on strong October export quantities and values,” Griffith says. From January through October, the United States has exported 1.91 billion lbs. of beef (not including variety meats), which was 12% higher than the same 10 months one year ago. Similarly, the value of beef exports from January through October of 2018 was 19% greater than the same months in 2017 and totaled $6.19 billion.”

October beef exports totaled 117,838 metric tons (mt), up 6% from a year ago, valued at $727.4 million, which was 10% more year over year and the second-highest monthly total on record. That’s according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef export value equated to $317.53 per head of fed slaughter in October, up 5% from a year ago. For January through October, the per-head average was up 15% to $320.50.

“Demand for U.S. beef continues to climb in nearly every region of the world, with annual records already falling in some markets,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Per-head export value will also easily set a new record in 2018, which illustrates the strong returns exports are delivering for cattle producers and for the entire supply chain.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 07

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

330,400

(+40,900)

51,000

(+1,600)

3,600

(-40,200)

385,000

(+2,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Dec. 05 Change
  $145.53   –  $1.94

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 07  Change 
600-700 lbs. $156.66 +   $1.60
700-800 lbs. $151.44 –    $0.99
800-900 lbs. $149.48 –    $2.41

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 7 Change
500-600 lbs. $154.99 –    $3.60
600-700 lbs. $145.08 –    $3.25
700-800 lbs. $142.51 –    $4.64

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 07 Change 
400-500 lbs. $147.37 –    $9.40
500-600 lbs. $139.62 –    $6.73
600-700 lbs. $133.71 –    $2.82

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 07 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.29 +  $1.68
Select $200.50 +  $2.09   
Ch-Se Spread $13.79 –   $0.41

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 07 Change
Jan ’19 $144.375 –    $0.850
Mar $141.875 –    $0.975
Apr $142.525 –    $1.100
May $142.850 –    $1.100
Aug $147.100 –    $1.075
Sep $146.775 –    $1.000
Oct $146.575 –    $0.950
Nov $145.975 –    $0.950

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 07 Change
Dec $117.900 +   $0.975
Feb ’19 $121.525 +   $1.025
Apr $123.625 +   $1.625
Jun $115.100 +   $1.450
Aug $112.225 +   $0.650
Oct $113.625 +   $0.550
Dec $115.625 +   $0.325
Feb ’20 $117.075 +   $0.075
Apr $118.050 –    $0.650

 

Corn futures Dec.07 Change
Dec $3.740 + $0.076
Mar ’19 $3.854 + $0.078
May $3.926 + $0.076
Jul $3.992 + $0.078
Sep $3.992 + $0.052
Dec $4.030 + $0.034

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 07 Change
Jan ’19 $52.61 +   $1.68
Feb $52.81 +   $1.72
Mar $53.05 +   $1.82
Apr $53.31 +   $1.95
May $53.58 +   $2.08
Jun $53.82 +   $2.22

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 07 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24388.95 –       949.51
NASDAQ     6969.25 –       361.29
S&P 500     2633.08 –       127.09
Dollar (DXY)          96.71 –           0.49
December 8th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Nov. 30, 2018

Cash prices for calves and feeder cattle ran counter to futures expectations, which gained less support than some expected from the previous week’s friendly Cattle on Feed report.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $3/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was with 264,500 more receipts (auction, direct, video/net) than the previous holiday-shortened week.

“Buyers have become more meticulous when purchasing calves having a health program and ample time weaned,” AMS analysts say. “In times past, a 30-to-45 day weaning period was sufficient, however buyers are now almost demanding a calf that is 60 days weaned with at least two rounds of recent vaccinations.”

Winter weather impacted sales and buyer attitudes in some areas.

“Blizzard conditions on Sunday and Monday, from basically I-70 to I-80 hardened up some of the fleshy calves as cold temperatures moved in directly after snow dumped across the Plains,” AMS analysts say. “Another winter storm is forecasted to move through the Northern Plains this weekend and some feeders are content to have cattle sold before the brunt of the storm rolls through.” 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.57 lower week to week on Friday ($1.77 lower at the back to $4.15 lower in spot Jan).

“Though there was softening, the futures market continued to trade above prices from two weeks ago,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The Thanksgiving holiday shut down several auction markets, while the futures market kept chugging along which impacted trends on the cash market.”

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through USDA’s late-afternoon report Friday. There were some live sales in the western Corn Belt at $115/cwt., unevenly steady with Wednesday’s $114-$116, which was $1-$2 higher than the previous week. There was some early dressed trade in Nebraska at $183, but too few transactions to trend (prices the previous week were at $180-$185, mostly $185.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.07 lower week to week on Friday (17¢ lower in spot Dec to $1.77 lower). 

“Cattle feeders and packers were slow to agree on a price with cattle feeders asking for prices $4 to $5 higher than the previous week, while packers were bidding $3 lower than the prior week,” Griffith explains. “It is highly unlikely the market will move much in either’s favor compared to week-ago prices, given the somewhat stagnant nature of live cattle futures following the Thanksgiving holiday. Cattle feeders should still hold some leverage over packers at this point in the game as holiday-season buying and restocking of beef counters post-holiday will keep the beef market supported. Cattle feeder leverage may be further sustained during the winter months if poor winter feeding conditions result in lighter weights.”

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.24 lower Friday afternoon at $212.61/cwt. Select was 10¢ lower at $198.41.

In the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) note that since early August, Choice wholesale beef cutout prices stayed well above year-earlier levels. 

“In fact, the weekly beef cutout price for the week ending Nov. 9 climbed to within June price levels despite higher year-over-year beef production for third-quarter 2018 and higher expected production in fourth-quarter 2018,” ERS analysts say.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 30

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

289,500

(+191,800)

49,400

(+28,900)

43,800

(+43,800)

382,700

(+264,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Nov. 29 Change
  $147.13   –  $1.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 30  Change 
600-700 lbs. $155.06 +   $3.15
700-800 lbs. $152.43 +   $2.04
800-900 lbs. $151.89 +   $0.61

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 30 Change
500-600 lbs. $158.59 +   $2.05
600-700 lbs. $148.33 +   $3.88
700-800 lbs. $147.15 +   $1.87

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 30 Change 
400-500 lbs. $156.77 +   $2.33
500-600 lbs. $146.35 +   $1.20
600-700 lbs. $136.53 –    $1.36

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 30 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.61 –   $1.24
Select $198.41 –   $0.10   
Ch-Se Spread $14.20 –   $1.14

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 30 Change
Jan ’19 $145.225 –    $4.150
Mar $142.850 –    $3.075
Apr $143.625 –    $2.625
May $143.950 –    $2.550
Aug $148.175 –    $2.275
Sep $147.775 –    $2.125
Oct $147.525 –    $1.975
Nov $146.925 –    $1.775

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 30 Change
Dec $116.925 –    $0.175
Feb ’19 $120.500 –    $0.425
Apr $122.000 –    $1.150
Jun $113.650 –    $1.775
Aug $111.575 –    $1.750
Oct $113.075 –    $1.525
Dec $115.300 –    $0.950
Feb ’20 $117.000 –    $1.000
Apr $118.700 –    $0.875

 

Corn futures Nov. 30 Change
Dec $3.664 + $0.074
Mar ’19 $3.776 + $0.072
May $3.850 + $0.068
Jul $3.914 + $0.060
Sep $3.940 + $0.050
Dec $3.996 + $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 30 Change
Jan ’19 $50.93 +   $0.51
Feb $51.09 +   $0.50
Mar $51.23 +   $0.47
Apr $51.36 +   $0.45
May $51.50 +   $0.44
Jun $51.60 +   $0.43

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 30 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25538.46 +    1252.51
NASDAQ     7330.54 +      391.56
S&P 500     2760.17 +      127.61
Dollar (DXY)          97.20 +          0.26
December 1st, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Nov. 23, 2018

There was no national price trend for calves and feeders, given the limited receipts during the Thanksgiving Day break. Where auctions did occur, trends appeared mostly to the upside, buoyed by recent futures strength.

“This is the first week where the market showed positive trends in most weights of feeders,” explained the AMS reporter on hand for Saturday’s auction in Kist, ND.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.95 higher week to week on Friday.

Heading into the new week, logic suggests calves and feeders should receive support from last week’s friendly Cattle on Feed report, as well as stronger cash fed cattle prices.

There were 2.25 million head placed in October, which was 6.06% less than last year, according to the report. Analyst estimates ahead of the report were for an increase of 1% more.

Cattle marketings in October were slightly more than expected at 1.89 million head, which was 4.78% more than last year.

Cattle on feed Nov. 1 of 11.69 million head were 3.18% more than last year, about 1% less than many expected.

Fed Cattle and Beef Prices Gain

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week ended up mostly $2-$3 higher on a live basis at $116-$117/cwt. ($113-$114 in the western Corn Belt), and $2-$7 higher in the beef at $180-$185.

Except for an average of 56¢ higher in the back three contracts, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 higher week to week on Friday. 

Wholesale beef values managed week-to-week gains, too.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 94¢ higher Friday afternoon at $213.85/cwt. Select was 94¢ higher at $198.51.

Commercial red meat production was record high in October at 4.90 billion lbs., which was 6% more than the previous year, according to USDA’s most recent Livestock Slaughter report. For January through October, commercial red meat production of 44.4 billion lbs. was 3% more than the previous year.

Beef production for the month of 2.43 billion lbs. was 5% more than the previous October. Cattle slaughter of  2.96 million head was 6% more.

Pork production of 2.45 billion lbs. (up 6%), was record large, too. Hog slaughter of 11.6 million head was 6% more than the previous October.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 23

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

97,700

(-210,000)

20,500

(-8,600)

0

(-31,600)

118,200

(-250,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Nov. 22 Change
  $148.27   +  $0.44

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 23  Change 
600-700 lbs. $151.91 –    $5.10
700-800 lbs. $150.39 +   $0.33
800-900 lbs. $151.28 –    $0.12

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 23 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.54 +   $0.49
600-700 lbs. $144.45 –    $2.52
700-800 lbs. $145.28 –    $0.35

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 23 Change 
400-500 lbs. $154.44 –    $1.23
500-600 lbs. $145.15 +   $1.71
600-700 lbs. $137.89 +   $3.66

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 23 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.85 +  $0.94
Select $198.51 +  $0.94   
Ch-Se Spread $15.34 0

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 23 Change
Jan ’19 $149.375 +   $2.850
Mar $145.925 +   $1.950
Apr $146.250 +   $1.925
May $146.500 +   $2.025
Aug $150.450 +   $2.075
Sep $149.900 +   $1.750
Oct $149.500 +   $1.500
Nov $148.700 +   $1.500

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 23 Change
Dec $117.100 +   $1.750
Feb ’19 $120.925 +   $1.200
Apr $123.150 +   $1.600
Jun $115.425 +   $1.900
Aug $113.325 +   $1.450
Oct $114.600 +   $1.225
Dec $116.250 +   $0.525
Feb ’20 $118.000 +   $0.575
Apr $119.575 +   $0.575

 

Corn futures Nov. 23 Change
Dec $3.590 –  $0.056
Mar ’19 $3.704 –  $0.052
May $3.782 –  $0.052
Jul $3.854 –  $0.046
Sep $3.890 –  $0.030
Dec $3.952 –  $0.028

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 23 Change
Jan ’19 $50.42 –    $6.26
Feb $50.59 –    $6.29
Mar $50.76 –    $6.31
Apr $50.91 –    $6.34
May $51.06 –    $6.37
Jun $51.17 –    $6.41

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 23 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24285.95 –     1127.27
NASDAQ     6938.98 –       308.89
S&P 500     2632.56 –       103.71
Dollar (DXY)          96.94 +          0.51
November 25th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Nov. 16, 2018

Prices for calves and feeder cattle softened last week, pressured by seasonals, delayed wheat pasture and the lack of bounce in fed cattle prices.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $2-$6/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Over the course of this fall, feeder cattle buyers have been more stringent on health protocols. Buyers now have orders that require calves have at least one, preferably two rounds of shots, and be weaned 60 days or more,” explained AMS analysts. “In the Northern Plains, cold weather with poor yard conditions and many crops still waiting to be harvested have put a damper on procuring bawling calves at this time.”  

Not counting expiring or new away-Nov, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.28 higher week to week on Friday (57¢ to $2.72 higher).

Looking a little further ahead, analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) note in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook (LDPO). “Winter forage seems to be in better condition than last year, which could provide a home for calves to stock over the winter. While this may be a positive sign for feeder calf prices in the coming months, limiting factors are the record numbers of cattle already on feed at the beginning of October and expectations of higher feed prices.”

ERS left the projected fourth-quarter feeder steer price unchanged from the previous month at $151-$155/cwt. The 2019 annual price forecast was lowered to $140-$151 on slightly higher anticipated feed costs and continued large feedlot numbers.

Fed Cattle Trade Unevenly Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late Friday afternoon. Although too few to trend, early prices in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were unevenly steady to a touch softer than the previous week. Early dressed sales were at $178/cwt. in both regions. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $111.50-$112.00. Late Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $114, just a touch lower than the previous week’s weighted average.

Although the estimated number of cattle outside feedlots Oct. 1 (30.1 million head) was similar to last year, ERS analysts pointed out cattle are staying on feed longer. The estimated percentage of cattle on feed for more than 150 days in October was around 17%, which was approximately 3% more than last year; slightly above the average for 2013-2017, but less than in 2016.

Except for 5¢ and 2¢ lower in Aug and Oct, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 89¢ higher week to week on Friday (42¢ to $1.92 higher). 

In the meantime, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University points out in his weekly market comments that total cattle so far this year is 2.7% more year over year.

“Increased cattle slaughter, combined with an average of 2.3 lbs. increase in cattle carcass weights, both contribute to a year-to-date increase in beef production of 2.7% year over year,” Peel explains. “Total 2018 beef production is projected to be 27.0 billion lbs., a new record beef production total for the U.S. Beef production is forecast to grow to another record level of 27.5 billion lbs. in 2019.”

Wholesale beef prices continued softer after apparently reaching their seasonal peak earlier than normal. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.29 lower Friday afternoon at $212.91/cwt. Select was $1.15 lower at $197.57.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 16

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

307,700

(-22,100)

29,100

(-11,900)

31,600

(+25,100)

368,400

(-8,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Nov. 15 Change
  $147.83   –   $3.80

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 16  Change 
600-700 lbs. $157.01 +   $0.41
700-800 lbs. $150.06 –    $5.61
800-900 lbs. $151.40 –    $1.47

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 16 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.05 –    $3.45
600-700 lbs. $146.97 –    $4.53
700-800 lbs. $145.63 –    $5.51

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 16 Change 
400-500 lbs. $155.67 +   $0.21
500-600 lbs. $143.44 –   $2.66
600-700 lbs. $134.23 –   $3.28

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 16 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.91 –   $2.29
Select $197.57 –   $1.15   
Ch-Se Spread $15.34 –   $1.14

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 16 Change
Jan ’19 $146.525 +   $2.725
Mar $143.975 +   $1.800
Apr $144.325 +   $1.050
May $144.475 +   $0.575
Aug $148.375 +   $0.725
Sep $148.150 +   $0.775
Oct $148.000 +   $1.725
Nov $147.200 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 16 Change
Dec $115.350 +   $0.775
Feb ’19 $119.725 +   $1.925
Apr $121.550 +   $1.300
Jun $113.525 +   $0.825
Aug $111.875 –    $0.050
Oct $113.375 –    $0.025
Dec $115.725 +   $0.450
Feb ’20 $117.425 +   $0.425
Apr $119.000 +   $0.500

 

Corn futures Nov. 16 Change
Dec $3.646 –  $0.050
Mar ’19 $3.756 –  $0.056
May $3.834 –  $0.058
Jul $3.900 –  $0.060
Sep $3.920 –  $0.060
Dec $3.980 –  $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 16 Change
Dec $56.46 –    $3.73
Jan ’19 $56.68 –    $3.68
Feb $56.88 –    $3.68
Mar $57.07 –    $3.68
Apr $57.25 –    $3.70
May $57.43 –    $3.73

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 16 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25413.22 –      576.08
NASDAQ     7247.87 –       159.03
S&P 500     2736.27 –         44.74
Dollar (DXY)          96.43 –           0.48
November 18th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Nov. 9, 2018

Steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. lower, weighed down by volume, seasonal pressure and the weather in some cases. 

“An established pre-weaning and vaccination program has become a must for producers to receive top dollar this time of year (in between Halloween and Thanksgiving),” explain analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Many feedyards in the Upper Midwest and the Northern Plains have seen

their fair share of snow already this year…Muddy pens are sure to be a concern moving forward as the days get shorter, however temperatures in the teens in the midsection of the country may bring a welcomed freeze to ground conditions,” AMS analysts say. “Wind chills will be a concern this week, especially on incoming feedlot cattle, but it could be a blessing in disguise if copious amounts of precipitation can hold off for a little while longer.” 

Cash prices for calves and feeder cattle also were pressured by crumbling Cattle futures and a growing sense by some that the supportive fundamentals of snugger fed cattle supplies may have been priced in long ago, with trader attention now focused on increasing supplies next year.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.43 lower week to week on Friday.

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices lost ground. Live sales were mainly $1-$2 lower at mostly $114-$115/cwt. ($111-$113 in the western Corn Belt). Dressed trade was steady to $3 lower at $177-$180.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.62 lower week to week on Friday ($1.40¢ to $4.40 lower). 

“Many cattle feeders were asking as high as $118 through most of the week but settled for lower money as packer bids were lower due to the failure of wholesale beef prices escalating,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The price decline also coincides with live cattle futures losing value. The December live cattle contract traded near $117 most of last week, but it lost big on Monday and spent much of the week between $115 and $116 before surging higher on Thursday. Friday futures trade was not kind to cattle feeders as live cattle prices took another nosedive. It is perceived this weakness will be short lived.”

Following several weeks of seasonally higher prices, wholesale beef value faltered.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.30 lower Friday afternoon at $215.20/cwt. Select was $2.75 lower at $198.72.

Griffith suspects the Choice cutout reached its fourth-quarter price peak since holiday purchasing will begin to slow.

“The Choice beef market has been driven by the rib and loin primals with a little bit of help from the brisket. The next round of support for the beef market will be from the restocking of meat counters following consumer holiday purchasing. However, the restocking of the counter will come in the form of end meats including chucks and rounds,” Griffith explains. “As this shift begins, the Choice-Select spread will narrow, and most of the narrowing is likely to come from lower Choice prices rather than a strengthening Select beef market. Change is soon to occur but the beef market is strong.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 9

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

329,800

(-8,000)

41,000

(-2,200)

6,500

(-16,500)

377,300

(-26,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Nov. 8 Change
  $151.63   –   $2.26

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 9  Change 
600-700 lbs. $156.60 –    $2.56
700-800 lbs. $155.67 –    $3.88
800-900 lbs. $152.87 –    $2.44

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 9 Change
500-600 lbs. $159.50 –    $0.79
600-700 lbs. $151.50 –    $2.32
700-800 lbs. $151.14 –    $1.60

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 9 Change 
400-500 lbs. $155.46 +   $0.87
500-600 lbs. $146.10 –   $0.98
600-700 lbs. $137.51 –   $0.79

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 9 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $215.20 –   $3.30
Select $198.72 –   $2.75   
Ch-Se Spread $16.48 –   $0.55

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 9 Change
Nov $149.000 –    $3.500
Jan ’19 $143.800 –    $5.950
Mar $142.175 –    $6.075
Apr $143.275 –    $6.175
May $143.900 –    $5.975
Aug $147.650 –    $5.200
Sep $147.375 –    $5.200
Oct $146.725 –    $5.350

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 9 Change
Dec $114.575 –   $2.500
Feb ’19 $117.800 –   $4.400
Apr $120.250 –   $3.475
Jun $112.700 –   $3.275
Aug $111.925 –    $2.300
Oct $113.400 –    $2.075
Dec $115.275 –    $2.075
Feb ’20 $117.000 –    $1.975
Apr $118.500 –    $1.500

 

Corn futures Nov. 9 Change
Dec $3.696 –  $0.016
Mar ’19 $3.812 –  $0.020
May $3.892 –  $0.020
Jul $3.960 –  $0.010
Sep $3.980 + $0.004
Dec $4.024 –  $0.012

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 9 Change
Dec $60.19 –    $2.95
Jan ’19 $60.36 –    $2.92
Feb $60.56 –    $2.85
Mar $60.75 –    $2.81
Apr $60.95 –    $2.76
May $61.16 –    $2.68

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 9 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25989.30 +      718.47
NASDAQ     7406.90 +        49.91
S&P 500     2781.01 +        57.95
Dollar (DXY)          96.91 +         0.41
November 10th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Nov. 2, 2018

Feeder cattle weighing more than 800 lbs. sold steady to $2 higher last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Feeders weighing less than 800 lbs. sold steady to $2 lower. Steer and heifer calves sold unevenly steady. 

“Demand for feeder weight cattle was very uneven and mainly depended on age,” say AMS analysts. “Especially 6-weight cattle that were either too young for the feedyard or too big for new wheat. Typically, this time of year, buyers are looking for cattle 60+ days weaned. However, this year, due to the wet and muddy conditions in many areas, 120 days seemed to be the earmark for numbers of days weaned. Demand for heavier weight cattle and those that would finish in April was very good.”

Not counting $2.30 lower in spot Nov, Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed week to week on Friday, from 12¢ lower to 42¢ higher.

“With ample wheat pasture virtually assured at this point, producers may stock wheat pastures a bit heavier than usual, leading to additional stocker demand in the coming weeks,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in is weekly market comments.

Although ultimately more than promising, early wet weather continued to delay wheat planting and development through Oct. 29, according to USDA’s Crop Progress report. At the time, 78% of winter wheat was planted, which was 5% less than last year and 7% less than the average. Emergence at 63% was the same as the previous year, but 4% less than the average.

There was no direction from negotiated cash fed cattle trade through late Friday afternoon, although general speculation was for prices to be at least steady, if not higher than the previous week’s mostly $114-$115/cwt. on a live basis and $180 in the beef.

Not counting recently minted away-Apr, week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 77¢ lower across the front half of the board (7¢ to $1.32 lower) and then an average of $1.01 higher.

Although Live Cattle futures continue to languish in a well-worn narrow channel, they and the cash market should continue to receive support from seasonally higher wholesale beef values.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.03 higher Friday afternoon at $218.50/cwt. Select was $2.64 higher at $201.47.

Although domestic and international demand for U.S. beef remains strong, same-store restaurant sales and traffic declined in September, according to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) most recent Restaurant Performance Index (RPI). It was 0.9% less than the previous month at 101.1.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 2

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

341,400

(-16,300)

43,200

(-14,400)

23,000

(+6,500)

407,600

(-24,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Nov. 1 Change
  $153.89   –   $0.12

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 1  Change 
600-700 lbs. $159.16 –    $3.17
700-800 lbs. $159.55 +   $1.21
800-900 lbs. $155.31 –    $0.83

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $160.29 –    $0.87
600-700 lbs. $153.82 –    $1.58
700-800 lbs. $152.74 –    $2.13

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 1 Change 
400-500 lbs. $154.59 –   $0.46
500-600 lbs. $147.08 –   $0.12
600-700 lbs. $138.30 –   $1.99

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 2 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $218.50 +  $5.03
Select $201.47 +  $2.64   
Ch-Se Spread $17.03 +  $2.39

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 2 Change
Nov $152.500 –    $2.300
Jan ’19 $149.750 +   $0.050
Mar $148.250 +   $0.425
Apr $149.450 +   $0.125
May $149.875 –    $0.125
Aug $152.850 –    $0.075
Sep $152.575 +   $0.150
Oct $152.075 +   $0.150

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 2 Change
Dec $117.075 –   $1.325
Feb ’19 $122.200 –   $1.250
Apr $123.725 –   $0.450
Jun $115.975 –   $0.075
Aug $114.225 +   $0.600
Oct $115.475 +   $0.750
Dec $117.350 +   $1.200
Feb ’20 $118.975 +   $1.475
Apr $120.000 n/a

 

Corn futures Nov. 2 Change
Dec $3.712 + $0.036
Mar ’19 $3.832 + $0.032
May $3.912 + $0.032
Jul $3.970 + $0.034
Sep $3.976 + $0.016
Dec $4.036 + $0.012

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 2 Change
Dec $63.14 –    $4.45
Jan ’19 $63.28 –    $4.47
Feb $63.41 –    $4.43
Mar $63.56 –    $4.37
Apr $63.71 –    $4.30
May $63.84 –    $4.21

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 2 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25270.83 +      582.52
NASDAQ     7356.99 +      189.78
S&P 500     2723.06 +        64.37
Dollar (DXY)          96.50 +         0.09
November 3rd, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Oct. 26, 2018

Calves and feeder cattle sold $2 lower to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), amid increased auction volume as the fall run picked up steam.

“Auction receipts were the largest since January,” said AMS analysts. “Several auctions in South Dakota had two sales this week to accommodate producers willing to sell cattle and the state accounted for over 18% of the auction receipts.” 

The lack of trucks stalled demand in some areas. As the AMS reporter on hand for Thursday’s sale at Billings Livestock Commission in Montana explained, “Transportation continues to be an issue as trucks are tight with many contract calves moving in the country. Buyers are reluctant to purchase calves they do not have immediate transportation for as heath concerns snowball the longer calves are under stress.”

As for demand, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University pointed out in his early-week market comments, “Stocker budgets for winter grazing still look quite favorable, unless grazing delays stretch out too long and cut days available for winter grazing down excessively.”

Not counting expiring October or newly minted away October, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 88¢ higher week to week on Friday.

Fed Cattle Mostly $3-$4 Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices finally busted from the steady trench of recent weeks, gaining $3-$4 on a live basis in most regions at $114-$115/cwt—$2-$3 higher in the western Corn Belt at $112-$113. Dressed sales were $6 higher at $180.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.49 higher.

“Cattle slaughter continues along at a pretty good clip that packers have found to be advantageous to their bottom line,” according to AMS analysts. “Packer margins have been on the positive side for many months now, and they have done an excellent job of managing their inventory since Labor Day. Steer dressed weights for the week ending Oct. 13 were 899 lbs., 4 lbs. below the previous week.  Muddy pen conditions and lower temperatures nationwide the first week in October were contributing factors in the drop in weights.”

Fed cattle prices gained support from the seasonal boost to wholesale beef values.

Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.54 higher Friday afternoon at $213.47/cwt. Select was $4.59 higher at $198.83.

In his weekly market comments, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee explains middle meats are driving the increase in wholesale beef values.

“Middle meat purchases in October are generally due to entities preparing for the holiday season and trying to purchase inventory before rib and loin prices reach their apex,” Griffith says. “Thus, restaurants and retailers are trying to avoid being short bought and forced in to high-priced spot market purchases. At the same time, this purchasing habit generally leads to increases of beef in cold storage which generally peaks in the fourth quarter.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 26

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

357,700

(+87,400)

57,600

(+32,200)

16,500

(-11,200)

431,800

(+108,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Oct. 25 Change
  $154.01   –   $1.35

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 26  Change 
600-700 lbs. $162.33 +   $2.54
700-800 lbs. $158.34 –    $1.45
800-900 lbs. $156.14 –    $0.59

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 26 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.16 +   $0.91
600-700 lbs. $155.40 +   $0.03
700-800 lbs. $154.87 +   $0.11

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 26 Change 
400-500 lbs. $155.05 –   $1.83
500-600 lbs. $147.30 –   $0.24
600-700 lbs. $140.29 +  $0.97

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 26 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.47 +  $5.54
Select $198.83 +  $4.59   
Ch-Se Spread $14.64 +  $0.95

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 26 Change
Nov $154.800 +   $0.700
Jan ’19 $149.700 +   $0.950
Mar $147.825 +   $0.775
Apr $149.325 +   $1.050
May $150.000 +   $1.225
Aug $152.925 +   $0.875
Sep $152.425 +   $0.625
Oct $151.925 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 26 Change
Oct $113.875 +   $1.625
Dec $118.400 +  $1.625
Feb ’19 $123.450 +  $2.300
Apr $124.175 +  $2.000
Jun $116.050 +   $1.525
Aug $113.625 +   $1.200
Oct $114.725 +   $1.025
Dec $116.150 +   $1.050
Feb ’20 $117.500 +   $1.100

 

Corn futures Oct. 26 Change
Dec $3.676 + $0.006
Mar ’19 $3.800 + $0.006
May $3.880 + $0.010
Jul $3.936 + $0.010
Sep $3.960 + $0.016
Dec $4.024 + $0.024

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 26 Change
Nov $67.59 –    $1.69
Dec $67.75 –    $1.60
Jan ’19 $67.84 –    $1.55
Feb $67.93 –    $1.50
Mar $68.01 –    $1.45
Apr $68.05 –    $1.41

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 26 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24688.31 –       756.03
NASDAQ     7167.21 –       281.82
S&P 500     2658.69 –       109.09
Dollar (DXY)          96.41 +         0.74
October 28th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Oct. 19, 2018

Steer and heifer calves sold steady to $5/cwt. lower, while yearlings traded steady to $3 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was with about 75,000 head more selling at auction than the previous week as the fall calf run ratchets up.

“Receipts were much larger than last week as road conditions improved dramatically in certain areas, with dryer and warmer weather across the Plains,” explained AMS analysts. “In the Northern Plains, calf runs are just getting started and high quality weaned calves are in demand. The demand for un-weaned calves this week was moderate while demand for preconditioned and weaned calves was moderate to good.”

Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes that promising wheat pasture conditions in the Southern Plains and positive fall forage conditions in the Southeast continue to provide support to calf prices.

“Despite calf demand support, freshly weaned steer and heifer values have the potential to fall below $750 and $650 per head respectively, which would equate to prices declining $5/cwt.,” Griffith says, in his weekly market comments. “The risk of prices declining more than $5/cwt. on freshly weaned calves moving through the rest of fall is relatively small and will likely be short lived if it actually occurs.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 85¢ lower (5¢ to $1.92 lower)—an average of $4.79 lower in the last two weeks.

Fed Cattle Steady Again

Negotiated cash fed cattle traded about steady for the sixth week in row. Live prices were steady to $2 lower in Nebraska at $109-$111 per cwt, and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $109-$110. Dressed trade was steady in Nebraska at $174; steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $173-$174.

“Prices for live cattle will be expected to move in a positive direction during the fourth quarter,” Griffith says. “The results of the last month and a half may be indicating a moderate fourth quarter increase or it could be setting the stage for a violent surge in prices.”

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, but mostly lower from an average of 42¢ lower to an average of 52¢ higher.

“The October CME Live Cattle contract continues to run at a premium to cash cattle and nearly 150 certificates were tendered for physical delivery of cattle so far this month,” note AMS analysts.

Wholesale beef value showed signs of seasonal life. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.22 higher Friday afternoon at $207.93 per cwt. Select was $1.96 higher at $194.24.

“Demand has been a strong supporter of beef prices in 2018, and the expectation is for continued support. However, the market is also aware of increasing production, which will temper the price impact of demand,” Griffith explains. “Similarly, the red meat market is heading into the seasonal production peak for pork. Pork production is seasonally lowest in the summer months before peaking in November and December. The lower prices on hams and other pork products result in serious interest from red meat consumers. Thus, red meat production will keep beef prices from exploding to the upside.”

Feedlot Placements Decline

Feedlot placements in September ran against expectations and recent-month trends with 2.05 million head placed in feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity. That was 4.60% less (-99,000 head) than a year earlier. Keep in mind there was one less weekday in September this year, according to the most recent Cattle on Feed report.

September marketings of 1.72 million head were 3.59% less (-64,000 head) than the previous year. Expectations ahead of the report were for marketings to be about even.

Cattle on feed Oct. 1 were 11.40 million head, which was 5.43% (+587,000 head) more than last year. Most analysts expected to see about 6% more. Still, it’s the largest Oct. 1 inventory since the data series began in 1996.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 19

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

270,300

(+75,300)

25,400

(-7,100)

27,700

(+21,600)

323,400

(+89,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Oct. 18 Change
  $155.36   –   $2.12

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 19  Change 
600-700 lbs. $159.79 –    $6.68
700-800 lbs. $159.79 –    $3.14
800-900 lbs. $156.73 –    $4.79

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 19 Change
500-600 lbs. $160.25 –    $0.86
600-700 lbs. $155.37 –    $1.45
700-800 lbs. $154.76 –    $0.14

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 19 Change 
400-500 lbs. $156.88 –   $0.83
500-600 lbs. $147.54 –   $1.00
600-700 lbs. $139.32 –   $2.22

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 19 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $207.93 +  $5.22
Select $194.24 +  $1.96   
Ch-Se Spread $13.69 +  $3.26

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 19 Change
Oct $154.650 –    $0.050
Nov $154.100 –    $0.525
Jan ’19 $148.750 –    $1.000
Mar $147.050 –    $1.925
Apr $148.275 –    $1.525
May $148.775 –    $1.100
Aug $152.050 –    $0.275
Sep $151.800 –    $0.375

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 19 Change
Oct $112.250 –   $0.075
Dec $116.775 +  $0.600
Feb ’19 $121.150 +  $0.750
Apr $122.175 +  $0.200
Jun $114.525 –   $0.350
Aug $112.425 –    $0.625
Oct $113.700 –    $0.525
Dec $115.100 –    $0.450
Feb ’20 $116.400 –    $0.475

 

Corn futures Oct. 19 Change
Dec $3.670 –  $0.066
Mar ’19 $3.794 –  $0.062
May $3.870 –  $0.056
Jul $3.926 –  $0.050
Sep $3.944 –  $0.052
Dec $4.000 –  $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 19 Change
Nov $69.12 –    $2.22
Dec $69.28 –    $1.90
Jan ’19 $69.35 –    $1.73
Feb $69.39 –    $1.60
Mar $69.43 –    $1.51
Apr $69.46 –    $1.43

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 19 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25444.34 +     104.35
NASDAQ     7449.03 –        47.86
S&P 500     2767.78 +         0.65
Dollar (DXY)          95.67 +         0.41
October 21st, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Oct. 12, 2018

Except for $2 higher in the North Central Plains, steers and heifers sold $1-$5/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Along with seasonal pressure, wet, muddy and wintry weather curtailed receipts and demand—from Hub City Livestock Auction at Aberdeen, SD to Winter Livestock in Dodge City, to Tulia Livestock Auction in Texas, and beyond.

“Health concerns are the biggest factor, with the big temperature swings this time of year,” said AMS analysts. “Last week, temperatures were in the 80s, while lows in the 30s and 40s followed just a few days later.”

Although calf prices turned softer, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, points out in his weekly market comments that the decline is so far less than expected seasonally.

“If prices were declining to a great extent, then that would provide more reason to wean and precondition calves this fall and winter, but the decision is made more difficult with relatively strong calf prices,” Griffith says. “The expectation of relatively inexpensive forage makes the decision more difficult. Understanding that cost of gain is highly variable across producers and production systems, it is difficult to discuss it thoroughly. However, most producers using grass will have a cost of gain between 40¢ to 60¢/lb. of gain. Value of gain is not an exact science, but it is a little easier. The current value of gain for adding 100 lbs. of weight to steers starting from 475 lbs. to 625 lbs. ranges from $1.02 to $1.24/lb. of gain if prices are locked in today and no value added premium is added.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.94 lower ($3.07 to $4.62 lower).

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was mainly steady to weak with live sales at $111/cwt. in the Northern and Southern Plains; mostly $2 lower in the western Corn Belt at $108. Dressed sales were $1 lower at $174.

“Fed Cattle prices normally have upside potential this time of year, however muddy pen conditions in all major feeding regions have left many fed cattle owners willing sellers at steady money,” explained AMS analysts.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.66 lower ($1.25 to $2.12 lower).

Likewise, the seasonals suggest wholesale beef value should start climbing sooner rather than later. As it is, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 54¢ lower week to week Friday afternoon at $202.71/cwt. Select was 54¢ higher at $192.28.

International demand continues to underpin domestic prices.

As reported in Cattle Current earlier in the week, U.S. beef exports topped $750 million in August for the first time, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Specifically, August beef export value was $751.7 million, which was 11% more than the previous year, easily exceeding the previous record of $722.1 million reached in May 2018. In terms of volume, August beef exports were 7% more than the previous year at 119,850 metric tons (mt).

For January through August, beef exports totaled 899,300 mt, up 9% from a year ago, while value climbed 18% to $5.51 billion.

“U.S. beef exports continue to achieve tremendous growth, not only in our mainstay Asian markets but in the Western Hemisphere as well,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “USMEF is excited about the recent market access developments achieved by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and USDA, with favorable terms being preserved in Mexico, Canada and South Korea and trade talks getting underway with Japan. A trade agreement with Japan would bring opportunities for even greater expansion as U.S. beef becomes more affordable for Japanese consumers and is back on a level playing field with Australian beef.”

Beef export value averaged $320.92 per head of fed slaughter in August, up 11% from a year ago. The January-August average was $318.66 per head, up 16%. Through August, beef exports accounted for 13.5% of total U.S. beef production, which was 0.7% more than the previous year.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 12

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

195,000

(-54,600)

32,500

(-15,100)

6,100

(-33,100)

233,600

(-102,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Oct. 11 Change
  $157.48   –   $0.70

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 12  Change 
600-700 lbs. $166.47 +   $0.18
700-800 lbs. $162.93 –    $0.68
800-900 lbs. $161.52 +   $1.93

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 12 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.11 –    $2.40
600-700 lbs. $156.82 –    $4.02
700-800 lbs. $154.90 –    $4.59

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 12 Change 
400-500 lbs. $157.71 –   $2.66
500-600 lbs. $148.54 –   $3.27
600-700 lbs. $141.54 –   $1.42

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 12 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $202.71 –   $0.54
Select $192.28 +  $0.54   
Ch-Se Spread $10.43 –   $1.08

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 12 Change
Oct $154.700 –    $3.075
Nov $154.625 –    $3.600
Jan ’19 $149.750 –    $4.625
Mar $148.975 –    $4.475
Apr $149.800 –    $4.175
May $149.875 –    $3.975
Aug $152.325 –    $3.800
Sep $152.175 –    $3.825

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 12 Change
Oct $112.325 –    $1.475
Dec $116.175 –   $1.975
Feb ’19 $120.400 –   $2.125
Apr $121.975 –   $1.625
Jun $114.875 –   $1.775
Aug $113.050 –    $1.625
Oct $114.225 –    $1.575
Dec $115.550 –    $1.475
Feb ’20 $116.875 –    $1.250

 

Corn futures Oct. 12 Change
Dec $3.736 +  $0.054
Mar ’19 $3.856 + $0.056
May $3.926 +  $0.056
Jul $3.976 +  $0.054
Sep $3.996 +  $0.042
Dec $4.044 +  $0.040

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 12 Change
Nov $71.34 –    $3.00
Dec $71.18 –    $3.08
Jan ’19 $71.08 –    $3.07
Feb $70.99 –    $3.06
Mar $70.94 –    $3.03
Apr $70.89 –    $2.99

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 12 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25339.99 –    1107.06
NASDAQ     7496.89 –      291.56
S&P 500     2767.13 –      118.44
Dollar (DXY)          95.26 –          0.37
October 14th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Oct. 5, 2018

Feeder cattle traded firm to $2/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Calves sold unevenly steady with buyers in some areas discounting un-weaned and short-weaned calves.

“Feeder demand improved this week as slaughter cattle pricing managed to hold mostly steady,” say AMS analysts. “Packers continue to work in the black as slaughter rates remained aggressive and finished the week at 643,000 head,  which was 7,000 behind last week, but 7,000 above of this time last year.”

“I really don’t expect much more increase in stocker prices, but additional increases are possible in the next couple of weeks. As we move through October into November, feeder prices are likely to stabilize or perhaps move lower, but the seasonal low may be quite muted,” said Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. The reason, he explained, is increased stocker demand given promising wheat pasture prospects.

Week to week on Friday, other than narrowly mixed across the front half of the board, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher (40¢  to $1.50 higher).

Although trade remained undeveloped in the Southern Plains, through late Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices in other regions was mostly steady with the previous week at $110-$112/cwt. on a live basis and at $174-$175 in the beef.

Live Cattle futures closed mostly narrowly mixed week to week on Friday, from an average of 32¢ lower toward the front of the board to an average of 24¢ higher).

“In the western Corn Belt feeding area, pen space is limited, and cattle weights continue to rise as farmer-feeders have experienced good performance over the last month,” say AMS analysts. “In addition, with the current corn values, farmer- feeders have plenty of feed supply going into the winter months, keeping demand strong for feeder cattle.”

Wholesale beef values continued seasonally lower. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ lower Friday afternoon at $203.25/cwt. Select was $1.70 lower at $191.74.

On the one hand, consumer beef demand remains stronger than many anticipated. On the other, competing meat supplies are increasing along with beef.

“Based on USDA numbers and calculations, per capita U.S. red meat and poultry consumption totaled 215 lbs. per person in 2017, which was 15 lbs. higher than 2014 and the highest level since 2007,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Projections are for per capita red meat and poultry consumption to be close to 220 lbs. in 2019 and 2020, which is a very similar total compared to 2002 through 2007. What is not similar is the breakdown between beef, pork, and chicken. In 2007, per capital beef, pork, and chicken consumption totaled 65 lbs., 51 lbs. and 86 lbs., respectively. Expectations moving into 2019 are beef at 58 lbs., pork at 52 lbs. and chicken at 95 lbs. These values account for production plus imports minus exports.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 5

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

249,600

(+64,200)

47,600

(+600)

39,200

(+37,300)

336,400

(+102,100)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Oct. 4 Change
  $158.18   +   $1.29

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 5  Change 
600-700 lbs. $166.29 +   $0.81
700-800 lbs. $163.61 +   $1.91
800-900 lbs. $159.59 +   $2.42

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 5 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.51 –    $2.20
600-700 lbs. $160.84 +   $0.31
700-800 lbs. $159.49 +   $1.32

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 5 Change 
400-500 lbs. $160.37 –   $0.36
500-600 lbs. $151.81 –   $0.97
600-700 lbs. $142.96 –   $2.67

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 5 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $203.25 –   $0.63
Select $191.74 –   $1.70   
Ch-Se Spread $11.51 +  $1.07

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 5 Change
Oct $157.775 –    $0.400
Nov $158.225 +   $0.175
Jan ’19 $154.375 –    $0.275
Mar $153.450 +   $0.150
Apr $153.975 +   $0.400
May $153.850 +   $0.675
Aug $156.125 +   $1.275
Sep $156.000 +   $1.500

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 5 Change
Oct $113.800 +  $0.350
Dec $118.150 –   $0.700
Feb ’19 $122.525 –   $0.275
Apr $123.600 –   $0.300
Jun $116.650 –   $0.025
Aug $114.675 +  $0.200
Oct $115.800 +  $0.250
Dec $117.025 +  $0.250
Feb ’20 $118.125 +  $0.125

 

Corn futures Oct. 5 Change
Dec $3.682 +  $0.120
Mar ’19 $3.800 +  $0.120
May $3.870 +  $0.114
Jul $3.922 +  $0.110
Sep $3.954 +  $0.104
Dec $4.004 +  $0.092

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 5 Change
Nov $74.34 +   $1.09
Dec $74.26 +   $1.20
Jan ’19 $74.15 +   $1.26
Feb $74.05 +   $1.35
Mar $73.97 +   $1.46
Apr $73.88 +   $1.57

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 5 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26447.05 +       11.26
NASDAQ     7788.45 –     257.90
S&P 500     2885.57 –       28.41
Dollar (DXY)          95.63 +       0.46
October 7th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Sept. 28, 2018

Cash and futures prices for cattle mostly faded the pressure of the previous week’s bearish monthly Cattle on Feed report.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold uneven, from $2/cwt. lower to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Herd health programs are becoming more of an issue earlier this year as temperature swings in the Midwest are ranging from the lows in the 40s to the highs in the mid 80s in a matter of a couple of days,” explained AMS analysts.

Week to week on Friday Feeder Cattle futures closed 20¢ lower to 25¢ higher across the front half of the board and then an average of 74¢ higher. That’s not counting expiring spot Sep or newly minted away Sep.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mainly steady with the previous week at $110-$111/cwt. on a live basis and mostly $174 in the beef.

“Last week’s large harvest of 657,000 head, if realized, will be the second largest harvest since July 1 and has the packers well supplied,” AMS analysts explain. “Coupled with this week’s harvest of 650,000 head, it would be the largest two-week total since mid-June.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 44¢ higher (2¢ to 75¢ higher).

Moreover, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, says in his weekly market comments,  “Lightweight placements since May will result in lighter and later fed cattle marketings and may contribute to relatively tighter fed cattle supplies for the remainder of the year.

“Despite more cattle on feed, the market price of finished cattle remains strong and continues to outperform year-ago prices,” said Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his market comments two weeks ago. “Cattle feeders continue to fill pens and the strong feeder cattle prices demonstrate how much cattle feeders want to purchase cattle. It would appear cattle feeders are expecting finished cattle prices to remain strong in the near term and escalate moving into 2019. This thought process may not be as wild as many think it is as beef demand remains strong, which supports prices. Does this mean finished cattle prices will only escalate through the end of the year? One should probably not be so bold at this juncture, but the market does appear to be holding its own plus some at this time.”

For demand perspective, Griffith notes the retail value for Choice beef retail value in August was the highest since July of last year at 608.2¢/lb.

Wholesale beef values continued seasonally lower. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was 92¢ lower Friday afternoon at $203.88 per cwt. Select was $1.27 lower at $193.44.

Cold Storage Increases

Total pounds of beef in freezers Aug. 31 were 4% more than the previous month and 6% more than the same time a year earlier, according to USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report.

Frozen pork supplies were 6% more than the previous month and 1% more than last year.

Total red meat supplies in cold storage were 4% more than the previous month and year.

Total frozen pork supplies were 5% more than the previous month and 11% more than the same time last year.

“There is no doubt there is a lot of meat in cold storage, but when put in relative terms, the numbers do not seem so large,” says Griffith, in  his market comments this week. “For instance, weekly beef production in 2018 has averaged 506 million lbs., which means there is one week’s worth of beef production in cold storage. Similarly, weekly pork production has averaged 490 million lbs. meaning there is just over a week’s worth of pork production in cold storage. One should note, the products (cuts, grind) in cold storage do not align with the products fabricated each week.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 28

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

185,400

(+6,900)

47,000

(-67,500)

1,900

(-38,100)

234,300

(-96,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Sept. 27 Change
  $156.89   +   $0.60

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 28  Change 
600-700 lbs. $165.48 –    $1.89
700-800 lbs. $161.70 –    $5.39
800-900 lbs. $157.17 –    $2.75

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 28 Change
500-600 lbs. $165.71 –    $1.10
600-700 lbs. $160.53 –    $1.15
700-800 lbs. $158.17 +   $1.56

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 28 Change 
400-500 lbs. $160.73 –   $3.83
500-600 lbs. $152.78 +  $0.93
600-700 lbs. $145.63 +  $2.06

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 28 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $203.88 –   $0.92
Select $193.44 –   $1.27   
Ch-Se Spread $10.44 +  $0.35

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 28 Change
Oct $158.175 +   $0.100
Nov $158.050 +   $0.250
Jan ’19 $154.650 –    $0.200
Mar $153.300 +   $0.575
Apr $153.575 +   $0.825
May $153.175 +   $0.700
Aug $154.850 +   $0.875
Sep $154.500 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 28 Change
Oct $113.450 +  $0.375
Dec $118.850 +  $0.400
Feb ’19 $122.800 +  $0.550
Apr $123.900 +  $0.475
Jun $116.675 +  $0.675
Aug $114.475 +  $0.425
Oct $115.550 +  $0.250
Dec $116.775 +  $0.025
Feb ’20 $118.000 +  $0.750

 

Corn futures Sept. 28 Change
Dec $3.562 –    $0.010
Mar ’19 $3.680 –    $0.012
May $3.756 –    $0.016
Jul $3.812 –    $0.020
Sep $3.850 –    $0.024
Dec $3.912 –    $0.024

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 28 Change
Nov $73.25 +   $2.47
Dec $73.06 +   $2.69
Jan ’19 $72.89 +   $2.83
Feb $72.70 +   $2.91
Mar $72.51 +   $2.93
Apr $72.31 +   $2.95

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 28 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26458.31 –     285.19
NASDAQ    8046.35 +      59.39
S&P 500     2913.98 –       15.69
Dollar (DXY)          95.17 +       0.96
September 30th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Sept. 21, 2018

Calves and feeder cattle continued to trend higher, buoyed by winter grazing prospects and higher Cattle futures. Nationwide, steers traded $1-$6/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Except for $4-$6 higher in the North Central region, heifers sold steady to $3 higher.

“The feeder supply was moderate as the fall run will be upon us shortly and most auctions will go to weekly sales in the coming months,” said AMS analysts. “Long strings of yearlings are still making their way to market in the Northern Plains as the grass has been abundant.”

“Feeder cattle prices have shown strength through the summer, but seasonal pressures will likely take hold, moving prices lower in the fourth quarter,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “Prices typically decrease when the spring-born calves (about two-thirds of the annual calf crop) are brought to market in the fall. Assuming normal weather in the Great Plains, availability of winter forages for backgrounding could bolster prices in fourth-quarter 2018.”

Cattle futures meandered mostly sideways throughout the week but were able to keep much of the previous week’s sharp gains that pushed prices beyond the months-long, narrow channel.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower week to week on Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed from an average of 32¢ lower to an average of 25¢ higher.

That was with plenty of uncertainty about the direction of negotiated cash prices for fed cattle. By late afternoon Friday, the only region with a reportable trend was Nebraska with live sales $1 lower than the previous week at $110.00-$110.50 and dressed trade steady at $175.

Similarly, late Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading cattle at steady money of $111.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 53¢ higher Friday afternoon at $204.80 per cwt. Select was $1.76 lower at $194.71.

“Cattle slaughter has been clicking along this summer with larger harvests than a year ago. Packer margins have been advantageous to them this summer and they’ve been willing to pay the overtime for a six-day week production,” explained AMS analysts. “YTD fed cattle slaughter at the end of August was 2.3% larger than 2017 and 8.3% above the previous 3-year average.”

AMS analysts also point out cow slaughter through August was 11.6% more than last year and 24.2% more than the 3-year average. During the same period, heifer slaughter was 8.6% more than last year and 17% more than the 3-year average.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

178,500

(-5,900)

114,500

(+54,100)

40,000

(-4,800)

330,300

(+40,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Sept. 20 Change
  $156.29   +   $3.58

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 21  Change 
600-700 lbs. $167.37 +   $2.40
700-800 lbs. $167.09 +   $9.04
800-900 lbs. $159.92 +   $5.94

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 21 Change
500-600 lbs. $166.81 +   $3.90
600-700 lbs. $161.68 +   $0.96
700-800 lbs. $156.61 +   $1.54

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 21 Change 
400-500 lbs. $164.56 +  $5.45
500-600 lbs. $151.85 +  $1.20
600-700 lbs. $143.57 +  $1.43

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 21 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $204.80 +  $0.53
Select $194.71 –   $1.76   
Ch-Se Spread $10.09 +  $2.29

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 21 Change
Sep $156.950 –    $0.475
Oct $158.075 –    $0.800
Nov $157.800 –    $0.625
Jan ’19 $154.850 –    $0.050
Mar $152.725 –    $0.175
Apr $152.750 –    $0.250
May $152.475 –    $0.375
Aug $153.975 –    $0.175

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 21 Change
Oct $113.075 –    $0.725
Dec $118.450 +  $0.400
Feb ’19 $122.250 +  $0.350
Apr $123.425 +  $0.275
Jun $116.000 +  $0.150
Aug $114.050 –    $0.050
Oct $115.300 –    $0.175
Dec $116.750 +  $0.250
Feb ’20 $117.250 +  $0.100

 

Corn futures Sept. 21 Change
Dec $3.572 +   $0.056
Mar ’19 $3.692 +   $0.056
May $3.772 +   $0.050
Jul $3.832 +   $0.050
Sep $3.874 +   $0.042
Dec $3.936 +   $0.036

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 21 Change
Nov $70.78 +   $2.01
Dec $70.37 +   $1.70
Jan ’19 $70.06 +   $1.52
Feb $69.79 +   $1.41
Mar $69.58 +   $1.38
Apr $69.36 +   $1.36

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 21 Change
Dow Industrial Average 26743.50 +   588.83
NASDAQ    7986.96 –      23.08
S&P 500    2929.67 +     24.69
Dollar (DXY)        94.21 –        0.76
September 23rd, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Sept. 14, 2018

Cattle markets ended the week on a strong note, with Cattle futures surging higher, busting beyond the interminable sideways range of recent months. Along the way, calves and feeder cattle traded steady to higher, defying the expected seasonal trend.

Specifically, calves and yearlings sold fully steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Given the previous week’s holiday, the trend is compared to two weeks earlier.

Though plenty of calves will be heading to market over the next two months, AMS analysts pointed to low feed prices and the promise of wheat pasture as two supportive factors behind the price trend.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.94 higher week to week on Friday ($3.97 to $6.17 higher). That’s an average of $8.15 higher in the last two weeks.

Still, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, cautions the move higher in both cash and futures prices in counter-seasonal.

“The calf and feeder cattle market have remained strong through the late summer months and the futures market is suggesting continued strength, while seasonal price trends would suggest lower prices, Griffith explains, in his weekly market comments. “Prices are strong now with most of the price risk being to the downside.”

Cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Live prices the previous week were mostly $107-$108/cwt. on a live basis and $170 in the beef.

Notions of ultimately higher money seemed well founded, though, given the futures rally.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.73 higher week to week on Friday ($1.27 higher at the back to $3.85 higher in spot Oct). That makes for an average increase of $4.34 over the past two weeks.

Wholesale beef values continued their seasonal decline. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.29 lower Friday afternoon at $204.27/cwt. Select was 62¢ lower at $196.47.

“Demand in 2018 appears to be rounding into form similar to the previous two years with continued strong demand that has supported beef and cattle prices through the entire production chain,” Griffith says. “Several factors are contributing to strong beef demand, with the most likely being increased income levels, consumers preference for beef, and exports.”

 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 14

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

184,400

(+62,200)

60,400

(+12,600)

44,800

(-12,400)

289,600

(+62,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Sept. 13 Change
  $152.71   +   $1.39

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 14  Change 
600-700 lbs. $164.97 –   $4.37
700-800 lbs. $158.05 –   $1.51
800-900 lbs. $153.98 +   $0.75

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 14 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.91 –   $0.24
600-700 lbs. $160.72 –   $0.04
700-800 lbs. $155.07 +   $0.99

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 14 Change 
400-500 lbs. $159.11 +  $0.59
500-600 lbs. $150.65 +  $1.76
600-700 lbs. $142.14 +  $3.21

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 14 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $204.27 –   $2.29
Select $196.47 –   $0.62   
Ch-Se Spread      $7.80 –   $1.67

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 14 Change
Sep $157.425 +   $4.450
Oct $158.875 +   $5.925
Nov $158.425 +   $5.700
Jan ’19 $154.900 +   $6.175
Mar $152.900 +   $4.950
Apr $153.000 +   $4.300
May $152.850 +   $4.050
Aug $154.150 +   $3.975

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 14 Change
Oct $113.800 +  $3.850
Dec $118.050 +  $3.625
Feb ’19 $121.900 +  $3.650
Apr $123.150 +  $3.725
Jun $115.850 +  $2.900
Aug $114.100 +  $2.300
Oct $115.475 +  $1.875
Dec $116.500 +  $1.350
Feb ’20 $117.150 +  $1.275

 

Corn futures Sept. 14 Change
Sep $3.370 –   $0.172
Dec $3.516 –   $0.154
Mar ’19 $3.636 –   $0.156
May $3.722 –   $0.148
Jul $3.782 –   $0.144
Sep $3.832 –   $0.090

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 14 Change
Oct $68.99 +   $1.24
Nov $68.77 +   $1.22
Dec $68.67 +   $1.28
Jan ’19 $68.54 +   $1.35
Feb $68.38 +   $1.42
Mar $68.20 +   $1.47

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 14 Change
Dow Industrial Average 26154.67 +   238.13
NASDAQ    8010.04 +   107.50
S&P 500    2904.98 +     33.30
Dollar (DXY)        94.97 –        0.45
September 16th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Sept. 7, 2018

Calves and feeders traded steady to $4/cwt. higher last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was amid lighter receipts borne by the holiday-shortened week.

“Demand for feeders was good, although buyers are showing a stronger preference for cattle with good health programs as fall temperature swings become a concern,” AMS analysts say. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.21 higher  week to week on Friday.

“Coupled with last week’s increase, the front three Feeder Cattle contracts are $5.50 to $6.22 higher than two short weeks ago and auction feeder cattle have been following that trend pretty closely,” note AMS analysts.

Based on the past couple of weeks, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says it’s likely the seasonal price decline for calves and feeders has begun.

“At the same time prices are declining, cow-calf producers will begin sending spring-born calves to town at a rapid pace, which further depresses prices. Similar to calf prices, slaughter cow prices continue to trade in a steady range, but they are sitting on the bottom of that range,” Griffith says, in his latest weekly market comments. “Alternatively, Feeder Cattle futures have displayed a little resilience the past couple of weeks and found footing to push prices higher…the futures market is telling industry participants that prices are not going to decline to the degree many thought possible a few months earlier.”

Pasture and range conditions improved slightly last week, according to the latest weekly Crop Progress report (week ending Sept. 2).

Nationally, 42% of pasture and range is in Good (36%) or Excellent (6%) condition, 2% more than a week earlier, but 5% less than a year earlier. 28% is rated as Poor (18%) or Very Poor (10%), which is 2% less than a week earlier and 7% more than last year.

Among states with 35% or more of pasture and range rated as Poor or Very Poor, week-to-week conditions improved in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas.

“According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, slow-moving bands of showers and thunderstorms moved over a vast area of the Midwest and dumped an abundant amount of rain, with widespread totals of 3-8 in.; in some areas, up to 15 in.,” AMS analysts explained. “The drought has improved in some areas of drought in the Midwest.”

Cash Fed Prices Hold Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were generally steady with the previous week, with live sales at mostly $107/cwt. on a live basis and at $170 in the beef. Earlier in the week, it looked possible for cattle feeders to claw back another dollar or two. Heading into next week, that seems possible, given indications that packers need to replenish inventory.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.61 higher week to week on Friday.

Wholesale beef values continued to ride the seasonal trend lower. Week to week, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.13 lower Friday afternoon at $206.56/cwt. Select was $4.18 lower at $197.09.

With that said, international demand for U.S. beef continues to provide stout price support.

As noted in Cattle Current, U.S. beef exports posted another near-record month in July, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

U.S. beef exports in July climbed 12% in volume compared to the previous year at 116,575 metric tons (mt). Value for July was 16% more than the previous year at $722 million. For January through July, beef exports established a record pace in both volume (10% more) and value, which was 20% more than the same period year ago at $4.76 billion.

Beef export value in July averaged $326.18 per head of fed slaughter, up 9% from a year ago. Through July this year, per-head export value was up 16% to $318.31.

 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 7

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

122,200

(-26,500)

47,800

(-1,800)

57,200

(-46,600)

227,200

(-18,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Sept. 6 Change
  $151.32   +   $1.34

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 7  Change 
600-700 lbs. $169.34 +  $9.42
700-800 lbs. $159.56 +  $2.59
800-900 lbs. $153.23 +  $2.38

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 7 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.15 +  $9.81
600-700 lbs. $160.76 +  $16.69
700-800 lbs. $154.08 +  $10.36

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 7 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.52 –   $0.23
500-600 lbs. $148.89 –   $0.93
600-700 lbs. $138.93 –   $3.52

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 7 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $206.56 –   $3.13
Select $197.09 –   $4.18   
Ch-Se Spread      $9.47 +   $1.05

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 7 Change
Sep $152.975 +   $3.525
Oct $152.950 +   $3.825
Nov $152.725 +   $3.725
Jan ’19 $148.725 +   $2.925
Mar $147.950 +   $2.800
Apr $148.700 +   $2.850
May $148.800 +   $2.550
Aug $150.175 +   $3.450

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 7 Change
Oct $109.950 +  $1.175
Dec $114.425 +  $1.450
Feb ’19 $118.250 +  $1.375
Apr $119.425 +  $1.525
Jun $112.950 +  $1.550
Aug $111.800 +  $1.875
Oct $113.600 +  $1.825
Dec $115.150 +  $2.000
Feb ’20 $115.875 +  $1.725

 

Corn futures Sept. 7 Change
Sep $3.542 +  $0.032
Dec $3.670 +  $0.020
Mar ’19 $3.792 +  $0.020
May $3.870 +  $0.024
Jul $3.926 +  $0.022
Sep $3.922 +  $0.012

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 7 Change
Oct $67.75 –    $2.05
Nov $67.55 –    $1.82
Dec $67.39 –    $1.66
Jan ’19 $67.19 –    $1.60
Feb $66.96 –    $1.50
Mar $66.73 –    $1.43

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 7 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25916.54 –     48.28
NASDAQ    7902.54 –   207.00
S&P 500    2871.68 –     29.84
Dollar (DXY)        95.42 +        0.31
September 9th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Aug. 31, 2018

Although Cattle futures closed mostly higher week to week, cash markets turned softer, pressured by seasonal trends, continued heavy supplies and ongoing trade uncertainty.

Steers and heifers sold $1-$5/cwt. lower, amid significantly lighter week-to-week offerings according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). In Missouri, for instance, AMS analysts say feeder cattle auction volume was the least for a non-holiday week since the week ending Sept. 15, 2017.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.13 higher through the front three contracts and then 22¢ lower to 35¢ higher. That was thanks to a surge Monday, tied to the announced trade pact between the U.S. and Mexico (more later)

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend on limited trade and light demand up north—a standstill in Colorado and the Texas Panhandle. There were a few early live sales reported in the western Corn Belt Thursday at $106.00-$108.50/cwt.; a few early dressed sales at $170.

“It appears that packers may be willing to pull inventory cattle,” said AMS analysts Friday afternoon. “Packers are not quite ready to give up their triple-digit margins and they were expecting another drop in fed cattle prices moving forward into fall.”

Except for 55¢ and 35¢ higher at either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.77 higher week to week on Friday.

“The strength in the cattle market is largely due to strong beef demand. If it were not for strong beef demand, prices of most classes of cattle would be moving lower and at a fairly quick clip,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The classes of cattle with the most downside risk at this point in the year are freshly weaned calves and slaughter cows. As marketings of these two classes of cattle begin to increase through September and then peak in October and November, prices will most likely decline due to calf supply and forage availability.”

While that’s no guarantee, Griffith explains, the probability of prices declining is much higher than prices increasing.

Beef Prices Move Seasonally Lower

“Boxed beef cut-out value appears to have found a top with resistance from retailers that have been content to buy hand-to-mouth recently,” say AMS analysts.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.63 lower week to week on Friday at $209.69/cwt. Select was $2.55 lower at $201.27.

“Beef exports have been a bright spot in the marketing year so far,” say AMS analysts. “Net beef export sales last week was reported at 20,600 metric tons (mt), unchanged from the previous week, and up 13% from the previous four-week average. During the same time period, actual beef exports totaled 17,800 mt, up 5% from the previous week, but unchanged from the prior four-week average.”

“Demand for beef can and likely will remain strong, but wholesale beef prices will still succumb to downward pressure,” says Griffith. “Lower wholesale prices should not be interpreted negatively as this is a seasonal trend and prices are expected to be relatively strong for the time of year and the quantity of beef products available. The market will also be hampered by large pork production in the fourth quarter, but holiday beef buying will provide a lifeline in December.”

Recent misfortune in China could boost U.S. pork exports, though.

Chinese authorities culled more than 24,000 pigs in four provinces so far, in efforts to control the spread of African Swine Fever (AFS), according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). That organization warned that the rapid onset of the virus in China, and its detection in areas more than 1,000 kilometers apart could mean AFS may spread to other Asian countries anytime.

There is no effective vaccine to protect swine from the disease. And, while the disease poses no direct threat to human health, outbreaks can be devastating with the most virulent forms lethal in 100% of infected animals.

China accounts for approximately half the global population of swine, estimated at 500 million.

Moreover, the new trade pact between the U.S. and Mexico should bolster U.S. exports to that nation, while renewing hopes for a resolution to the trade dispute with Canada sooner rather than later.

“After a year of tough negotiations, the United States and Mexico reached a trade agreement that is fair and reciprocal and will strengthen both nations’ economies,” according to a statement from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. “The U.S.–Mexico Trade Agreement is a win for American ranchers, manufacturers, and auto workers. Our nations have agreed to new rules that will maintain duty free access for agricultural goods on both sides of the border. In addition, we have agreed to eliminate non-tariff barriers and take other steps to encourage more agriculture trade between our two countries…”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 31

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

148,700

(-15,000)

49,600

(-10,800)

10,600

(-239,000)

206,200

(-267,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 30 Change
  $149.98   –   $0.87

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 31  Change 
600-700 lbs. $159.92 –   $8.60
700-800 lbs. $156.97 –   $5.34
800-900 lbs. $150.85 –   $4.05

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 31 Change
500-600 lbs. $153.34 –     $9.90
600-700 lbs. $144.07 –   $13.29
700-800 lbs. $143.72 –     $7.06

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 31 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.75 –   $2.10
500-600 lbs. $149.82 –   $1.44
600-700 lbs. $142.45 +   $0.76

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 31 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $209.69 –   $3.63
Select $201.27 –   $2.55   
Ch-Se Spread      $8.42 –   $1.08

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 31 Change
Sep $149.450 +   $1.975
Oct $149.125 +   $2.400
Nov $149.000 +   $2.025
Jan ’19 $145.800 +   $0.350
Mar $145.150 +   $0.150
Apr $145.850 –   $0.200
May $146.250 –   $0.225
Aug $146.725       n/a

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 31 Change
Aug $106.800 +  $0.550
Oct $108.775 +  $2.075
Dec $112.975 +  $1.775
Feb ’19 $116.985 +  $2.385
Apr $117.900 +  $2.150
Jun $111.400 +  $1.800
Aug $109.925 +  $1.300
Oct $111.775 +  $0.900
Dec $113.150 +  $0.350

 

Corn futures Aug. 31 Change
Sep $3.510 +  $0.026
Dec $3.650 +  $0.024
Mar ’19 $3.772 +  $0.022
May $3.846 +  $0.024
Jul $3.904 +  $0.028
Sep $3.910 +  $0.024

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 31 Change
Oct $69.80 +    $1.08
Nov $69.37 +    $1.01
Dec $69.05 +    $1.00
Jan ’19 $68.79 +    $1.01
Feb $68.46 +    $0.99
Mar $68.16 +    $0.98

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 31 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25964.82 +   174.47
NASDAQ    8109.54 +   163.56
S&P 500    2901.52 +     26.83
Dollar (DXY)        95.11 –       0.05
September 2nd, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Aug. 24, 2018

Cash calf and feeder cattle prices ran mostly counter to futures market expectations last week.

Steers and heifers sold from $2/cwt. lower to $3 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), with drought continuing to force some cattle to town earlier than normal. 

“Looking at the rest of 2018, feeder prices are expected to be a little lower than during the same period of 2017,” says Josh Maples, Extension livestock economist at Mississippi State University, in the latest issue of In the Cattle Markets. “We typically see seasonal feeder price declines heading into September and October, and the large supplies of calves this year provide some reasoning for that seasonal pattern to hold. Looking beyond 2018, slower herd growth numbers begin to paint a brighter price picture for 2019 and 2020. If the strong domestic economy maintains or grows and exports continue to gain steam, it is not difficult to project higher prices in the fall of 2019 compared to fall 2018.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.95 lower ($1.75 to $5.12 lower).

“Given that feeder cattle futures are not pricing in any price decline over the next three months, and the seasonal tendency is for cattle prices to decline, producers have a decision to make on market pricing,”says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.“Most producers will ride the market out until time of marketing, which will likely result in receiving a lower price if the seasonal tendency holds. Other producers may take advantage of today’s market price and either hedge fourth-quarter marketings or sell cattle using a forward contract with an October or November delivery. The risk that remains is the potential for prices to move higher, but the likelihood of prices moving higher is relatively small.”

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

“Fear about the direction of the negotiated cash fed cattle trade in recent weeks mounted in the minds of traders (Futures). Analysts earlier this year were anticipating the market to be much lower than what is now, so market participants are watching very closely for any type of news that can sway the market one way or the other,” explained AMS analysts. 

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $1-$2 lower last week at $108/cwt. (western Corn Belt) to $109.50. Dressed trade was steady to $2 lower at $171-$174.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.12 lower week to week on Friday ($1.70 at the back to $4.17 lower).

“Beef demand continues to be good, even with the ample supplies,” say AMS analysts. “The large cattle harvests this summer helped packers move through large fed cattle numbers.” 

Year over year, total cattle slaughter was 6% higher in July at 2.77 million head, according to the monthly USDA Livestock Slaughter report released Thursday.

U.S. beef production was 6% more than the previous July at 2.23 billion lbs.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.94 higher week to week on Friday at $213.32/cwt. Select was $2.90 higher at $203.82.

“Looking at this market from a historical perspective, there continues to be downside price risk in the beef cutout,” Griffith explains. “The beef market had been on trajectory of lower prices since the spring price peak, but the past three weeks have displayed price support. This price support is primarily due to Labor Day purchasing, but restocking of shelves will soon be completed. This means wholesale beef prices are likely moving lower during September and October. Packers will likely attempt to manipulate production to maintain strong prices unless the bottom falls out of finished cattle.”

Placements Higher Than Expected

USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed report will likely be viewed as bearish by the trade with more placements than many expected and the most cattle on feed Aug. 1 since the data series began in 1996.

Placements in July, in feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity were 1.74 million head, which was 7.86% (+127,000 head) than the previous year. That’s about 2% more than popular expectations. In terms of weight distribution, 40.19% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 44.89% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 14.93% weighing more than 900 lbs.

Marketings in July of 1.87 million head were 4.99% (+89,000 head) more than last year.

Cattle on feed Aug. 1 of 11.09 million head were 4.61% (+489,000 head) more than last year.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 24

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

163,700

(+14,200)

60,400

(+6,700)

249,600

(+242,500)

473,700

(+263,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 23 Change
  $150.85   +  $1.26

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 24  Change 
600-700 lbs. $168.52 –   $3.60
700-800 lbs. $162.31 +   $2.73
800-900 lbs. $154.90 +   $1.26

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 24 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.24 +   $0.20
600-700 lbs. $157.36 –   $0.56
700-800 lbs. $150.78 –   $0.31

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 24 Change 
400-500 lbs. $160.85 –  $0.61
500-600 lbs. $151.26 +  $1.84
600-700 lbs. $141.69 –  $0.71

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 24 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.32 +   $1.94
Select $203.82 +   $2.90   
Ch-Se Spread      $9.50 –   $0.96

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 24 Change
Aug $149.200 –    $1.750
Sep $147.475 –    $4.350
Oct $146.725 –    $5.125
Nov $146.975 –    $4.675
Jan ’19 $145.450 –    $4.550
Mar $145.000 –    $4.150
Apr $146.050 –    $3.800
May $146.675 –    $3.225

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 24 Change
Aug $106.250 –    $3.175
Oct $106.700 –    $4.175
Dec $111.200 –    $3.425
Feb ’19 $114.600 –    $3.425
Apr $115.750 –    $3.125
Jun $109.600 –    $3.250
Aug $108.625 –    $3.275
Oct $110.875 –    $2.575
Dec $112.800 –    $1.700

 

Corn futures Aug. 24 Change
Sep $3.484 –    $0.158
Dec $3.626 –    $0.160
Mar ’19 $3.750 –    $0.156
May $3.822 –    $0.154
Jul $3.876 –    $0.158
Sep $3.886 –    $0.130

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 24 Change
Oct $68.72 +    $3.51
Nov $68.36 +    $3.42
Dec $68.05 +    $3.39
Jan ’19 $67.78 +    $3.35
Feb $67.47 +    $3.32
Mar $67.18 +    $3.26

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 24 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25790.35 +   121.03
NASDAQ    7945.98 +   129.65
S&P 500    2874.69 +      24.56
Dollar (DXY)        95.16 –        1.05
August 25th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Aug. 17, 2018

Seasonal trends and weaker cash fed cattle trade pressured calf and feeder cattle prices last week. Steers and heifers sold steady to $3/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“Drought conditions, culminating in low water levels and poor hay production, are motivating producers to sell cattle,” say AMS analysts. “Not only are feeders making their way to town, but mature cattle as well…Missouri is the epicenter of drought in the Midwest; some parts have been dry for the last year or longer. As of the latest report near 98% of the state is showing on the drought monitor. Ratings continue to worsen each week and there is now 5.5% designated in the exceptional (D4) category; approximately 30% of cattle inventory (state) is within an area that is experiencing drought.”

Auction receipts for the week were 7.7% more than the 5-year average, likely due at least in part to sales forced by drought.

In the Panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, though, AMS analysts say recent rains have producers gearing up to plant winter wheat, hoping stocking rates this fall can be more typical than last year when drought derailed plans.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (80¢ to $2.37 higher).

“There will be weeks moving through the fall marketing period where week-over-week prices are higher, but producers should be cognizant of the seasonal decline that looms over the market,”says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The one group of producers that may find good news in this outlook is stocker and backgrounding operations. Lower overall investment costs reduce financial risks, while margins generally stay about the same. The market does appear to be favorable toward margin operators this fall and through the winter with favorable value of gains on the table.”

Negotiated cash fed cattle sales were at $109.00-$110.50/cwt. in Nebraska through Friday afternoon. That was steady to $2 less than previous week. Dressed trade was at mostly $173, which was $2 less than the prior week. Elsewhere, trade remained undeveloped for the week, based on USDA reports.

“Packers still need to buy fed cattle, but it appears that inventory is plentiful enough that competition for fed cattle is lacking,” AMS analysts say. “Fed cattle supplies through August and September should remain plentiful. At this time there seems to be limited positive news to encourage CME cattle futures and move the fed cattle market higher.”

With that said, after pressure early in the week—not to mention extremely light trade and declining open interest—Cattle futures gained some ground week to week. Stronger late-week action was supported by stronger wholesale beef values reports and renewed hopes that the U.S. and China plan to renew trade talks.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.77 higher week to week on Friday at $211.38/cwt. Select was $3.15 higher at $200.92.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.21 higher week to week on Friday.

“Weekly finished cattle prices have been below weekly 2017 price levels for 22 consecutive weeks with an average difference of $11.46/cwt. during that time period,” Griffith says. “This week may or may not result in the 23rd consecutive week of year-over-year declines. However, the streak is likely to end before the end of August if cattle feeders can keep prices over $107 next week or $105 the following week. The finished cattle market has been amazingly flat since the beginning of July as cattle feeders did not succumb to leverage generally held by packers, but the last two weeks of trading suggest that cattle feeders need to move cattle. Finished cattle prices continue to have downside price risk pressure, but cattle feeders will attempt to hold their ground.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 17

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

157,200

(-1,000)

53,700

(-19,300)

7,100

(-224,600)

210,300

(-252,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 16 Change
  $149.59   –   $1.53

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 17  Change 
600-700 lbs. $172.12 +   $4.14
700-800 lbs. $159.58 +   $1.87
800-900 lbs. $153.64 +   $2.47

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 17 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.04 +   $0.14
600-700 lbs. $157.92 –   $0.67
700-800 lbs. $151.09 +   $0.27

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 17 Change 
400-500 lbs. $161.46 +  $2.71
500-600 lbs. $149.42 –  $3.09
600-700 lbs. $142.40 –  $1.37

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 17 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $211.38 +   $4.77
Select $200.92 +   $3.15   
Ch-Se Spread    $10.46 +   $1.62

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 17 Change
Aug $150.950 +   $1.050
Sep $151.825 +   $2.300
Oct $151.850 +   $2.375
Nov $151.650 +   $1.725
Jan ’19 $150.000 +   $1.350
Mar $149.150 +   $1.325
Apr $149.850 +   $0.800
May $149.900 +   $0.900

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 17 Change
Aug $109.425 +   $1.175
Oct $110.875 +   $1.625
Dec $114.625 +   $1.525
Feb ’19 $118.025 +   $1.650
Apr $118.875 +   $1.000
Jun $112.850 +   $1.000
Aug $111.900 +   $1.125
Oct $113.450 +   $1.150
Dec $114.500 +   $0.625

 

Corn futures Aug. 17 Change
Sep $3.642 +   $0.066
Dec $3.786 +   $0.070
Mar ’19 $3.906 +   $0.074
May $3.976 +   $0.074
Jul $4.034 +   $0.074
Sep $4.016 +   $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 17 Change
Sep $65.91 –     $1.72
Oct $65.21 –     $1.73
Nov $64.94 –     $1.60
Dec $64.66 –     $1.55
Jan $64.43 –     $1.54
Feb $64.15 –     $1.49

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 17 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25669.32 +   356.18
NASDAQ    7816.33 –     22.78
S&P 500    2850.13 +      16.85
Dollar (DXY)        96.21 –       0.05
August 19th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Aug. 10, 2018

Calves and yearlings sold fully steady to $5/cwt. higher, supported by the previous week’s higher cash fed cattle market, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“Despite cattle futures whipsawing back and forth, a large corn crop looming ahead has many producers wanting calves and yearlings to feed or background, especially farmer feeders,” say AMS analysts. “Several auctions, especially in Missouri, noted that many calves that normally come to town in the fall are finding their way to the auction earlier as pasture conditions are deteriorating due to drought conditions.” 

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.21 lower.

“Despite strong demand, it may be difficult for calf and feeder cattle prices to maintain the current level as the seasonally strong supply makes its way to town,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “This comment is made due to the seasonal tendency of calf prices to decline during the fall months and the expected larger calf crop compared to a year ago. Contrary to this line of thought, the fall 2017 marketing time period had strong calf and feeder cattle marketings, and prices remained extremely strong throughout the entire period. Despite not having seasonal price movement in the calf market in 2017, producers should not be betting the farm on the same price action in 2018. Most of the fundamental information, including fed cattle prices, calf numbers, reduced forage availability in many areas and traditional marketing patterns are suggesting lower calf prices this fall.”

Griffith also points to weaker feedlot returns as a source of potential price pressure.

Cash fed prices were mainly $2-$3 lower last week on a live basis at mostly $110-$111/cwt. Dressed prices were generally $3-$4 lower at $174-$176.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.13 lower week to week on Friday ($1.12 to $2.75 lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.86 higher week to week on Friday at $206.61/cwt. Select was 68¢ higher at $197.77.

Beef demand continues to support cattle price strength.

“Unemployment is very low and GDP growth is strong, meaning that consumers are ready to spend money on good cuts of meat at the retail shelf and in their favorite restaurants,” says Levi Russell, Extension livestock economist at the University of Georgia, in the most recent issue of In the Cattle Markets. He explains first-quarter domestic demand was 4 points higher year over year.

Moreover, Griffith points out retail beef prices remain close to last year’s levels.

That’s with surging beef production. Through last week, year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter under federal inspection 19.83 million head, which was 2.9% more than the same period last year.

Total red meat production under federal inspection last week (ending Aug. 11)

was an estimated at 1007.7 million lbs, according to AMS. That’s 1.8% more than the previous week and 1.1% more than the prior year. Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 3.2% more than a year earlier.

At the same time, U.S. beef exports continue to defy expectations, in light of global trade turmoil. In fact, U.S. beef exports continue on a record pace, according to the latest data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

June beef exports of 115,718 metric tons (mt), including variety meats, were 6% more than the previous year. The value of June beef exports was 19% more year over year at $722.1 million, just slightly less than the new record set the previous month.

Beef exports for the first half of this year were also record large in both volume and value. Export volume for the first two quarters was 9% more than the same period last year at 662,875 mt. Export value was up 21% at just over $4 billion.  In previous years, export value never topped the $4 billion mark before August.

Beef export value averaged $313.56 per head of fed slaughter in June, up 19% from a year ago. The first-half average was $316.94 per head, up 18%.

Grain Markets Under Pressure

Calf and feeder cattle prices could get a shot in the arm next week from the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released Friday.

“The grain market over the last couple of weeks was starting to find some stability, with dry areas around the globe,” say AMS analysts. “That was until Friday’s Crop Production report was released with corn production forecast at 14.6 billion bu., down less than 1% from last year, with yields expected to average 178.4 bu./acre up 1.8 bu. from last year, with an estimate of 81.8 million acres to harvest. Soybeans were forecast at 4.59 billion bu., up 4% from last year with yields expected to average 51.6 bu./acre up 2.5 bu. from last year.”  

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 10

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

158,200

(+1,300)

73,000

(+5,700)

231,700

(+201,500)

462,900

(+208,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 9 Change
  $151.12   +   1.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 10  Change 
600-700 lbs. $167.21 –   $0.77
700-800 lbs. $162.05 +   $4.34
800-900 lbs. $154.70 +   $3.53

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 10 Change
500-600 lbs. $167.02 +   $4.12
600-700 lbs. $158.76 +   $0.17
700-800 lbs. $153.01 +   $2.19

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 10 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.02 –   $0.73
500-600 lbs. $151.54 –   $0.97
600-700 lbs. $143.09 –   $0.68

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 10 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $206.61 +   $1.86
Select $197.77 +   $0.68   
Ch-Se Spread    $8.84 +   $1.18

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 10 Change
Aug $149.900 –    $2.950
Sep $149.525 –    $3.500
Oct $149.475 –    $3.550
Nov $149.925 –    $3.550
Jan ’19 $148.650 –    $3.600
Mar $147.825 –    $3.300
Apr $149.050 –    $2.725
May $149.000 –    $2.500

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 10 Change
Aug $108.250 –    $2.425
Oct $109.250 –    $2.750
Dec $113.100 –    $2.400
Feb ’19 $116.375 –    $2.475
Apr $117.875 –    $2.425
Jun $111.850 –    $2.050
Aug $110.775 –    $1.950
Oct $112.300 –    $1.700
Dec $113.875 –    $1.125

 

Corn futures Aug. 10 Change
Sep $3.576 –    $0.120
Dec $3.716 –    $0.126
Mar ’19 $3.832 –   $0.122 
May $3.902 –    $0.122
Jul $3.960 –    $0.110
Sep $3.972 –    $0.104

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 10 Change
Sep $67.63 –     $0.86
Oct $66.94 –     $0.41
Nov $66.54 –     $0.39
Dec $66.21 –     $0.38
Jan $65.97 –     $0.32
Feb $65.64 –     $0.23

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 10 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25313.14 –    149.44
NASDAQ    7839.11 +       27.09
S&P 500    2833.28 –         7.07
Dollar (DXY)        96.26 +         1.06
August 11th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending Aug. 3, 2018

Cattle prices continued mainly steady to higher last week, amid roiling clouds of trade uncertainty, but boosted by increasing Futures market optimism.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $2/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.18 higher (27¢ to $1.87 higher).

“Auction supplies of feeders was somewhat higher again this week, even though we are in the dog days of summer,” AMS analysts explained. “Beef demand has remained on solid ground for a couple weeks now as the market has traded sideways on plentiful supplies,” say AMS analysts.  “Widespread drought areas brought many mature cattle to auctions this year. Year to date, beef cow slaughter is 10.7% above a year ago and 12.7% above the previous five-year average. Herd liquidation or culling is well upon the mid-section of the country’s cow-calf sector. In addition to mature cattle slaughter increasing, year-to-date heifer slaughter is 8.2% above a year ago and 9.0% above the previous five-year average.”

Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments that in his part of the country—also true in many areas—calf and feeder cattle prices remain similar to last year, offering opportunities for positive returns.

“This calendar year, calf and yearling prices are projected to be similar to 2016’s and 2017’s. In the fourth quarter of this year, calf prices may average slightly below 2017’s, but substantially above 2016’s,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. “If the general trends of the first half of 2018 persist, as of January 1, 2019, the U.S. cowherd likely will be up well less than 1.0% year over year. That suggests cyclically stronger calf prices are ahead (e.g., calf prices in the fall of 2020). Pre-planning may position a cattle operation to take advantage of this market transition.”

“No one knows for sure which way the market will move going forward, but the expectation is for lower prices to consume the market due to increased production,” Griffith says. “However, market analysts have consistently undervalued beef demand, which has supported cattle prices all year. One aspect of the market that has appeared to slow down is the purchase of open heifers for beef cow replacement. There have been several feeder cattle sales in which the auction price made it seem apparent that the heifers were destined to be bred because they were valued tremendously higher than same-weight feeder heifers. However, many of the high quality open heifers in today’s market are only bringing a moderate premium compared to average quality heifers destined for the feedlot.”

Weekly negotiated cash fed cattle trade was another late-week affair, but at prices reportedly $1-$2 higher than the previous week on a live basis at $113-$114/cwt. and as much as $4 high in the beef at $178.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.76 higher ($1.35 to $2.15 higher).

Wholesale beef value continued to search for the seasonal bottom last week. Choice boxed beef cutout value was 39¢ lower week to week on Friday at $204.75/cwt. Select was $1.18 lower at $197.09.

“There has been considerable media coverage of the latest Cold Storage report from USDA, but this information can be misleading if not put in context,” Griffith says. “Beef in cold storage at the end of June totaled 449 million lbs., which is 33 million more lbs. than the same time last year, but in line with expectations for June. To put this quantity in perspective, weekly beef production in 2018 has averaged 501 million lbs., which means there is less than one week’s worth of beef production in cold storage.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 3

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

156,900

(+15,300)

67,300

(-400)

30,200

(-70,500)

254,400

(-55,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 2 Change
  $148.92   –    0.65

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 3  Change 
600-700 lbs. $167.98 –    $5.43
700-800 lbs. $157.71 –    $9.13
800-900 lbs. $151.17 –    $5.62

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 3 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.90 +   $1.42
600-700 lbs. $158.59 +   $1.86
700-800 lbs. $150.82 –   $0.64

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 3 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.75 –   $0.32
500-600 lbs. $152.51 +   $2.02
600-700 lbs. $143.77 +   $1.19

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 3 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $204.75 –   $0.39
Select $197.09 –   $1.18   
Ch-Se Spread    $7.66 +   $0.79

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 3 Change
Aug $152.850 +   $0.550
Sep $153.025 +   $0.850
Oct $153.025 +   $0.275
Nov $153.475 +   $0.975
Jan ’19 $152.250 +   $1.450
Mar $151.125 +   $1.675
Apr $151.775 +   $1.875
May $151.500 +   $1.800

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 3 Change
Aug $110.675 +   $2.050
Oct $112.000 +   $1.525
Dec $115.500 +   $1.350
Feb ’19 $118.850 +   $1.475
Apr $120.300 +   $1.600
Jun $113.900 +   $1.825
Aug $112.725 +   $1.925
Oct $114.000 +   $1.975
Dec $115.000 +   $2.150

 

Corn futures Aug. 3 Change
Sep $3.696 +  $0.076
Dec $3.842 +  $0.080
Mar ’19 $3.954 +  $0.088  
May $4.014 +  $0.090
Jul $4.070 +  $0.094
Sep $4.076 +  $0.090

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 3 Change
Sep $68.49 –     $0.20
Oct $67.35 –     $0.38
Nov $66.93 –     $0.43
Dec $66.59 –     $0.45
Jan $66.29 –     $049
Feb $65.87 –     $0.50

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 3 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25462.58 +      11.52
NASDAQ    7812.02 +      74.60
S&P 500    2840.35 +      21.54
Dollar (DXY)        95.20 +        0.52
August 6th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending July 27, 2018

Steers and heifers sold steady to $3/cwt. higher last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). In the North Central region, steers weighing 600-800 lbs. sold $6-$7 higher. 

As expected, the previous week’s monthly Cattle on Feed report proved to be market-neutral. As the week progressed, though, Cattle futures softened amid technical selling and continued pressure from weakening pork prices.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.38 lower (75¢ to $2.37 lower).

Although demand from feedlots remains strong, the impacts of continued drought are evident.

“The last four week’s of auction receipts totaled 487,000 head, around 83,000 more than a year ago and around 20,000 more than the drought-affected

years of 2012 and 2013,” say AMS analysts. “In three weeks time, the heavy cow-calf state of Missouri went from 0% drought in D3 status to 15.56%…Cattle producers are at a crossroads and many wonder if moisture will help as the grass appears to be in dormancy. Some herd dispersals have already happened and many other producers are in the process of picking around the edges by culling open and underperforming cows and those with less than desirable qualities.”

“July 1 inventory numbers, along with heifer and cow slaughter numbers for the first half of the year would certainly indicate a slowing of the expansionary phase of the beef cattle herd,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “However, these numbers do not necessarily mean the herd is contracting. Moving through the second half of 2018, the picture will become clearer as the fall run of calves come to market and as producers continue to cull cows. It is almost certain calf and feeder cattle prices will deteriorate moving into the fourth quarter of 2018, which will result in fewer heifers retained and more cows going to market. However, the January 1, 2019 cattle inventory report will most likely show an increase in total cattle inventory in the 0.3% to 0.8% range compared to January 1, 2018. This means prices will be pressured lower in 2019 and 2020, which will lend itself to contraction of cattle inventory.”

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late Friday afternoon, following the previous week’s heavy volume at higher money.

“Packers have been losing dollars in the wholesale market and cattle feeders are marketing cattle that are doing well to break even in some cases,” Griffith explains. “The struggle between the two brought price determination to a standstill, and it is doubtful that prices will test the $100 price mark this summer. It appears both the packer and the cattle feeder think they hold leverage over the other in the current market, which is why trade is slow to occur. The key for both groups will be to keep cattle marketings current and keep beef moving.”

Except for 22¢ higher in near Oct, week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ lower (5¢ lower to $1.20 lower at the back of the board).

Wholesale beef values should begin helping, with the bottom apparently near or just now coming into the rearview mirror.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 97¢ higher week to week on Friday at $205.14/cwt. Select was $1.27 higher at $198.27. The Choice-Select spread narrowed 30¢ to $6.87.

Griffith explains Choice wholesale values declined nine consecutive weeks before last week’s turnaround.

“The nine-week price decline saw the Choice box price decline more than $27/cwt., but it has yet to really test the $200 mark,” Griffith says. “…Current prices are still slightly below prices from the same week one year ago, but they have shown considerable strength compared to last year. Looking at prices from 2017, the Choice cutout peaked at nearly $251 in the middle of June and collapsed to $191 in the middle of September, which is a loss of $60. Thus, the decline in 2018 has only been 45% of the summer decline in 2017. Historical price data would imply there is still potential for downside price risk in the wholesale beef market. However, if packers can hold current prices or push them higher next week, then the risk may be very small.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 27

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

141,600

(-16,700)

67,700

(-11,000)

100,700

(+95,300)

310,000

(+67,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index July 26 Change
  $149.57   +   1.55

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 27  Change 
600-700 lbs. $174.10 +   $7.07
700-800 lbs. $162.65 +   $6.58
800-900 lbs. $154.20 +   $0.18

South Central

Steers-Cash July 27 Change
500-600 lbs. $163.13 +   $2.12
600-700 lbs. $158.48 +   $2.07
700-800 lbs. $151.01 +   $0.63

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 27 Change 
400-500 lbs. $156.57 +   $1.03
500-600 lbs. $151.37 +   $1.76
600-700 lbs. $143.00 +   $1.18

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 27 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $205.14 +  $0.97
Select $198.27 +  $1.27   
Ch-Se Spread    $6.87 –  $0.30

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 27 Change
Aug $152.300 –    $1.375
Sep $152.175 –    $2.375
Oct $152.750 –    $2.025
Nov $152.500 –    $1.750
Jan ’19 $150.800 –    $1.000
Mar $149.450 –    $0.875
Apr $149.900 –    $0.750
May $149.700 –    $0.850

 

Live Cattle   July 27 Change
Aug $108.625 –   $0.300
Oct $110.475 +   $0.225
Dec $114.150 –   $0.050
Feb ’19 $117.375 –   $0.675
Apr $118.700 –   $0.475
Jun $112.075 –   $0.450
Aug $110.800 –   $1.125
Oct $112.025 –   $1.125
Dec $112.850 –   $1.200

 

Corn futures July 27 Change
Sep $3.620 +  $0.068
Dec $3.762 +  $0.072
Mar ’19 $3.866 +  $0.066  
May $3.924 +  $0.062
Jul $3.976 +  $0.056
Sep $3.986 +  $0.052

 

Oil CME-WTI July 27 Change
Sep $68.69 +    $0.43
Oct $67.73 +    $1.09
Nov $67.36 +    $1.18
Dec $67.04 +    $1.17
Jan $66.78 +    $1.21
Feb $66.37 +    $1.20

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 27 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25451.06 +    392.94
NASDAQ    7737.42 –      82.78
S&P 500    2818.82 +      16.99
Dollar (DXY)        94.68 +        0.22
July 28th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending July 20, 2018

Markets this week had the feel of a turning point from focus on the summer’s heavy supply to what comes next: potentially snugger supplies heading into fall, given early placements and aggressive feedlot marketing so far this year.

For instance, although the action was sideways much of the week, Cattle futures gained to start the week and the surged at mid week, even as open interest in Live Cattle continues to decline.

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.76 higher.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.52 higher ($1.17 to $4.37 higher in spot Aug).

“Feeder cattle futures have been showing strength and the cash market is in tow, though at a slower pace,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The August Feeder Cattle contract has been trading in the low to mid $150s, which is $15-$18 higher than where it was trading two months ago. This same pattern exists for most of the fall and winter marketing months.”

Nationwide, cash prices for calves and feeders were $3/cwt. lower to $2 higher than the previous week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Improved estimates of cattle feeding returns through the rest of the year appear to be providing some current support.

“Despite firm feeder cattle prices in June and early July, the projected feedlot margin for feeding out a 750-lb. calf that is purchased today appears to have improved, and with lower corn price forecasts for the current and following marketing years, demand for calves for finishing may increase, supporting higher feeder calf prices,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service, in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

This year’s average feeder cattle price for steers weighing 750-850 lbs. (basis Oklahoma City) is estimated at $141-$144/cwt., compared to last year’s average of $145.08, according to ERS. The July LDPO pegs feeder prices in the third quarter at $140-$144. That’s $6 more on the lower end of the range than the previous month’s estimate and $4 more on the upper end. The fourth-quarter estimate is $136-$144, compared to the previous month’s projections of $134-$142. First-quarter feeder steer prices next year are projected at $133-$143.

Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report shouldn’t apply any pressure. It matched almost perfectly estimates ahead of the report with 1.30% more June placements, 0.85% more June marketings and a July 1 on-feed inventory that was 4.26% more than the previous year.

Fed Cattle Prices Appear Stronger

Other than some scattered trade in the beef Friday, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late afternoon, in terms of USDA reports.

“Market participants were expecting higher prices as packers replenish much- needed inventory, with cattle slaughter of 635,000 head for the week and 650,000 last week,” AMS analysts explained. 

Fed cattle slaughter in June was 0.6% more than last year and 6.9% more than the 5-year average, according to AMS. Total cow slaughter continues higher, too: 2.3% more in June than last year and 12.1% more than the 5-year average.

“Carcass weights for the week ending July 7 were reported at 867 lbs. for steers, which was 1 lb. higher than a year ago but 2 lbs. below the 5-year average,” AMS analysts say. “Carcass weights reported in line with historical numbers bode well for the industry as it indicates that front-end supplies have been marketed aggressively by feedyard managers.”

If seasonal trends hold sway, wholesale beef prices should soon be moving beyond a summer ebb, providing more support to fed cattle prices.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 3¢ higher week to week on Friday at $204.17/cwt. Select was 63¢ higher at $197.00. The Choice-Select spread narrowed 60¢ to $7.17.

Commercial red meat production so far this year is 4% more than the same period a year ago at 26.3 billion lbs., according to the latest Livestock Slaughter report from USDA.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 20

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

153,800

(-11,800)

78,700

(-31,000)

5,400

(-319,100)

242,400

(-361,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index July 19 Change
  $148.16   –  0.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 20  Change 
600-700 lbs. $167.03 –    $7.69
700-800 lbs. $156.07 –    $7.87
800-900 lbs. $154.02 –    $1.28

South Central

Steers-Cash July 20 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.01 –   $0.75
600-700 lbs. $156.41 –    $1.36
700-800 lbs. $150.38 +    $1.09

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 20 Change 
400-500 lbs. $155.54 –    $2.48
500-600 lbs. $149.61 –    $2.69
600-700 lbs. $141.82 –    $1.24

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 20 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $204.17 +  $0.03
Select $197.00 +  $0.63   
Ch-Se Spread    $7.17 –  $0.60

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 20 Change
Aug $153.675 +   $2.950
Sep $154.550 +   $3.475
Oct $154.775 +   $3.425
Nov $154.250 +   $3.225
Jan ’19 $151.800 +   $2.275
Mar $150.325 +   $2.100
Apr $150.650 +   $2.300
May $150.550 +   $2.300

 

Live Cattle   July 20 Change
Aug $108.925 +  $4.375
Oct $110.250 +  $2.875
Dec $114.200 +  $2.800
Feb ’19 $118.050 +  $2.300
Apr $119.175 +  $1.175
Jun $112.525 +  $2.325
Aug $111.925 +  $2.625
Oct $113.150 +  $2.300
Dec $114.050 +  $1.875

 

Corn futures July 20 Change
Sep $3.552 +  $0.140
Dec $3.690 +  $0.144
Mar ’19 $3.800 +  $0.136  
May $3.862 +  $0.130
Jul $3.920 +  $0.128
Sep $3.934 +  $0.112

 

Oil CME-WTI July 20 Change
Aug $70.46 –     $0.55
Sep $68.26 –     $1.69
Oct $66.64 –     $1.91
Nov $66.18 –     $1.83
Dec $65.87 –     $1.71
Jan $65.57 –     $1.58

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 20 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25058.12 +    38.71
NASDAQ    7820.20 –       5.58
S&P 500    2801.83 +       0.52
Dollar (DXY)        94.46 –       0.23
July 21st, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending July 13, 2018

Despite the soft start for most commodities and outside markets, in reaction to more U.S. tariffs levied on Chinese imports, calf and feeder cattle prices continued mostly higher nationwide. According to the Agricultural marketing Service (AMS), steers and heifers sold $1-$4/cwt. higher, with instances of $6-$7 higher. Receipts for the week of 604,300 head were the most since July of 2010. That includes an estimated 217,000 selling in Superior Livestock Video Auction’s Week in the Rockies sales.

“Active markets were evident this week in spite of hot and humid weather scorching the center of the country, with no end in sight for drought stricken areas,” say AMS analysts. “The water situation in some areas is at critical levels…A consequence of the extra dollars being spent this summer on water and feed is leading to cattle being sold at auction more than in a normal year when receipts get light in the summer.” 

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.12 lower through the front half of the board and then narrowly mixed from 20¢ lower to 15¢ higher.

“The market has shown considerable strength from late spring through the early weeks of summer,” saysAndrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The question now is if prices will continue to strengthen or if there is any reason for prices to be pressured. Feeder cattle prices certainly have enough juice in the tank to gain $3-$5/cwt. more from mid-July through the middle of August. Alternatively, there is enough political unrest across the nation and the world to disrupt such gains, which then could lead to a softer market. If the current political rhetoric persists, then very little change is expected, but an escalation of said rhetoric could be a market mover.”

By and large, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late Friday afternoon, at least in terms of trends from USDA. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members in the Southern Plains trading cattle at $111/cwt., which was $2 less than the previous week.

“It is difficult to say if the summer price low for fed cattle has already been established at just below $107/cwt., but the risk of going much lower than that is extremely low,” says Griffith. “The best odds are for finished cattle to trade fairly flat the next several weeks, though the term flat may actually look more like a saw blade. Some of the price pressure on live cattle should be alleviated moving into fall.”

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.12 lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 82¢ lower.

The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) released during the week projects, third-quarter steer prices (5-area Direct) at $107-$111. For the fourth quarter, prices are forecast at $108-$116.

Wholesale beef values continued to coast seasonally lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.89 lower week to week on Friday at $204.14/cwt. Select was $2.34 lower at $196.37. The Choice-Select spread narrowed $1.55 to $7.77.

“This time of year, domestic consumers are beginning to shy away from grilling middle meats, strictly due to increasing temperatures,” Griffith says. “At the same time, many consumers move towards hamburgers and hotdogs for grilling purposes.”

International demand for U.S. beef continues on a record-setting pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). May beef exports set a new monthly value record in at $722.1 million, which was 24% more than a year earlier and 4% more than the previous record. Volume for the month of 117,871 metric tons was the sixth most on record.

Beef export value averaged $313.39 per head of fed slaughter in May, up 18% from a year ago. The January-May average was $317.69 per head, also up 18%.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 13

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

170,100

(+153,100)

109,700

(+75,400)

324,500

(+295,500)

604,300

(+524,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index July 12 Change
  $148.16   + 3.01

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 13  Change 
600-700 lbs. $174.72 –    $3.24
700-800 lbs. $163.94 +    $3.94
800-900 lbs. $155.30 +   $11.80

South Central

Steers-Cash July 13 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.76 –   $2.39
600-700 lbs. $157.77 +   $0.11
700-800 lbs. $149.29 +   $0.86

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 13 Change 
400-500 lbs. $158.02 +   $8.40
500-600 lbs. $152.30 –   $2.24
600-700 lbs. $143.06 –   $4.41

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 13 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $204.14 –   $3.89
Select $196.37 –   $2.34   
Ch-Se Spread    $7.77 –   $1.55

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 13 Change
Aug $150.725 –    $1.475
Sep $151.075 –    $1.200
Oct $151.350 –    $0.800
Nov $151.025 –    $1.000
Jan ’19 $149.525 +    $0.150
Mar $148.225 +    $0.125
Apr $148.350 –    $0.200
May $148.250 +    $0.150

 

Live Cattle   July 13 Change
Aug $104.550 –   $1.825
Oct $107.375 –   $2.225
Dec $111.400 –   $2.300
Feb ’19 $115.750 –   $0.775
Apr $117.425 –   $0.825
Jun $110.200 –   $0.950
Aug $109.300 –   $0.700
Oct $110.850 –   $0.750
Dec $112.175 –   $0.925

 

Corn futures July 13 Change
Jul $3.302 –   $0.214
Sep $3.412 –   $0.190
Dec $3.546 –   $0.184
Mar ’19 $3.664 –   $0.168  
May $3.732 –   $0.168
Jul $3.792 –   $0.172

 

Oil CME-WTI July 13 Change
Aug $71.01 –     $2.79
Sep $69.95 –     $1.62
Oct $68.55 –     $0.59
Nov $68.01 –     $0.49
Dec $67.58 –     $0.46
Jan $67.15 –     $0.47

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 12 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25019.41 +   562.93
NASDAQ    7825.98 +   137.59
S&P 500    2801.31 +     41.49
Dollar (DXY)        94.69 +       0.69
July 14th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending July 6, 2018

There were no price trends for calves and feeder cattle last week, with most auctions closed in observance of Independence Day. At the few auctions that did take place, trends were mainly higher, sharply higher in some cases.

“Moisture is much needed in the heart of the country as 49% of the U.S. is now classified as a D0 drought designation or worse,” noted analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.93 higher week to week on Friday (87¢ higher in spot Aug to $3.25 higher in the back contract).

Calf and feeder prices may get a boost from Friday’s sharply higher cash fed cattle trade.

Live trade was $5-$6 higher in the Southern Plains at mostly $112-$113/cwt. In Nebraska and the western Corn Belt, it was $3-$7 higher at $112-$114. Dressed trade was $5-$11 higher at $175-$180.

Not counting recently minted away-Dec, week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed unchanged to 40¢ lower through the front three contracts and then an average of 85¢ higher (20¢ to $1.05 higher).

“Fed cattle movement in June was strong as cattle slaughter continues moving along at a pretty good clip averaging 655,000 head for the four full weeks in the month,” explained AMS analysts.

Wholesale beef values continued their seasonal decline. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.93 lower week to week on Friday at $208.03/cwt. Select was 14¢ higher at $198.71. The Choice-Select spread narrowed $4.07 to $9.32.

Total red meat production under federal inspection this week was estimated at 868.9 million lbs., according to AMS. That was 12.2% less than last week, but 3.9% more than a year ago. Year-to-date cumulative meat production was estimated 3.5% more than last year.

Heading into next week, plenty of eyes will be turned toward the potential impact of U.S. and Chinese counter-tariffs that went into effect Friday.

“Despite beef production up nearly 4% so far this year, beef demand has been quite strong and has limited beef and cattle price pressure in the first half of the year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Domestic beef demand has been buoyed by strong macroeconomic performance, including a declining unemployment rate. Foreign demand for U.S. beef has boosted total beef demand with a 13% year-to-date increase in beef exports through April. Strong year-to-date beef export increases have been led by South Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Taiwan with number one Japan up slightly this year.”

Moreover, Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division (KED) explains, “Trade concerns pose the single greatest risk to the projected global economic growth of 3-4%. The U.S. and China have been driving the growth, benefitting emerging markets around the globe. A trade war between the two is dangerous for economies around the world.”

The most recent Rural Economic Review from CoBank’s KED, notes 70% of U.S. agriculture exports go to destinations that are in current negotiation or trade disputes.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 6

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

17,000

(-165,800)

34,300

(-13,100)

29,000

(-37,800)

80,300

(-216,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index July 5 Change
  $145.15   + 3.15

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 6  Change 
600-700 lbs. $177.96 +   $3.10
700-800 lbs. $160.00 –   $0.65
800-900 lbs. $143.50 +   $1.50

South Central

Steers-Cash July 6 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.15 +   $3.84
600-700 lbs. $157.66 +   $4.35
700-800 lbs. $148.43 +   $4.10

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 6 Change 
400-500 lbs. $149.62 –   $7.99
500-600 lbs. $154.54 +   $5.13
600-700 lbs. $147.47 +   $5.92

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 6 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $208.03 –   $3.93
Select $198.71 +   $0.14   
Ch-Se Spread    $9.32 –   $4.07

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 6 Change
Aug $152.200 +   $0.875
Sep $152.275 +   $1.325
Oct $152.150 +   $2.075
Nov $152.025 +   $2.275
Jan ’19 $149.375 +   $1.725
Mar $148.100 +   $1.875
Apr $148.550 +   $2.075
May $148.100 +   $3.250

 

Live Cattle   July 6 Change
Aug $106.375 –   $0.350
Oct $109.625 –   $0.400
Dec $113.700       -0-
Feb ’19 $116.525 +  $0.200
Apr $118.250 +  $0.950
Jun $111.150 +  $1.000
Aug $110.000 +  $1.025
Oct $111.600 +  $1.050
Dec $113.100       n/a

 

Corn futures July 6 Change
Jul $3.516 +  $0.014
Sep $3.602 +  $0.008
Dec $3.730 +  $0.018
Mar ’19 $3.832 +  $0.020  
May $3.900 +  $0.020
Jul $3.964 +  $0.022

 

Oil CME-WTI July 6 Change
Aug $73.80 –     $0.35
Sep $71.57 –     $0.89
Oct $69.14 –     $1.78
Nov $68.50 –     $1.66
Dec $68.04 –     $1.45
Jan $67.62 –     $1.23

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 6 Change
Dow Industrial Average 24456.48 +   185.07
NASDAQ    7688.39 +   178.09
S&P 500    2759.82 +     41.45
Dollar (DXY)        94.39 +       0.39
July 7th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending June 29, 2018

Shadowed by outside markets driven sharply lower by trade issues, cattle markets ended the week, month and quarter on a positive note Friday, with spot Cattle futures popping up to their highest levels since March.

Steers and heifers sold mostly $1-$4 lower last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The exception was steady to $4 higher at North Central auctions. Hot weather limited auction receipts in some areas.

“Much speculation occurred over the week after the Cattle on Feed report showed much higher placements than first imagined,” said the AMS reporter on hand for Superior Livestock’s video auction. “Receipts at auctions in the Southern Plains have been very large over the month of June and many drought stricken areas have received a good amount of moisture. However, the high placements number may indicate many calves have been marketed already due to the drought wreaking its havoc.” That reporter added that demand was especially good for fall-delivery cattle.

Except for 65¢ lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 higher week to week on Friday (60¢ higher to $2.12 higher in spot Aug).

“Cattle futures bookended the week with opposite moves on the Board. Monday was a dramatically down day coming off a Cattle on Feed report that many viewed as bearish,” said AMS analysts. “However, after more scrutiny of the reported large placement numbers and the largest June on-feed number since the data series started in 1996, market watchers reevaluated the data. Placements of feeders in May of cattle under 700 lbs. were 10% larger than a year ago, so fed cattle supplies are not going to be affected as much as the first reaction implied.”

Noting the increased percentage of lighter-weight placements, Derell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University noted in his weekly market comments, “This suggests that feedlot cattle supplies will tighten relatively in the third quarter. Fed cattle prices are expected to be lower year over year in the second half of the year, but the timing of fed cattle marketings will reduce the price pressure relative to the second quarter.”

Peel emphasizes early placements don’t change the number of cattle available, just the timing of when they hit the market.

Perhaps growing realization of that fact was at least partly responsible for the late-week nudge in negotiated cash fed cattle prices.Though still lower than the previous week, negotiated prices for fed cattle were $1-$2 higher on Friday than earlier in the week: $107-$108/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle and $107.50 in Nebraska. Until then, prices were mainly $105-$106/cwt. on a live basis and $170 in the beef.

Except for $1.27 lower in expiring June, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher week to week on Friday (17¢ to 82¢ higher).

Wholesale Values Continue Lower

“Boxed-beef cutout continues its normal seasonal decline, as July can be a sluggish month for overall beef demand and not necessarily a rally month for fed cattle prices with the extreme hot weather,” explained AMS analysts. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.20 lower week to week on Friday at $211.96/cwt. Select was $3.45 lower at $198.57.

“The Choice cutout peaked at just under $232/cwt. in the middle of May and has declined nearly $15 in a matter of six weeks,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The apex in the beef cutout came just prior to the Memorial weekend holiday and was closely followed by Father’s Day, which continued supporting the market.”

Although Independence Day is usually supportive to beef demand, there’s some question about whether there will be much of a boost this year, considering that it occurs in the middle of the week, and that extreme heat is expected across wide swaths of the nation.

“Looking deeper into the summer months, the dog days of summer will hamper cutout prices, as will a strong beef supply,” Griffith says. “Following the restocking of meat counters next week, packers will turn their attention to Labor Day, which is more than two months down the road. Could Choice beef test the $200 mark? It is more likely than not.”

Heading into the new week, trade issues will continue as a market focus. On Friday, Canada announced surtaxes on $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports—including $170 million worth of beef products—beginning Jul. 1. That’s in retaliation for new tariffs imposed by the U.S. on steel and aluminum imported from Canada.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 29

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

182,800

(+18,800)

47,400

(-18,400)

66,800

(+49,800)

297,000

(+50,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index June 28 Change
  $142.00   –  0.57

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 29  Change 
600-700 lbs. $174.86 +   $3.62
700-800 lbs. $160.65 +   $5.46
800-900 lbs. $142.00 –   $0.52

South Central

Steers-Cash June 29 Change
500-600 lbs. $160.31 –   $3.83
600-700 lbs. $153.31 –   $2.03
700-800 lbs. $144.33 –   $0.30

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 29 Change 
400-500 lbs. $157.61 –   $1.52
500-600 lbs. $149.41 –   $3.83
600-700 lbs. $141.55 –   $0.46

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 29 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $211.96 –   $5.20
Select $198.57 –   $3.45   
Ch-Se Spread    $13.39 –   $1.75

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 29 Change
Aug $151.325 +   $2.125
Sep $150.950 +   $1.125
Oct $150.075 +   $0.600
Nov $149.750 +   $0.625
Jan ’19 $147.650 +   $1.200
Mar $146.225 +   $0.625
Apr $146.475 +   $0.900
May $144.850 –   $0.650

 

Live Cattle   June 29 Change
Jun $107.000 –   $1.275
Aug $106.725 +   $0.825
Oct $110.025 +   $0.625
Dec $113.700 +   $0.750
Feb ’19 $116.325 +   $0.875
Apr $117.300 +   $0.700
Jun $110.150 +   $0.325
Aug $108.975 +  $0.175
Oct $110.550 +   $0.450

 

Corn futures June 29 Change
Jul $3.502 –   $0.070
Sep $3.594 –   $0.070
Dec $3.712 –   $0.068
Mar ’19 $3.812 –   $0.062  
May $3.880 –   $0.064
Jul $3.942 –   $0.060

 

Oil CME-WTI June 29 Change
Aug $74.15 +    $5.57
Sep $72.46 +    $4.83
Oct $70.92 +    $4.13
Nov $70.16 +    $3.82
Dec $69.49 +    $3.53
Jan $68.85 +    $3.29

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 29 Change
Dow Industrial Average 24271.41 –    309.49
NASDAQ    7510.30 –     182.52
S&P 500    2718.37 –      36.51
Dollar (DXY)        94.51 –        0.03
June 30th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending June 22, 2018

Despite pressure on grains, hogs and outside markets from the brewing trade war with China, aggressive feedlot marketing helped improve demand for calves and feeder cattle. Steers and heifers sold steady to $4/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural marketing Service (AMS). 

“Cattle feeders have been selling their fed cattle in a timely manner and have been aggressively filling their empty pens,” AMS analysts say. “Auction receipts are spotty this time of year…Direct trading receipts in the South Plains were heavy with future-delivery contracts as producers capitalized on the strong CME cattle complex. In the Northern Plains, some upcoming large video sales in the next several weeks will gauge buying interest, as buyers are content at this time to take a wait and see approach on what direction the market will move when dealing with summer and fall-delivery cattle.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.44 higher week to week on Friday (1.02 to $2.10 higher).

For the second week in a row, negotiated cash fed cattle trade volume appeared to be anemic through Friday afternoon, as packers continued to exploit sold-ahead cattle and the raw numbers available. The only prices reported by USDA at the end of the day Friday was $109-$110/cwt. on a live basis in the Texas Panhandle. That was $3 lower than the previous week.

Except for 17¢ lower in spot June, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 84¢ higher week to week on Friday (10¢ higher in the back contract to $2.37 higher).

“One bright spot for cattle feeders is lower feed costs as corn futures are 40¢ to 50¢/bu. lower than they were one month ago. Soybean meal is nearly $50/ton lower,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “There remains a legion of cattle on feed that will be coming to market in the next few months, which will keep fed cattle prices in check. It will be important for cattle feeders to keep marketings current.”

Feedlot Placements Higher

Markets will likely view Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report as a touch bearish. Rather than a third consecutive month of declining placements, they were a touch higher in May (+0.24%) at 2.124 million head.

Marketings for May were in line with expectations at 2.056 million head (+5.38%). 

That left the on-feed inventory (feedlot with 1,000 head or more capacity) June 1 at 11.553 million head, which was 4.12% more than the same time a year ago, the largest June 1 inventory since the data series began in 1996.

Wholesale Beef Values Decline Seasonally

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.43 lower week to week on Friday at $217.16/cwt. Select was 71¢ lower at $202.02.    

“In the midst of a strong beef export market, there is concern among many people in the agricultural industry as trade war talks continue to be stoked with the threats of tariffs,” Griffith says. “Tariff threats have contributed to a major decline in soybean prices, but the beef market has yet to fill any major effects.”

Increasing beef production is beginning to show up in freezer inventory, as well. According to the monthly Cold Storage report released Friday, beef in freezers May 31 was 1% less than the previous month, but 13% more than the same time last year.

Total red meat supplies in freezers were 2% less than the previous month, but 9% more than last year.

Drought Ending Herd Expansion

“Cowherd expansion appears to have come to a screeching halt as the three states (TX, OK, MO) with the most beef cows in the U.S. are experiencing an average of 45% of their land mass being D1 or worse drought designation,” say AMS analysts.“Year-to-date heifer slaughter ending May 31 is 7.9% above a year ago and 13.5% above the 3-year average. Beef cow slaughter is 12.6% more than last year and 21.7% more than the previous three-year average. With deteriorating pastures conditions in the central part of the country, many more cows will find their way to the marketplace in some capacity this summer. If conditions worsen, some producers may be looking into an early-weaning program to save as much stored water as possible.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 22

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

164,000

(-15,900)

65,800

(+9,400)

17,000

(-63,200)

246,800

(-69,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index June 21 Change
  $142.57   + 1.84

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 22  Change 
600-700 lbs. $171.24 +   $5.22
700-800 lbs. $155.19 +   $2.38
800-900 lbs. $142.52 –   $2.48

South Central

Steers-Cash June 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.14 –   $0.76
600-700 lbs. $155.34 +  $0.76
700-800 lbs. $144.63 –   $2.48

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 22 Change 
400-500 lbs. $159.13 –   $1.18
500-600 lbs. $153.24 +  $0.84
600-700 lbs. $142.01 –   $0.74

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 22 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $217.16 –   $4.43
Select $202.02 –   $0.71   
Ch-Se Spread    $15.14 –   $3.72

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 22 Change
Aug $149.200 +   $1.225
Sep $149.825 +   $1.550
Oct $149.475 +   $1.625
Nov $149.125 +   $1.425
Jan ’19 $146.450 +   $1.425
Mar $145.600 +   $1.150
Apr $145.575 +   $1.025
May $145.500 +   $2.100

 

Live Cattle   June 22 Change
Jun $108.275 –   $0.175
Aug $105.900 +   $1.125
Oct $109.400 +   $2.375
Dec $112.950 +   $1.600
Feb ’19 $115.450 +   $0.675
Apr $116.600 +   $0.375
Jun $109.825 +   $0.100
Aug $108.800 +  $0.400
Oct $110.100 +   $0.100

 

Corn futures June 22 Change
Jul $3.572 –   $0.040
Sep $3.664 –   $0.042
Dec $3.780 –   $0.046
Mar ’19 $3.874 –   $0.050  
May $3.944 –   $0.046
Jul $4.002 –   $0.050

 

Oil CME-WTI June 22 Change
Aug $68.58 +    $3.73
Sep $67.63 +    $3.23
Oct $66.79 +    $2.85
Nov $66.34 +    $2.60
Dec $65.96 +    $2.44
Jan $65.56 +    $2.27

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 22 Change
Dow Industrial Average 24580.89 –    505.59
NASDAQ    7692.82 –      53.56
S&P 500    2754.88 –      24.78
Dollar (DXY)        94.54 –        0.25
June 23rd, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending June 15, 2018

Rains in some drought-stressed areas helped boost calf and feeder demand, but futures volatility and growing uncertainty about international trade capped advances.

Steers sold $3/cwt. lower to $3 higher, while heifers sold steady to $3 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

Except for 70¢ higher in spot Aug and $1.47 lower in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower week to week on Friday.

“As the market moves through the summer, the seasonal trend is for calf prices to soften, while heavier feeder cattle prices strengthen, says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Calf prices are expected to soften through the summer and be pressured more moving into the fall marketing time period.”

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through late Friday afternoon. The previous week’s stronger prices, as well as the surge in Cattle futures Friday likely added to seller reluctance. On the other end of the trade, it could be that heavy out-front purchases in recent weeks enabled packers to be more patient.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ lower week to week on Friday (32¢ lower in the back contract to $1.57 lower in spot Jun).

“May 2018 steer and heifer slaughter is poised to be the largest since 2011 when final numbers are released next week,” AMS analysts say. “According to preliminary numbers, approximately 2.304 million head of steers and heifers were harvested in May 2018, 5.1% above a year ago and 13% higher than the previous three-year average. This week’s cattle harvest, estimated at 654,000 is 4,000 head lower than last week and 15,000 higher than a year ago. Year-to-date cattle slaughter is 3.1% above a year ago. With packer margins per head into triple digits, there will have to be convergence of boxed beef prices and fed cattle prices to slow down chain speeds.”

 Projected beef production for this year was lowered by 90 million lbs. in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), on lower carcass weights more than offsetting increased steer, heifer and cow slaughter in the second quarter. Estimated beef production for this year is 27.125 billion lbs. Estimated beef production next year is 27.175 billion lbs.

WASDE projects the average 5-area Direct fed steer price at $116-$119/cwt. for the second quarter, $106-$112 for the third quarter and $108-$116 for the fourth quarter.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.62 lower week to week on Friday at $221.59/cwt. Select was 45¢ lower at $202.73.    

“Demand for boxed beef continues to be strong, even though prices have declined since the most recent highs in May,” AMS analysts say. 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 15

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

179,900

(-37,400)

56,400

(+20,900)

80,200

(+74,100)

316,500

(+57,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index June 14 Change
  $140.73   + 0.24

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 15  Change 
600-700 lbs. $166.02 –   $0.58
700-800 lbs. $152.81 –   $5.84
800-900 lbs. $145.00 +   $2.46

South Central

Steers-Cash June 15 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.90 –   $1.03
600-700 lbs. $154.58 –   $0.23
700-800 lbs. $144.79 +   $0.88
800-900 lbs. $136.99 +   $0.50

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 15 Change 
400-500 lbs. $160.31 –   $3.12
500-600 lbs. $152.40 –   $2.60
600-700 lbs. $142.75 –   $1.02

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 15 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $221.59 –   $4.62
Select $202.73 –   $0.45   
Ch-Se Spread    $18.86 –   $4.17

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 15 Change
Aug $147.975 +   $0.700
Sep $148.275 –    $0.150
Oct $147.850 –    $0.500
Nov $147.700 –    $0.800
Jan ’19 $145.025 –    $0.750
Mar $144.450 –    $0.675
Apr $144.550 –    $0.450
May $143.400 –    $1.475

 

Live Cattle   June 15 Change
Jun $108.450 –    $1.575
Aug $104.775 –    $1.000
Oct $107.025 –    $1.175
Dec $111.350 –    $0.700
Feb ’19 $114.775 –    $0.875
Apr $116.225 –    $0.975
Jun $109.725 –    $1.000
Aug $108.400 –    $1.000
Oct $110.000 –    $0.325

 

Corn futures June 15 Change
Jul $3.612 –   $0.164
Sep $3.706 –   $0.158
Dec $3.826 –   $0.154
Mar ’19 $3.924 –   $0.146  
May $3.990 –   $0.140
Jul $4.052 –   $0.132

 

Oil CME-WTI June 15 Change
Jul $65.06 –     $0.68
Aug $64.85 –     $0.82
Sep $64.40 –     $1.00
Oct $63.94 –     $1.12
Nov $63.74 –     $1.17
Dec $63.52 –     $1.21

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 15 Change
Dow Industrial Average 25090.48 –    226.05
NASDAQ    7746.38 +    100.87
S&P 500    2779.66 +        0.63
Dollar (DXY)        94.79 +        1.36
June 17th, 2018|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights-Week ending June 8, 2018

Cattle markets moved higher last week, amid promising signs that aggressive marketing and consumer beef demand are muting the impact of increased beef production.

Steers and heifers sold $1-$5 higher, with instances of $6-$8 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.36 higher week to week on Friday (95¢ to $3.70 higher). That’s an average of $4.11 higher over the last two weeks.

“Demand was reported moderate to good nationwide as more optimism was evident in the marketplace,” explained AMS analysts. “The CME Cattle Complex rebounded from the most recent downturn in mid-May. The June Live Cattle contract is trying to converge with the negotiated cash trade. Cash trading

is pulling the futures higher.”

By late Friday afternoon, cash fed cattle trade remained mostly undeveloped. Although too few transactions to trend, higher money was reported in Nebraska at $114/cwt. on a live basis, which was $2.50-$3.00 higher than the previous week. Early live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $114-$115 ($3-$4 higher); early dressed sales were $4-$6 higher at $182. Late in the day, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading live cattle at $115, which was $5 higher than the previous week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.93 higher week to week on Friday ($1.12 higher to $5.12 higher in spot Jun).

Optimism came this week with continued indicators that cattle feeders remain current in their marketing, even as fed cattle supplies increase. Part of that came with basis opportunities and a willingness to sell more cattle out front in recent weeks.

“Starting the middle of March, after 10 consecutive weeks of 20,000 head or more (marketed) for 15-30-day delivery on fed cattle, the past couple weeks have cooled to 19,000 and 9,900 head, respectively, for cattle bought out front,” explain AMS analysts. “In addition, packer margins have been rather large, with some being reported around $300-plus per head recently, due to boxed beef prices higher than expected, and consumer demand, both domestically and internationally.”

Beef export volume in April was 11% more than a year earlier and export value was 23% higher at $676.7 million, the fourth highest on record, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Through the first four months of 2018, exports were up 10% in volume. Export value was 20% more than last year’s record pace at $2.59 billion. Beef export value averaged $328.46 per head of fed slaughter in April, up 16% from a year ago. Through April, per-head export value averaged $318.91, up 17%.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.32 lower week to week on Friday at $226.21/cwt. Select was $1.62 lower at $203.18.

“Choice Boxed Beef in May did not post a price lower than $226 and averaged $229.70 for the month,” AMS analysts say. “Packers are selling as much product out front as they can at these elevated levels and are content to harvest as many as they can.” 

Beef production under federal inspection for the week ending June 9 was estimated at 523.1 million lbs., which was 3.6% more than a year earlier, according to AMS. That was on an estimated 3.5% year-over-year increase in cattle (all) slaughter of 658,000 head. Total red meat production under Federal inspection of 1,010 million lbs. was 4.2% more than a year earlier. Cumulative red meat production for the year to date was estimated 3.7% higher.

According to AMS, total weekly cattle slaughter—for the four weeks prior to Memorial Day—were running more than 53,000 head more per week than the five-year average.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 8

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

217,300

(+106,400)

35,500

(-16,100)

6,100

(-9,800)

258,900

(+80,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index June 7 Change
  $140.49   +  4.32

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 8  Change 
600-700 lbs. $166.60 +   $1.11
700-800 lbs. $158.65 +   $6.66
800-900 lbs. $142.54 +   $3.44

South Central

Steers-Cash June 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $165.93 +   $1.56
600-700 lbs. $154.81 +   $1.93
700-800 lbs. $143.91 +   $3.30

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 8 Change 
400-500 lbs. $163.43 +  $0.89
500-600 lbs. $155.00 –   $0.78
600-700 lbs. $143.77 +  $1.62

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $226.21