Weekly Market Highlights

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

Weekly Market Highlights

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Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Jan. 17, 2020

Although overall market optimism continued last week, weather and market volatility surrounding trade issues created some price pressure for feeder cattle and calves. Nationwide, steers and heifers sold from $1/cwt. lower to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Colder weather conditions combined with moisture systems affected many areas of the country, constraining receipts in some areas as producers elected to wait for better conditions before bringing cattle to town,” say AMS analysts. “Feedlots in all regions remain at or near full capacity. Grazing wheat in areas of the Southern Plains remains challenging with the current conditions, which has caused many cattle to be placed in grow yard or feedlots earlier than planned.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.53 lower week to week on Friday, from 45¢ lower at the back to $2.45 lower toward the front.

Regionally speaking, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says, “The mild temperatures that have been experienced in the Southeast United States may have calf prices escalating more quickly than is typical because some stocker operations may have more grass available this time of year than they normally would. The warmer than average temperatures and adequate moisture has definitely supported winter annual forage production, and producers who graze these species are definitely looking for animals to graze and manage the growth.”

In his weekly market comments, Griffith also notes increasingly strong demand for calves with less health risk.

“Based on weekly auction market price averages, 525-pound value-added steers brought $12/cwt. more than non-value-added steers,” Griffith says. “This equates to the value-added steers bringing about $60 more per head, which more than pays for the vaccines and extra labor. This does not include the additional weight a producer may have achieved from a preconditioning program.”

Fed Cattle Prices Wobble

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon was steady on a live basis in the Southern Plains and Nebraska at $124/cwt., but $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $123-$125. Dressed sales were steady to $2 lower at $198-$200.

“Following the strong run in finished cattle prices in December and a strong start to January, fed cattle prices have stagnated the past couple of weeks,” Griffith says. “Despite the appearance that prices stalled, this should still be considered positive for cattle feeders. January and February are not known as strong beef demand months, nor are they known for having the best finished cattle prices. The upside to current prices is that beef and cattle demand are strong in the spring, which should bode well for the price of finished cattle. There remains potential for the cash market to trade over $130 at some point, but cattle feeders are more concerned with maintaining strong prices over a longer period.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower, from 25¢ lower to $1.07 lower in spot Feb.

Wholesale beef values continued to crawl up from the seasonal ebb. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.13 higher week to week on Friday at $214.17/cwt. Select was $6.20 higher at $212.75.

Positive Trade Deals and Lots of Questions

U.S. agriculture, including cattle and beef, scored long-sought trade victories last week with the signing of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China, as well as Senate approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Market reaction was muted to negative, though, given the lack of clarity regarding timing and potential purchase volume.

China agreed to purchase and import, on average, at least $40 billion of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products annually for a total of at least $80 billion over the next two years, according to a factsheet from the U.S. Trade Representative.

“It is not likely that beef will be the big winner in the trade agreement with China as it relates to direct shipments of beef to China,” Griffith explains. “The United States ships very little beef to mainland China, and it is unlikely this agreement will change that. It is most likely that pork will witness the largest increase in purchases from China, given their depleted pork supplies from African Swine Fever, while the purchase of soybeans will also be on the top of the list. Despite the expectation that direct beef trade will not escalate quickly, moving more pork should support domestic meat protein prices and thus beef prices.”

Part of the phase-one trade deal does remove key Chinese non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. beef, which could prove to be the major win. The deal eliminates the 30-month age restriction, provides acceptance of current U.S. traceability and removes the ban on U.S. beef from cattle grown with commonly used and safe-proven growth hormones.

As for the USMCA, Canada and Mexico are the first and second largest export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018, according to USDA. Mexico and Canada account for about one-third of all U.S. red meat exports, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Shipments to Mexico and Canada in 2019 totaled about 1.25 million metric tons valued at $3.8 billion.

Before ratification and signing of the latter two agreements, ERS forecast total U.S. beef exports in 2020 to increase about 6% year over year to a record 3.3 billion lbs.

Friday to Friday Change

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Jan. 17 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

281,400

(-96,100)

49,300

(-10,600)

61,700

(-32,600)

392,400

(-139,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 16 Change
  $145.67 –   $1.16

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 17 Change
600-700 lbs. $160.77 + $2.03
700-800 lbs. $149.77 –  $1.09
800-900 lbs. $145.81 + $1.21

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 17 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.28 + $1.36
600-700 lbs. $150.06 + $0.01
700-800 lbs. $143.76 –  $1.93

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Jan. 17 Change
400-500 lbs. $159.36 + $2.10
500-600 lbs. $147.91 + $2.45
600-700 lbs. $137.06 + $0.82

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 17 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.17 + $4.13
Select $212.75 + $6.20
Ch-Se Spread $1.42 –  $2.07

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 17 Change
Jan ’20 $145.350 –  $2.250
Mar $145.000 –  $2.450
Apr $147.875 –  $2.175
May $149.450 –  $1.750
Aug $154.875 –  $1.425
Sep $155.950 –  $1.025
Oct $156.200 –  $0.700
Nov $156.225 –  $0.450

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 17 Change
Feb ’20 $126.350 –  $1.075
Apr $127.250 –  $0.700
Jun $119.200 –  $0.575
Aug $116.775 –  $0.500
Oct $118.900 –  $0.500
Dec $121.750 –  $0.250
Feb ’21 $123.450 –  $0.375
Apr $124.000 –  $0.450
Jun $117.125 –  $0.725

 

Corn  Jan. 17 Change
Mar ’20 $3.892 + $0.036
May $3.952 + $0.026
Jul $4.010 + $0.016
Sep $4.002 –  $0.002
Dec $4.026 -0-
Mar ’21 $4.124 -0-

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 17 Change
Feb $58.54 –  $0.50
Mar $58.58 –  $0.41
Apr $58.51 –  $0.34
May $58.30 –  $0.33
Jun $57.96 –  $0.36
Jly $57.54 –  $0.38

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 17 Change
Dow Industrial Average  29348.10 +  524.23
NASDAQ   9388.94 +  210.08
S&P 500   3329.62 +    64.27
Dollar (DXY)        97.64 +      0.29
January 18th, 2020|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Jan. 10, 2020

Cattle markets gained ground last week, amid the first week of full trade since the holidays, helped along by stronger Cattle futures, supported by expected seasonally snugger harvest-ready cattle supplies.

“Grazing steers and heifers sold sharply higher than the previous week’s light receipts, while feeder steers and heifers sold $1/cwt. lower to $3 higher,” according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). “Load lots of long-time weaned calves were in the offering as producers were ready to get their calves marketed. Several loads of lightweight calves could be procured, from the Southern Plains to the Northern Plains.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.95 higher week to week on Friday.

“Calf and feeder cattle markets responded as expected with strong gains to start the year and the trend should continue moving through the next few months,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “…The greater optimism is the expectation that the summer and all months of 2020 should be stronger than those of 2019.”

Cash Fed Cattle Prices Likely Steady to Higher

Through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports, cash fed cattle trade was yet to be fully established, but early indications were for another week of steady to higher prices.

For instance, although too few to trend, early dressed sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt were at $200/cwt., which was mainly steady to $2 higher than the previous week.

“Packers have watched their margins tighten the past few weeks as boxed beef prices declined and finished cattle prices escalated,” Griffith explains. “…Everyone prefers more to less when it comes to margins and packers are attempting to draw cattle prices lower to support their margins. They may have a little success in the short-run but time is not on their side, as grilling season will fast approach.”

Except for $1.65 lower in the back contact, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.89 higher.

Wholesale beef values finally began to turn slowly away from an apparent seasonal ebb. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.55 higher week to week on Friday at $210.04/cwt. Select was $1.16 higher at $206.55.

“The beef supply situation is expected to be more supportive this year, with cyclical herd expansion over and beef production peaking,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “The current status of the cattle cycle will be confirmed in the Cattle inventory report to be released at the end of January. In general, cattle numbers are expected to be down slightly year over year. Beef production is expected to peak fractionally higher in 2020, with heavier carcass weights offsetting a slight decline in cattle slaughter. Carcass weights finished 2019 above year-earlier levels and will bear watching in the coming year.”

The latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE forecast 2020 beef production at 27.44 billion lbs., which would be 289 million lbs. more (+1.06%) than in 2019.

WASDE anticipates average cash fed steer prices (five-area direct) for 2020 to be $125/cwt. in the first quarter, $118 in the second, $112 in the third and $114 in the fourth. The annual average price for 2020 is projected at $117.50, which is 50¢ more than the previous month’s estimate and 72¢ more than the estimated average in 2019.

Friday to Friday Change

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Jan. 10 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

377,500

(+339,600)

59,900

(+44,500)

94,300

(+94,300)

531,700

(+478,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 9 Change
  $146.83 +  $1.96

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 10 Change
600-700 lbs. $158.74 + $4.08
700-800 lbs. $150.86 + $3.12
800-900 lbs. $144.60 –  $0.14

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 10 Change
500-600 lbs. $162.92 + $1.51
600-700 lbs. $150.05 –  $1.92
700-800 lbs. $145.69 –  $3.99

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Jan. 10 Change
400-500 lbs. $157.26  n/a
500-600 lbs. $145.46  n/a
600-700 lbs. $136.24  n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 10 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $210.04 + $1.55
Select $206.55 + $1.16
Ch-Se Spread $3.49 + $0.39

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 10 Change
Jan ’20 $147.600 + $4.250
Mar $147.450 + $4.775
Apr $150.050 + $4.525
May $151.200 + $4.175
Aug $156.300 + $3.850
Sep $156.975 + $3.525
Oct $156.900 + $3.175
Nov $156.675 + $3.300

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 10 Change
Feb ’20 $127.425 + $2.700
Apr $127.950 + $2.275
Jun $119.775 + $2.100
Aug $117.275 + $1.725
Oct $119.400 + $1.650
Dec $122.000 + $1.550
Feb ’21 $123.825 + $1.700
Apr $124.450 + $1.450
Jun $117.850 –  $1.650

 

Corn  Jan. 10 Change
Mar ’20 $3.856 –  $0.008
May $3.926 –  $0.004
Jul $3.994 + $0.002
Sep $4.004 + $0.022
Dec $4.026 + $0.020
Mar ’21 $4.124 + $0.014

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 10 Change
Feb $59.04 –  $4.01
Mar $58.99 –  $3.33
Apr $58.85 –  $3.63
May $58.63 –  $3.39
Jun $58.32 –  $3.14
Jly $57.92 –  $2.91

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 10 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28823.87 +  188.99
NASDAQ   9178.86 +  158.09
S&P 500   3265.35 +    30.50
Dollar (DXY)        97.35 +      0.45
January 12th, 2020|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Jan. 3, 2020

Calves and feeder cattle remained lightly tested during another holiday-shortened week.

“Those that did have sales were quoting much stronger prices as order buyers and farmer feeders alike were back in the seats ready to fill orders,” said analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  “Most observers described buyers’ moods as being hungry and ready to procure cattle as the holidays seemed to drag out this year.”

Except for 37¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 lower week to week on Friday (7¢ lower toward the back to $2.20 lower in spot Jan).

“Calf prices do tend to start strengthening in January, but it generally takes a couple of weeks for prices to start their strong spring ascension,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.“Typically, the price for lightweight cattle continues to increase in February and March, but this is not a recommendation to hold calves until March. This is a recommendation to hold onto the reins a little longer to see if the market is going to move in the favor of those looking to market calves in the near term.”

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade developed fully on Friday with live sales $2 higher at $124/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; $2-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $125. Dressed sales were mostly $4 higher in Nebraska at mainly $199 and $3-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $198-$199.

Except for 10¢ lower toward the back, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.09 lower (12¢ lower toward the back to $2.10 lower toward the front). 

“The market and feeding conditions are both far better than where they were a year ago. Market prices today are only a couple of dollars higher than the same week last year, but cattle coming off feed right now were purchased much cheaper than the cattle coming off this time last year,” Griffith says. “At the same time, most cattle feeders are not dealing with the same wet and sloppy feeding conditions they had last year which resulted in a higher feed cost and lighter cattle coming off feed.”

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Dec. 21 was 904 lbs., which was the same as a week earlier but 13 lbs. heavier than the prior year, according to USDA’s latest Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 834 lbs. was 1 lb. lighter than the previous week but 8 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 47¢ lower week to week on Friday at $208.49/cwt. Select was 82¢ higher at $205.39.

“Retailers are beginning to pull on Select grade beef as winter rolls in and as consumers move to consumption of end cuts,” Griffith says. “The change is most evident in the narrowing of the Choice-Select spread, which generally provides an indication of relative quantity supplied and demanded for Choice and Select beef.”

As is typical, the Choice-Select spread will likely continue to narrow through February, but Griffith emphasizes Choice demand remains strong and is expected to remain strong.

Friday to Friday Change

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Jan. 3 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

37,900

(+32,600)

15,400

(-1,000)

-0-

(-0-)

53,300

(+31,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Jan. 2 Change
  $144.87 +  $0.26

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 3 Change
600-700 lbs. $154.66 + $0.12
700-800 lbs. $147.74 –  $1.75
800-900 lbs. $144.74 –  $3.95

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Jan. 3 Change
500-600 lbs. $161.41  n/a
600-700 lbs. $151.97  n/a
700-800 lbs. $149.68  n/a

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Jan. 3 Change
400-500 lbs. n/a  n/a
500-600 lbs. n/a  n/a
600-700 lbs. n/a  n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Jan. 3 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $208.49 –  $0.47
Select $205.39 + $0.82
Ch-Se Spread $3.10 –  $1.29

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Jan. 3 Change
Jan ’20 $143.350 –  $2.200
Mar $142.675 –  $2.125
Apr $145.525 –  $1.775
May $147.025 –  $1.475
Aug $152.450 –  $0.875
Sep $153.450 –  $0.500
Oct $153.725 –  $0.075
Nov $153.375 + $0.375

 

Live Cattle   Jan. 3 Change
Feb ’20 $124.725 –  $1.975
Apr $125.675 –  $2.100
Jun $117.675 –  $1.425
Aug $115.500 –  $1.150
Oct $117.750 –  $0.625
Dec $120.450 –  $0.200
Feb ’21 $122.125 –  $0.125
Apr $123.000 + $0.100
Jun $119.500 n/a

 

Corn  Jan. 3 Change
Mar ’20 $3.864 –  $0.036
May $3.930 –  $0.036
Jul $3.992 –  $0.034
Sep $3.982 –  $0.040
Dec $4.006 –  $0.028
Mar ’21 $4.110 –  $0.012

 

Oil CME-WTI Jan. 3 Change
Feb $63.05 + $1.33
Mar $62.82 + $1.29
Apr $62.48 + $1.27
May $62.02 + $1.23
Jun $61.46 + $1.18
Jly $60.83 + $1.13

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Jan. 3 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28634.88 –    10.38
NASDAQ   9020.77 +    14.15
S&P 500   3234.85 –       5.17
Dollar (DXY)        96.90 –       0.11
January 5th, 2020|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 27, 2019

There was no price trend for calves and feeder cattle last week, given the holiday and just 21,700 head trading hands via auction, direct sales and video-Internet, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Recent optimism remains intact, though, given the way Cattle futures shrugged off the previous week’s Cattle on Feed report.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 85¢ higher week to week on Friday.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher. 

“Unseasonably warm weather was noted in several areas during the mid-week holiday, however a weekend weather system is forecasted to bring rain to the Southern Plains and large snow accumulations to areas of the Northern Plains,” say AMS analysts. 

Fed Cattle Prices Step Higher

Cattle futures received support from continued firmness in cash fed cattle prices, which gained for another week.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was yet to be fully developed through Friday afternoon, but early prices were higher. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $122/cwt., which was $2 higher than the previous week. Likewise, AMS reported live sales in Kansas at $122, which was $2 higher than the prior week. In Nebraska, dressed sales were mostly $3 higher at mostly $196. Although too few to trend, early dressed sales in the western Corn Belt were $3-$4 higher at $195-$196.

“Higher placements the last three months have rebuilt feedlot inventories going into 2020,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Feedlots will be a bit front loaded in the first quarter of the new year and marketings are expected strong against the April Live Cattle futures contract. Of course, weather often impacts cattle performance and the timing of feedlot production this time of year and may affect feedlot marketings through the winter.”

Wholesale beef values continued to trade along the seasonal bottom.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 74¢ lower week to week on Friday at $208.96/cwt. Select was $3.54 higher at $204.57.

The average dressed steer carcass weight for the week ending Dec. 14 was 904 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week but 12 lbs. heavier than the previous year. The average dressed heifer carcass weight was 835 lbs., which was 5 lbs. lighter than the previous week but 6 lbs. heavier than a year earlier.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Dec.27 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

5,300

(-217,700)

16,400

(-29,100)

-0-

(-14,000)

21,700

(-260,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Dec. 26 Change
  $144.61 –   $1.68

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 27 Change
600-700 lbs. $154.54 –  $1.11
700-800 lbs. $149.49 + $0.71
800-900 lbs. $148.69 + $2.97

 

Prior Week South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 20 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.87 + $6.28
600-700 lbs. $145.81 + $1.25
700-800 lbs. $146.15 + $2.43

 

Prior Week Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 20 Change
400-500 lbs. $150.05 + $3.48
500-600 lbs. $140.49 + $6.72
600-700 lbs. $133.19 + $0.71

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 27 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $208.96 –  $0.74
Select $204.57 + $3.54
Ch-Se Spread $4.39 –  $4.28

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 27 Change
Jan ’20 $145.550 + $1.275
Mar $144.800 + $0.425
Apr $147.200 + $0.700
May $148.500 + $1.025
Aug $153.325 + $1.050
Sep $153.950 + $1.350
Oct $153.800 + $0.500
Nov $153.00 + $0.500

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 27 Change
Dec $123.500 + $1.275
Feb ’20 $126.700 + $0.900
Apr $127.775 + $1.050
Jun $119.100 + $0.975
Aug $116.650 + $0.825
Oct $118.375 + $0.875
Dec $120.650 + $0.875
Feb ’21 $122.250 + $0.725
Apr $122.900 + $0.800

 

Corn  Dec. 27 Change
Mar ’20 $3.900 + $0.024
May $3.966 + $0.026
Jul $4.026 + $0.032
Sep $4.022 + $0.028
Dec $4.034 + $0.018
Mar ’21 $4.122 + $0.012

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 27 Change
Feb $61.72 + $1.28
Mar $61.53 + $1.28
Apr $61.21 + $1.26
May $60.79 + $1.24
Jun $60.28 + $1.21
Jly $59.70 + $1.16

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 27 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28645.26 + 190.17
NASDAQ   9006.72 +   81.66
S&P 500   324o.02 +    18.80
Dollar (DXY)        97.01 –       0.67
December 28th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 20, 2019

Cash calf and feeder cattle prices gained momentum last week as buyers took advantage of some of the last auctions of the year.

Steers and heifers sold $2-$4/cwt. higher with instances of $5-$6 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Demand was good for many calves, with very good demand for all yearlings offered,” say AMS analysts. “This was the last marketing opportunity for 2019 as a majority of auction barns will be closed until after the New Year’s holiday.”

Except for 45¢ and 5¢ higher in the back two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.16 lower week to week on Friday (40¢ lower toward the back to $1.87 lower near the front).

“Feeder cattle prices have been holding fairly steady and the futures market has some optimism priced in, but much of that optimism does not come about until the summer of 2020,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The winter and spring prices on feeder cattle are likely profitable for stocker producers who got the cattle bought fairly inexpensively and were able to keep them alive, but it is doubtful that anyone will have windfall profits from the turn.”

AMS analysts note moisture is still lacking in winter wheat areas.

Feedlot Placements Up

Although higher feedlot placements were anticipated, Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report could apply some pressure.

November placements in feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity were 2.09 million head, which was 4.86% more than the prior year. Heading into the report, consensus view of analysts was for an increase of 1%.

Marketings in November were on par with expectations at 1.81 million head, which was 3.00% less than the prior year.

Likewise, the on-feed inventory Dec. 1 was close to expectations at 12.03 million head, which was 2.49% more than a year earlier.

Fed Cattle Prices Move Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were generally $1 higher on a live basis last week: $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains; $120-$121 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $2-$4 higher at $192.

“This week’s live cattle price is the highest for finished cattle since early May, and it will provide a little momentum heading into winter and early spring,” Griffith says. “With the price of finished cattle starting to gain some steam, feedlot operators will be able to focus more of their attention on cattle health and pen conditions.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ lower (12¢ to $1.75 lower).

Harvest flows continue to return to normalcy after resumed operations at the Tyson plant in Kansas. According to AMS, estimated cattle slaughter for the week was 668,000 head, which was 6,000 more than the previous week and 8,000 head more than a year earlier.

After a false start a week earlier, wholesale beef values may have carved out a seasonal bottom. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.59 lower week to week on Friday at $209.70/cwt. Select was $3.21 lower at $201.03.

“The market is now shifting from strong demand for middle meats for the holidays to end cuts that will be slow cooked during the winter months. The part of the market that remains unknown, as it is every year, is the winter weather,” Griffith explains. “Severe weather that influences travel in densely populated areas generally slows beef consumption and movement. The hope for the beef market is that winter storms do not wreak havoc on cattle or consumers.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Dec.20 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

223,000

(-124,200)

45,500

(+11,100)

14,000

(+12,100)

282,500

(-101,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Dec. 19 Change
  $146.29 +  $2.89

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 20 Change
600-700 lbs. $155.65 + $4.08
700-800 lbs. $148.78 + $1.25
800-900 lbs. $145.72 + $2.42

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 20 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.87 + $6.28
600-700 lbs. $145.81 + $1.25
700-800 lbs. $146.15 + $2.43

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 20 Change
400-500 lbs. $150.05 + $3.48
500-600 lbs. $140.49 + $6.72
600-700 lbs. $133.19 + $0.71

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 20 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $209.70 –  $6.59
Select $201.03 –  $3.21
Ch-Se Spread $8.67 –  $3.38

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 20 Change
Jan ’20 $144.275 –  $1.400
Mar $144.375 –  $1.875
Apr $146.500 –  $1.550
May $147.475 –  $1.125
Aug $152.275 –  $0.625
Sep $152.600 –  $0.400
Oct $153.300 + $0.450
Nov $152.500 + $0.050

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 20 Change
Dec $122.225 –  $0.150
Feb ’20 $125.800 –  $1.750
Apr $126.725 –  $1.475
Jun $118.125 –  $1.300
Aug $115.825 –  $0.575
Oct $117.500 –  $0.175
Dec $119.775 –  $0.125
Feb ’21 $121.525 –  $0.250
Apr $122.100 –  $0.175

 

Corn  Dec. 20 Change
Mar ’20 $3.876 + $0.066
May $3.940 + $0.060
Jul $3.994 + $0.058
Sep $3.994 + $0.064
Dec $4.016 + $0.064
Mar ’21 $4.110 + $0.060

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 20 Change
Feb $60.44 + $0.46
Mar $60.25 + $0.58
Apr $59.95 + $0.69
May $59.55 + $0.75
Jun $59.07 + $0.74
Jly $58.54 + $0.71

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 20 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28455.09 + 319.71
NASDAQ   8924.96 +  190.08
S&P 500   3221.22 +   52.42
Dollar (DXY)        97.68 +     0.50
December 21st, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 13, 2019

Steers and heifers sold steady to $3/cwt. lower last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Demand was moderate to good in most regions as cattle feeders looked to fill orders to take advantage of the market reflected in the 2020 CME Live Cattle contracts,” said AMS analysts. “With the holidays and end of the year fast approaching, many auction barns had heavy runs as marketing opportunities will be limited after next week.”

In Tennessee, for instance, Andrew P. Griffith notes auction receipts were atypically high the last couple of weeks.

“Many producers that hold onto cattle into December generally hold them until the beginning of the next year since there is generally a bump in prices and for tax reasons,” Griffith explains, in his weekly market comments. “What makes strong receipts even more puzzling is that soft prices continue to dominate the market. Many cattle producers continue to be disappointed in calf and feeder cattle prices but continue to sell calves.” He expects resource constraints are part of the explanation.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.06 higher week to week on Friday ($1.45 higher toward the back to $4.57 higher near the front).

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued to develop through Friday afternoon at no worse than steady money, according to USDA reports. Early live sales were at $119/cwt. in Nebraska and at $120 in the western Corn Belt. Early dressed sales were steady in the western Corn Belt at $188 and as much as $6 higher in Nebraska at $188-$194. Earlier in the week, live sales were steady in Kansas at $119. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members selling steers steady at $119 and heifers $1 higher at nearly $119.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.94 higher week to week on Friday ($1.42 to $2.85 higher).

In the latest monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA increased the projected average fed steer price (5-area-direct) in the fourth quarter by $3 to $115/cwt., compared to the previous month. The estimated annual average price for 2019 increased $1 to $117.

For next year, the average fed steer price is projected $2 higher at $122 in the first-quarter; $1 higher in the second quarter at $118; $1 lower in the third quarter at $112. Next year’s annual average price was estimated $1 higher at $117.

Wholesale beef values continued searching for a seasonal bottom. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $8.27 lower week to week on Friday at $216.29/cwt. Select was $3.06 lower at $204.24.

“The all fresh beef retail value registered at $5.82/lb. in November which is 4.5¢ higher than the previous month and nearly 12¢ higher than November a year ago,” Griffith says. “The Choice beef retail value for November was even more impressive as it was $6.06/lb., which represented more than a 17¢ increase from October and a 15¢ increase from one year ago. The expectation could be for retail value of beef to continue escalating given that wholesale beef prices in November were 7.7% percent higher than the previous month. Another factor that may soon influence retail beef prices is the announced deal with China that sent equity markets soaring. It is difficult to fathom that a deal with China will result in a lot of U.S. beef going to China, but it could help clear some pork and poultry stocks which would pull down some of the meat protein stocks. This is a situation that is worthy of beef cattle producers’ attention as it could provide sup-port or continue to weigh on the market.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Dec. 13 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

347,200

(+60,300)

34,400

(+8,400)

1,900

(-54,800)

383,500

(+13,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Dec. 12 Change
  $143.40 –  $1.09

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 13 Change
600-700 lbs. $151.57 –  $0.50
700-800 lbs. $145.33 –  $1.43
800-900 lbs. $144.65 –  $1.68

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 13 Change
500-600 lbs. $150.59 –  $4.73
600-700 lbs. $144.56 –  $1.28
700-800 lbs. $143.73 + $0.06

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 13 Change
400-500 lbs. $146.57 –  $0.58
500-600 lbs. $133.77 –  $3.59
600-700 lbs. $132.48 + $0.88

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 13 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $216.29 –  $8.27
Select $204.24 –  $3.06
Ch-Se Spread $12.05 –  $5.21

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 13 Change
Jan ’20 $145.675 + $4.125
Mar $146.250 + $4.575
Apr $148.050 + $4.275
May $148.600 + $3.525
Aug $152.900 + $2.825
Sep $153.000 + $2.100
Oct $152.850 + $1.450
Nov $152.450 + $1.600

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 13 Change
Dec $122.375 + $2.175
Feb ’20 $127.550 + $2.575
Apr $128.200 + $2.850
Jun $119.425 + $2.275
Aug $116.400 + $1.700
Oct $117.675 + $1.550
Dec $119.900 + $1.425
Feb ’21 $121.775 + $1.425
Apr $122.275 + $1.525

 

Corn futures Dec. 13 Change
Dec $3.662 –  $0.002
Mar ’20 $3.810 + $0.044
May $3.880 + $0.056
Jul $3.936 + $0.070
Sep $3.930 + $0.064
Dec $3.952 + $0.050

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 13 Change
Jan ’20 $60.07 + $0.87
Feb $59.98 + $0.88
Mar $59.67 + $0.89
Apr $59.26 + $0.89
May $58.80 + $0.88
Jun $58.33 + $0.90

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 13 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28135.88 + 120.82
NASDAQ   8734.88 +   78.35
S&P 500   3168.80 +   22.89
Dollar (DXY)        97.18 –      0.50
December 14th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Dec. 6, 2019

Stronger cash fed cattle prices helped support calf and feeder cattle prices last week, amid deeper receipts following Thanksgiving.

Compared to two weeks earlier, steers and heifers sold from $1/cwt. lower to $3 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“More weaned calves with health programs behind them were seen in auctions this week and were met with higher prices, for the most part,” AMS analysts say.  “There were some individual sales that had weaker spots in them, but demand overall was rated at good to very good at most sales.”

“It would appear the calf market has put in its seasonal price low, but that does not mean there will be a sudden resurgence of prices in December,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.01 lower week to week on Friday, except for 10¢ and 22¢ higher in the back two contracts.

Fed Prices Remain Solid

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mainly $1 higher last week, with live prices in the Southern Plains at $119/cwt. and at $118-119 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $1 higher at $188.

“There is still time for the market to hit the $120 mark for a weekly average price. Hitting this price point would provide considerable optimism for the spring market that could easily exceed $130 at some point,” Griffith says. “Most cattle feeders are in the black on closeouts, which should provide some support for the feeder cattle market in the coming months.”

Although carcass weights are creeping forward, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University notes steer carcasses are 3.3 lbs. lighter year over year (year to date) and heifer carcasses are 4.4 lbs. lighter.

Speaking to last week’s winter storms, in his weekly market comments, Peel notes, “An early storm like this may set the stage for a long period of feedlot production challenges with impacts persisting and accumulating through the winter.”

Total cattle slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 679,000 head for the week, which would be 126,000 head more than the previous week and 10,000 head more than the same time last year, according to AMS.

“If realized, the weekly cattle slaughter is the largest since the week ending June 25, 2011,” say AMS analysts. “This is a staggering realization that so many cattle have been harvested, considering there were many more packing plants nationwide back then.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 73¢ lower week to week on Friday (20¢ lower toward the back to $1.22 lower toward the front).

Wholesale beef values continued their seasonal decline.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.56 lower week to week on Friday at $224.56/cwt. Select was $3.04 lower at $207.30.

“The support for beef prices will come from Select beef moving through the winter months as consumers shift demand from middle meats to end cuts,” Griffith says. “Despite the pressure beef prices will be exposed to the next several months, the market is expected to remain relatively strong as demand continues to support prices.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Dec. 6 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

286,900

(+228,300)

26,000

(+100)

56,700

(+56,600)

352,900

(+268,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Dec. 5 Change
  $144.49 –  $0.13

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
600-700 lbs. $152.07 + $4.48
700-800 lbs. $146.76 + $4.67
800-900 lbs. $146.33 –  $0.05

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
500-600 lbs. $155.32 + $3.81
600-700 lbs. $145.84 + $2.34
700-800 lbs. $143.67 –  $1.65

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Dec. 6 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.15 + $21.55
500-600 lbs. $137.36 + $6.45
600-700 lbs. $131.60 + $7.68

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Dec. 6 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $224.56 –  $7.56
Select $207.30 –  $3.04
Ch-Se Spread $17.26 –  $4.52

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Dec. 6 Change
Jan ’20 $141.550 –  $0.725
Mar $141.675 –  $1.350
Apr $143.775 –  $1.200
May $145.075 –  $1.075
Aug $150.075 –  $0.950
Sep $150.900 –  $0.750
Oct $151.400 + $0.100
Nov $150.850 + $0.225

 

Live Cattle   Dec. 6 Change
Dec $120.200 –  $1.000
Feb ’20 $124.975 –  $1.225
Apr $125.350 –  $1.025
Jun $117.150 –  $0.575
Aug $114.700 –  $0.650
Oct $116.125 –  $0.600
Dec $118.475 –  $0.625
Feb ’21 $120.350 –  $0.200
Apr $120.750 –  $0.650

 

Corn futures Dec. 6 Change
Dec $3.664 –  $0.048
Mar ’20 $3.766 –  $0.046
May $3.824 –  $0.032
Jul $3.866 –  $0.036
Sep $3.866 –  $0.014
Dec $3.902 –  $0.008

 

Oil CME-WTI Dec. 6 Change
Jan ’20 $59.20 + $4.03
Feb $59.10 + $3.96
Mar $58.78 + $3.80
Apr $58.37 + $3.63
May $57.92 + $3.47
Jun $57.43 + $3.33

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Dec. 6 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28015.06 –  36.35
NASDAQ   8656.63 –    8.94
S&P 500   3145.91 +    4.93
Dollar (DXY)        97.68 –     0.59
December 14th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Nov. 29, 2019

Although trends were tougher to come by during the holiday-shortened week, those available suggest optimism. Tyson’s plan to resume operations at its Kansas plant also adds support heading into the new week.

There were just 84,600 head of calves and feeder cattle offered at auction, direct and via video or Internet sales, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), so no nationwide trend.

Feeder Cattle futures surged higher, though, basically erasing losses from the previous week. They closed an average of $3.79 higher week to week on Friday. Turned out, traders viewed the 2% fewer October placements (Cattle on Feed report) as positive. Ongoing gains in cash fed cattle prices also provided support.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was mainly $2-$3 higher on a live basis at $118/cwt. in Kansas, $118-$120 in Nebraska and $117-$118 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3 higher at $187.

Other than unchanged in spot Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.36 higher week to week on Friday.

“Annual average feedlot inventories (12-month moving average) peaked in August but there is a chance that strong placements in the next few months could push to a higher average total,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “In other words, feedlot inventories are close but may not yet be quite at a cyclical peak.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 45¢ lower week to week on Friday at $232.12/cwt. Select was 98¢ lower at $210.34.

The average dressed steer weight for cattle harvested the week ending Nov. 16 was 912 lbs., according to USDA’s weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 12 lbs. heavier than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight of 841 lbs. was 2 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 5 lbs. heavier than the previous year.

“Large supplies of red meat are prevalent in the marketplace, as total weekly meat production and weekly hog slaughter set new records for week ending Nov. 16,” say AMS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

 

Nov. 29 Auction Direct

Video/net

Total
 

58,600

(-265,300)

25,900

(-14,800)

100

(-20,900)

84,600

(-301,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Nov. 28 Change
  $145.11 –  $0.36

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

Week ending Nov. 22

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
600-700 lbs. $150.37 –  $1.71
700-800 lbs. $147.78 –  $2.30
800-900 lbs. $146.44 –  $3.45

Week ending Nov. 22

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $151.38 –  $1.89
600-700 lbs. $144.41 –  $2.14
700-800 lbs. $144.62 –  $2.49

Week ending Nov. 22

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.30 –  $0.30
500-600 lbs. $135.22 –  $0.36
600-700 lbs. $131.04 + $0.08

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 29 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $232.12 –  $0.45
Select $210.34 –  $0.98
Ch-Se Spread $21.78 + $0.53

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 29 Change
Jan ’20 $142.275 + $3.000
Mar $143.025 + $3.425
Apr $144.975 + $3.875
May $146.150 + $4.125
Aug $151.025 + $4.125
Sep $151.650 + $4.150
Oct $151.300 + $4.175
Nov $150.625 + $3.475

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 29 Change
Dec $118.675      -0-
Feb ’20 $126.200 +$2.350
Apr $126.375 +$2.200
Jun $117.725 +$2.400
Aug $115.350 +$2.325
Oct $116.725 +$2.375
Dec $119.100 +$2.650
Feb ’21 $120.550 +$2.300
Apr $121.400 +$2.300

 

Corn futures Nov. 29 Change
Dec $3.712 +$0.026
Mar ’20 $3.812 +$0.028
May $3.856 +$0.020
Jul $3.902 +$0.016
Sep $3.880 – $0.004
Dec $3.910 – $0.014

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 29 Change
Jan ’20 $55.17 –  $2.60
Feb $55.14 –  $2.52
Mar $54.98 –  $2.37
Apr $54.74 –  $2.24
May $54.45 –  $2.12
Jun $54.10 –  $2.02

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 29 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28051.41 +175.79
NASDAQ   8665.47 +145.59
S&P 500   3140.98 +  29.99
Dollar (DXY)        98.27      -0-
November 30th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

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

Wobbly Feeder Cattle futures and the sheer number of calves crossing the auction block ahead of Thanksgiving helped pressure calf and feeder cattle prices last week, despite renewed farmer-feeder interest in the north.

Nationwide, steers and heifers traded steady to $3 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Those analysts point out weaned calves with good condition continue to sell at premium to un-weaned, fleshy peers.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $4.08 lower week to week on Friday. Most of that came Friday, amid pessimism ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report.

As widely expected, feedlot placements in October were significantly higher—up 10.19% more (+299,000 head) compared to last year at 2.48 million head. That was still 2% less than consensus projections ahead of the report. It’s also worth keeping in mind that placements the previous October were slacker due to early calf marketing borne by regional drought.

Feedlot marketings in October of 1.88 million head were 0.64% less (-12,000 head), which was in line with expectations.

As of Nov. 1, there were 11.83 million head on feed, which was 1.19% more (+139,000 head) than the previous year.

Fed Cattle Prices Grind Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade last week was mainly $1 higher on a live basis at $116/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $115-$117 up north. Dressed trade was $2 higher at $184.

Tyson Fresh Meats—the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc.—announced Monday that efforts to resume harvest operations at its Holcombe, KS beef plant will begin the first week of December, with intentions to be fully operational by the first week of January. It plans to resume receiving cattle at the facility the first week of December.

After 42¢ lower in spot Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.67 lower week to week on Friday.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $8.23 lower week to week on Friday at $232.57/cwt. Select was $3.01 lower at $211.32.

“The largest portion of holiday beef buying is coming to an end just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The market will likely decline further with the short week of trading next week,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “However, there is likely to be some frenzied beef buying in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as some will realize they are short bought and need a little more inventory to meet consumers’ demand. Thus, beef cutout prices will be well supported through the end of the year. With the change in the calendar year, cutout prices are expected to soften as beef demand seasonally softens during the winter months and as consumers focus more on end meats instead of middle meats.”

Beef price support from U.S. beef exports is a wild card heading into 2020, but appears poised to strengthen, due in part to the global animal protein deficit cleaved by African Swine Fever.

“While beef exports (U.S.) are likely to end 2019 with an almost 2% decline, shipments are expected to rebound in 2020 by about 7%, as drought in competitor Australia reduces its exportable supply at the same time as beef demand continues to expand in Asia,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the November Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

In the meantime, Griffith explains slaughter cow and bull prices are churning against typical seasonal pressure as 90% lean beef prices continue to soar.

“Cow slaughter, which is the primary source of 90% lean manufacturing beef, in 2019, is about 163,000 head higher than the same time period in 2018. One would think that increased production would result in lower prices, but there are more factors at play,” Griffith explains. “Australia is generally the largest import source of such beef to the United States, but high prices on Australian beef have tempered imports of lean manufacturing beef. Australia is sending considerable quantities of manufacturing beef to China, which is searching for meat protein to make up for the decline in pork production. This same situation has bolstered fresh 50% lean beef, which is sourced from trimmings of finished cattle. This has added some value to finished cattle, which should make its way down the production line.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Nov. 22

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

323,900

(+24,900)

40,700

(-10,500)

21,000

(+17,000)

385,600

(+31,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Nov. 21 Change
  $145.47 –  $1.65

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
600-700 lbs. $150.37 –  $1.71
700-800 lbs. $147.78 –  $2.30
800-900 lbs. $146.44 –  $3.45

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $151.38 –  $1.89
600-700 lbs. $144.41 –  $2.14
700-800 lbs. $144.62 –  $2.49

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 22 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.30 –  $0.30
500-600 lbs. $135.22 –  $0.36
600-700 lbs. $131.04 + $0.08

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 22 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $232.57 –  $8.23
Select $211.32 –  $3.01
Ch-Se Spread $21.25 –  $5.22

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 22 Change
Jan ’20 $139.275 –  $5.000
Mar $139.600 –  $4.625
Apr $141.100 –  $4.350
May $142.025 –  $4.050
Aug $146.900 –  $3.575
Sep $147.500 –  $3.350
Oct $147.125 –  $3.600
Nov $147.150 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 22 Change
Dec $118.675 – $0.425
Feb ’20 $123.850 – $1.125
Apr $124.175 – $1.900
Jun $115.325 – $2.275
Aug $113.025 – $2.075
Oct $114.350 – $1.600
Dec $116.450 – $1.575
Feb ’21 $118.250 – $1.425
Apr $119.100 – $1.425

 

Corn futures Nov. 22 Change
Dec $3.686 – $0.026
Mar ’20 $3.784 – $0.022
May $3.836 – $0.028
Jul $3.886 – $0.038
Sep $3.884 – $0.026
Dec $3.924 – $0.032

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 22 Change
Jan ’20 $57.77 –  $0.06
Feb $57.66 –  $0.03
Mar $57.35 –  $0.02
Apr $56.98 -0-
May $56.57 -0-
Jun $56.12 –  $0.01

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 22 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27875.62 – 128.87
NASDAQ   8519.88 –   20.95
S&P 500   3110.93 –      9.53
Dollar (DXY)        98.27 +      0.27
November 24th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Nov. 15, 2019

Firm negotiated cash fed cattle trade and wholesale beef values continued to help bolster calf and feeder cattle prices last week, while futures prices softened slightly.

Steers and heifer sold steady to $3/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Auction receipts were somewhat tempered this week with early-week sales dealing with severely cold temperatures and frozen precipitation making travel hazardous from Missouri up through the Northern Plains and into the Upper Midwest,” say AMS analysts. “Most buyers at auctions were order buyers, as the true farmer-feeder is still in the combine trying to get the late crop out before adverse weather stops them. With large sales of calves across the nation, buyers are spread out and some sales felt the effects of light buyer attendance.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average $1.30 lower week to week on Friday. That included a mid-week average decline of $3.13.

“The sharp losses in the Feeder Cattle contracts found fund managers rolling to the January contract and beyond,” explain AMS analysts.

Rather than the beginning of a correction, one could argue retrenchment ahead of what looks to be a higher trending market.

Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee suggests producers with spring-born calves left to sell may be rewarded if they wait a little longer.

“There is a good chance the price increase from today until the middle of January will exceed any negative tax implications,” Griffith says, in his weekly market comments. “For stocker producers, continue buying cattle at low prices because the payout in four or five months looks advantageous.”

Cash Fed Cattle Maintain Recent Gains

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week mainly steady to $1 higher at $115/cwt. on a live basis and at $182 in the beef, based on USDA reports.

According to AMS, cattle slaughter under federal inspection last week was estimated at 657,000, which would be 6,000 more than the previous week and 9,000 more than a year earlier.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower week to week on Friday (2¢ to 90¢ lower).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.68 higher week to week on Friday at $240.80/cwt. Select was $1.07 higher at $214.33.

During a Tuesday conference call to share the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal results, Noel White, Tyson CEO said the company expects to have its southwest Kansas plant—shuttered by the Aug. 9 fire—fully operational within 60 days, and potentially sooner.

“There is a good possibility that some portion of finished cattle will trade as high as $120 before the end of the year if the current trend holds, which will further support prices within the cattle complex,” Griffith says. “The support for finished cattle prices may be stemming from the thought that there are not as many cattle out in the country as was first thought. If this is truly the case, then finished cattle prices will be well supported in the spring with a target price exceeding $130.”

Wonderments about the number of cattle relative to previous estimates have to do with cattle slaughter.

Through Nov. 2, total cattle slaughter was a little more than 1% more than the same period last year, according to AMS.

“Heifer slaughter is over 7% greater than a year ago, while steer slaughter is nearly 3% below a year ago. Year-to-date cow slaughter is nearly 3% higher than a year ago, as well,” explain AMS analysts. “With these data points brought to the forefront, there is no doubt that the cattle herd has got to be contracting at this point. High costs of production in the cow-calf sector have got to be a factor in this pullback. Also, cow-calf producers nationwide are getting older. Some have the winter of 2018-2019 fresh in their minds and are not wanting to take on Old Man Winter again. There have already been auctions advertising herd liquidations in the Plains states before the end of the year.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Nov. 15

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

299,000

(-61,400)

51,200

(+1,600)

4,000

(-19,900)

354,200

(-79,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Nov. 14 Change
  $147.12 +  $1.28

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 15 Change
600-700 lbs. $152.08 + $1.65
700-800 lbs. $150.08 + $0.96
800-900 lbs. $149.89 + $2.17

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 15 Change
500-600 lbs. $153.27 + $0.80
600-700 lbs. $146.55 + $0.34
700-800 lbs. $147.11 + $1.16

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 15 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.60 + $0.19
500-600 lbs. $135.58 –  $0.48
600-700 lbs. $130.96 –  $0.15

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 15 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $240.80 + $1.69
Select $214.33 + $1.07
Ch-Se Spread $26.47 + $0.61

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 15 Change
Nov $146.250 –  $0.750
Jan ’20 $144.275 –  $1.600
Mar $144.225 –  $1.275
Apr $145.450 –  $1.375
May $146.075 –  $1.275
Aug $150.475 –  $1.375
Sep $150.850 –  $1.375
Oct $150.725 –  $1.350

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 15 Change
Dec $119.100 – $0.150
Feb ’20 $124.975 – $0.050
Apr $126.075 – $0.025
Jun $117.600 – $0.675
Aug $115.100 – $0.675
Oct $115.950 – $0.900
Dec $118.025 – $0.700
Feb ’21 $119.675 – $0.750
Apr $120.525 – $0.700

 

Corn futures Nov. 15 Change
Dec $3.712 – $0.060
Mar ’20 $3.806 – $0.058
May $3.864 – $0.070
Jul $3.924 – $0.072
Sep $3.910 – $0.052
Dec $3.956 – $0.054

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 15 Change
Dec $57.72 + $0.48
Jan ’20 $57.83 + $057
Feb $57.69 + $0.59
Mar $57.37 + $0.60
Apr $56.98 + $0.58
May $56.57 + $0.58

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 15 Change
Dow Industrial Average  28004.98 + 323.25
NASDAQ   8540.83 +    65.52
S&P 500   3120.46 +     27.38
Dollar (DXY)        98.00 –        0.40
November 17th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

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

Cash calf and feeder cattle prices mostly held their own or churned higher last week, as receipts increased and more farmer feeder were able to enter the market.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $4/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). That was with the second heaviest auction volume of the year at 360,400 head.

Other than $2.12 and 12¢ lower in the front two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 36¢ higher week to week on Friday.

“Discounts continue to be applied to calves with short or no weaning programs, but they are not nearly as severe as what was being applied a month ago,” say AMS analysts. “Colder weather is helping to straighten calves out and making them a little less risky to own.”

As well, late harvest, weather, and truck availability continue to be issues in various parts of the country.

“Demand for lightweight calves in Montana was reduced by dry conditions on the West Coast,” explain AMS analysts. “Transportation issues in the Northern Plains tightened demand late in the week, due to limited truck availability. It’s farming time in the Northern Plains and farmers need those trucks hooked to their grain trailers. Farmer feeders are still working on corn harvest in the Northern Plains, which is going slow as corn is wet and must be dried. This is keeping some of these buyers out of the market on calves, as they simply don’t have the time to take on a bawling calf.” They add that propane rationing in the Upper Midwest and Eastern Corn Belt, could further delay harvest completion.

With all of that said, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments that value of gain is currently offering opportunity to add weight to calves.

“With the assumption of buying 425-575 lb. steers in November and carrying those calves for 150 days ,with an average daily gain of 2 lbs./day, the expected value of gain ranges from $1.42 to $1.54/lb., Griffith explains, in his weekly market comments. “There is no guarantee in the stated value of gain if no form of price risk management is used. Thus, to increase the probability of successfully reaching the stated value of gain, one would have to sell a futures contract or do something similar to successfully capture this value. There is a strong potential for profit in what the market is currently offering, but this profit potential will change as the market changes, which means producers can either speculate that the market will stay the same or go higher or they can hedge their bets and capture the value being offered today.”

Cash fed cattle prices grind higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week at $114-$115/cwt. in the Southern Plains, which was mainly $2 higher in Kansas and $2-$3 higher in the Texas Panhandle. In Nebraska, live trade was unevenly steady at $114-$116. Prices in the western Corn Belt were $1-$2 higher at $114-$115. Dressed trade was $1-$2 higher at $181-$182.

Other than 27¢ lower in spot Dec and unchanged in away Dec, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ higher week to week on Friday.

“The finished cattle market is trading $14 higher than its fall low, on a live basis, which occurred eight weeks ago,” Griffith says. “Live cattle futures are pricing in further gains before the end of the year, which could mean a 20% price improvement from the fall lows. Beyond the end of the year, and pushing into the spring of 2020, Live Cattle futures are predicting finished cattle to reach $126/cwt. The current expectation for April is about $3 lower than the highest single week average in the spring of 2019, which may be disappointing to some. However, there is a good possibility of live cattle experiencing a single weekly average in 2020 that meets or exceeds $130.”

AMS analysts point out increasing boxed beef values and strong packer margins continue to support fed cattle prices, while providing incentive for packers to keep running plants hard.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.92 higher week to week on Friday at $239.12/cwt. Select was $5.75 higher at $213.26.

Beef Exports Remain Strong

U.S. beef exports in September were steady with last year in volume at 109,799 metric tons (mt), but value was 4% less at $661.3 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Through the first three quarters of the year, beef exports were 2% below last year’s record pace in both volume (991,325 mt) and value ($6.1 billion).

“While red meat exports face obstacles in some key markets, global demand dynamics are strong and we see opportunities for significant growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Progress is being made on market access improvements and this makes for a very positive outlook going forward.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Nov. 8

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

360,400

(+85,800)

49,600

(+600)

23,900

(+21,900)

433,900

(+108,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Nov. 7 Change
  $145.84 –   $0.14

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
600-700 lbs. $150.43 –  $1.42
700-800 lbs. $149.12 –  $0.97
800-900 lbs. $147.72 –  $2.35

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
500-600 lbs. $152.47 + $3.06
600-700 lbs. $146.21 + $3.48
700-800 lbs. $145.95 + $1.49

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.41 + $5.46
500-600 lbs. $136.06 + $3.74
600-700 lbs. $131.11 + $1.73

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $239.12 + $5.92
Select $213.26 + $5.75
Ch-Se Spread $25.86 + $0.17

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 8 Change
Nov $147.000 –  $2.125
Jan ’20 $145.875 –  $0.125
Mar $145.500 + $0.375
Apr $146.825 + $0.425
May $147.350 + $0.175
Aug $151.850 + $0.150
Sep $152.225 + $0.275
Oct $152.075 + $0.750

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 8 Change
Dec $119.250 – $0.275
Feb ’20 $125.025 +$0.800
Apr $126.100 +$0.650
Jun $118.275 +$0.525
Aug $115.775 +$0.475
Oct $116.850 +$0.575
Dec $118.725 -0-
Feb ’21 $120.425 +$0.350
Apr $121.225 +$0.950

 

Corn futures Nov. 8 Change
Dec $3.772 – $0.120
Mar ’20 $3.864 – $0.120
May $3.934 – $0.110
Jul $3.996 – $0.104
Sep $3.962 – $0.062
Dec $4.010 – $0.046

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 8 Change
Dec $57.24 + $1.04
Jan ’20 $57.26 + $0.99
Feb $57.10 + $0.95
Mar $56.77 + $0.91
Apr $56.40 + $0.56
May $55.99 + $0.79

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27681.24 + 333.88
NASDAQ   8475.31 +    88.91
S&P 500   3093.08 +     26.17
Dollar (DXY)        98.40 +       1.28
November 10th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Nov. 1, 2019

Stronger futures prices helped push cash calf and feeder cattle prices mainly steady to higher.

Yearling steers and heifers sold steady to $3 higher, while calves traded steady to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Long-time weaned calves with full rounds of preconditioning vaccinations sold on good demand, creating wide price spreads compared to calves with partial vaccinations,” according to AMS analysts. Between unseasonably cold temperatures and wintry weather in various parts of the country, they note that auction receipts were lighter than normal for the fall run.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.22 higher week to week on Friday. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was $1.25 higher week to week on Thursday at $145.98, the highest since April.

“Cattle ready to go on feed have been rejuvenated by stronger live cattle futures, which have spurred feeder cattle futures,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The November feeder cattle contract price has increased more than $8/cwt. since the first day of October, which has resulted in a very similar increase in load-lot cattle being marketed through Tennessee auctions.”

Fed Cattle Prices Gain

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped in the North through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Although there were too few transactions to trend, a few live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $112-$114/cwt. and a few dressed sales in Nebraska were at $180. Compared to the previous week, that was $2-$4 higher on a live basis and $5 higher in the beef.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.66 higher week to week on Friday.

Griffith points out the December Live Cattle contract is $19 higher than its low Sept. 9.

“Futures prices have live cattle moving higher before the end of the year, with further gains heading into late winter and early spring,” Griffith explains. “The market is beginning to take off, but it is difficult to determine what all is driving this uptick. With little information to support surging prices, now is the time to take advantage of hedging opportunities, especially with the strong premium in futures compared to cash.”

Wholesale beef values continue to sell higher year over year. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.76 higher week to week on Friday at $233.20/cwt. Select was $7.67 higher at $207.51.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $233.20/cwt. Friday, the highest since August—about a week after the Tyson fire. That was $14.65 more (+6.7%) than a year earlier. At $207.52 on Friday, Select was $3.27 more (+1.6%) more. The Choice-Select spread was 79.6% higher (+$11.39) at $25.69.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Nov. 1

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

274,600

(-15,600)

49,000

(+15,300)

2,000

(-30,700)

325,600

(-31,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Oct. 31 Change
  $145.98 +  $1.25

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 1 Change
600-700 lbs. $151.85 + $1.81
700-800 lbs. $150.09 + $2.11
800-900 lbs. $150.07 + $3.28

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Nov. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $149.41 + $1.29
600-700 lbs. $147.23 + $3.00
700-800 lbs. $144.46 –  $0.34

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Nov. 1 Change
400-500 lbs. $138.95 –  $0.63
500-600 lbs. $132.32 –  $1.35
600-700 lbs. $129.38 + $0.40

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Nov. 1 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $233.20 + $7.76
Select $207.51 + $7.67
Ch-Se Spread $25.69 + $0.09

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Nov. 1 Change
Nov $149.125 + $3.750
Jan ’20 $146.000 + $4.400
Mar $145.125 + $4.375
Apr $146.400 + $4.150
May $147.175 + $3.675
Aug $151.700 + $4.175
Sep $151.950 + $5.050
Oct $148.600 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Nov. 1 Change
Dec $119.525 +$3.450
Feb ’20 $124.225 +$3.150
Apr $125.450 +$2.850
Jun $117.750 +$2.875
Aug $115.300 +$2.525
Oct $116.275 +$2.250
Dec $118.725 +$2.200
Feb ’21 $120.075 +$2.000
Apr $120.275 n/a

 

Corn futures Nov. 1 Change
Dec $3.892 +$0.026
Mar ’20 $3.984 +$0.010
May $4.044 +$0.004
Jul $4.100 +$0.004
Sep $4.024 – $0.010
Dec $4.056 – $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI Nov. 1 Change
Dec $56.20 –  $0.46
Jan ’20 $56.27 –  $0.44
Feb $56.15 –  $0.44
Mar $55.86 –  $0.46
Apr $55.54 –  $0.41
May $55.20 –  $0.35

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Nov. 1 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27346.36 + 389.30
NASDAQ   8386.40 + 143.28
S&P 500    3066.91 +   44.36
Dollar (DXY)        97.12 –      0.71
November 3rd, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Oct. 25, 2019

Buyer demand remained strong for yearlings, while colder than normal temperatures in some areas of the county, along with snow and wet conditions, limited demand for un-weaned calves, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Potential health risks have kept most buyers at bay for calves. However, preconditioned long-time weaned calves did attract much more of the buyer’s attention, creating wide price spreads,” say AMS analysts. “Moreover, with harvest now in full swing, some farmer feeders are focusing on getting crops out rather than placing calves. With most feedlots at or near full capacity throughout most feeding regions, placing cattle has become challenging as empty pens are already spoken for or getting much needed maintenance work completed.”

Overall, AMS pegged the price trend for yearling steers and heifers at $3/cwt. lower to $1 higher. Steer and heifer calves sold $1-$3 lower.

“Prices for freshly weaned calves may suffer the next several weeks if the total number of head being marketed remains elevated,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The large swings in temperature this time of year result in high-risk cattle if they have not been weaned and vaccinated. The increased risk of morbidity and mortality force cattle buyers to lower their bids to account for the additional veterinary cost and death loss.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed $2.16 higher week to week on Friday, supported by increasing strength in cash fed cattle prices and Live Cattle futures.

Fed Cattle Prices Firm to Higher

Except for the Southern Plains, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports. Live sales in the Southern Plains on Thursday were at $110/cwt., which was $1 higher in Kansas and $2 higher in the Texas Panhandle.

“Negotiated cash fed trade in the Southern Plains provided a psychological victory for cattle feeders with the bulk of sales reported at $110, the highest since the early-August plant fire,” say AMS analysts. “The trend of pursuing high-grading cattle continued throughout all feeding regions with higher live prices reported as the week progressed.”

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.70 higher week to week on Friday ($1.40 to $2.45 higher).

“The finished cattle market is attempting to break through price resistance at $110. If there is any follow through next week then it is likely the fed cattle market will officially be out of its fall slump and heading toward better days,” Griffith says. “Live Cattle futures for October traded over $111 on Friday while the December contract traded over $115. The December contract will become the nearby contract next week, which means the market may see some jockeying in the December contract to close some of the $4 gap that currently exists. The better news is the February Live Cattle contract which is trading over $120.”

Seasonally increasing wholesale beef values continued to provide underlying support. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.40 higher week to week on Friday at $225.44/cwt. Select was $6.80 higher at $199.84. Over the last two weeks, Choice is up $9.88 and Select is $11.16 higher.

Griffith notes beef cow slaughter is 2.3% more than last year for January through September at 2.30 million head.

“It is difficult to say if these slaughter levels will actually result in reduced beef cowherd size when the Jan. 1 inventory report is released, but these slaughter levels have supported beef production in 2019,” Griffith says. “Despite strong beef production, prices continue to find support due to domestic demand and international demand. This will only be further supported if a deal with China is established.”

Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University points out African Swine Fever (AFS) in China is projected to reduce total global beef, pork and poultry production 1.5% this year, compared to 2018 and another 2.4% next year.

“At the same time, global meat exports are expected to increase 6.9% in 2019 compared to 2018 and to grow another 6.1% in 2020,” Peel explains, in his weekly market comments. “As a result, global meat exports are projected to expand from 11.2% of total production to 13.2% in just two years. ASF is not controlled in most countries where it is currently active; it is difficult to eradicate and restocking is usually unsuccessful if the disease is not completely controlled. The rebuilding of the global pork industry is not a matter of months but will take years. It is clear that ASF will have very significant impacts on global protein markets for the foreseeable future.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Oct. 25

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

290,200

(+16,200)

33,700

(-10,300)

32,700

(+30,600)

356,600

(+36,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Oct. 24 Change
  $144.73 –   $0.87

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 25 Change
600-700 lbs. $150.04 –  $1.41
700-800 lbs. $147.98 –  $1.35
800-900 lbs. $146.79 –  $0.05

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 25 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.12 –  $1.06
600-700 lbs. $144.23 –  $2.36
700-800 lbs. $144.80 –  $2.90

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 25 Change
400-500 lbs. $139.58 –  $0.67
500-600 lbs. $133.67 + $0.69
600-700 lbs. $128.98 –  $2.22

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 25 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $225.44 + $7.40
Select $199.84 + $6.80
Ch-Se Spread $25.60 + $0.60

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 25 Change
Oct $145.700 + $2.200
Nov $145.375 + $2.525
Jan ’20 $141.600 + $2.150
Mar $140.750 + $1.900
Apr $142.250 + $1.925
May $143.500 + $2.350
Aug $147.525 + $2.025
Sep $146.900 + $2.200

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 25 Change
Oct $111.975 +$1.500
Dec $116.075 +$2.450
Feb ’20 $121.075 +$2.000
Apr $122.600 +$1.675
Jun $114.875 +$1.425
Aug $112.775 +$1.375
Oct $114.025 +$1.400
Dec $116.525 +$1.825
Feb ’21 $118.075 +$1.625

 

Corn futures Oct. 25 Change
Dec $3.866 – $0.044
Mar ’20 $3.974 – $0.052
May $4.040 – $0.054
Jul $4.096 – $0.056
Sep $4.034 – $0.030
Dec $4.076 – $0.026

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 25 Change
Dec $56.66 + $2.79
Jan ’20 $56.71 + $2.89
Feb $56.59 + $2.97
Mar $56.32 + $2.95
Apr $55.95 + $2.87
May $55.55 + $2.75

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 25 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26958.06 + 187.25
NASDAQ   8243.12 + 153.58
S&P 500    3022.55 +   36.38
Dollar (DXY)        97.83 +     0.69
October 27th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Oct. 18, 2019

Drier conditions and recently higher cash prices fostered increased calf and feeder cattle trade in some areas last week. In other areas, continued wet conditions limited receipts and demand.

Yearling steers and heifers sold steady to $4/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Calves traded from $3 lower to $4 higher.

“There was very good demand for yearlings as the supply coming off grass tightens and the cash fed cattle market moves higher,” say AMS analysts. “Bawling calves seem to be finding the most variable demand, very dependent on how much or little health risk buyers view each lot as having…Discounts for those calves without shots or legitimate weaning programs are severe.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle closed $1.01 lower through the front three contracts and then 30¢ lower to 37¢ cents higher across the rest of the board.

Although calf prices bucked the seasonal trend in some parts of the country, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee cautions that increased support likely lies at least six weeks into the future. If temperatures and precipitation cooperate, he says calf prices this spring could be 2-3% higher than last year.

Based on USDA reports, negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon was looking most steady to mixed. Live prices in the Southern Plains were steady to $1 lower at $108/cwt. Dressed trade in the North was $1-$3 higher at mostly $173 in the western Corn Belt and at $173-$175 in Nebraska.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher week to week on Friday (27¢ higher to $1.47 higher in spot Oct).

There was an explosion at Cargill’s Dodge City packing facility this week, in a room adjacent to the main facility. Cattle harvest stopped for the remainder of the week but is expected to be back to full speed by early this week.

Wholesale beef values continued to rebound seasonally. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.48 higher week to week on Friday at $218.04/cwt. Select was $4.36 higher at $193.04.

“The domestic supply of meat is extremely strong and all indications are that it will continue to grow. It seems like a stretch to think that the increased production can be absorbed by the domestic market and maintain price levels, much less strengthen prices,” Griffith says, in his weekly market comments. “U.S. red meat and poultry consumption for 2019 is estimated at 220.4 lbs. per person, which is about 2.5 lbs. higher than 2018, with 2018 consumption being the highest since 2007. The estimate for 2020 meat and poultry consumption is 3.1 lbs. higher than 2019. These consumption numbers do not represent demand, but how much meat must be consumed domestically based on production. These estimates are saying the export market is vital to support farm level prices.”

USDA forecasts more U.S. beef exports next year, compared to this year’s strong pace.

“Total exports (beef) in 2020 are forecast up 6% to a record 3.3 billion lbs., accounting for 12% of U.S. production,” say Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “The United States is poised to expand market share in top markets such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as key competitor Australia struggles to maintain its market shares, given its reduced exportable supplies and its dominance in filling China demand.”

At the same time, ERS expects the U.S. to import less beef in 2020.

“U.S. imports will likely be limited by a combination of tighter supplies in Oceania and expected increased demand for beef in Asia due to African Swine Fever,” say ERS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Oct. 18

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

274,000

(+55,500)

44,000

(+25,400)

2,100

(-31,100)

320,100

(+20,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Oct. 17 Change
  $145.60 +  $0.97

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 18 Change
600-700 lbs. $151.45 + $0.15
700-800 lbs. $149.33 + $1.31
800-900 lbs. $146.84 + $0.37

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 18 Change
500-600 lbs. $149.18 + $0.90
600-700 lbs. $146.59 + $0.74
700-800 lbs. $147.70 + $2.08

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 18 Change
400-500 lbs. $140.25 + $0.23
500-600 lbs. $132.98 + $1.13
600-700 lbs. $131.20 + $3.43

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 18 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $218.04 + $2.48
Select $193.04 + $4.36
Ch-Se Spread $25.00 –  $1.98

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 18 Change
Oct $143.500 –  $0.600
Nov $142.850 –  $1.400
Jan ’20 $139.450 –  $1.025
Mar $138.850 –  $0.300
Apr $140.325 –  $0.025
May $141.150 + $0.100
Aug $145.700 + $0.375
Sep $144.700 –  $0.075

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 18 Change
Oct $110.475 +$1.025
Dec $113.625 +$1.475
Feb ’20 $119.075 +$1.025
Apr $120.925 +$0.725
Jun $113.450 +$0.325
Aug $111.400 +$0.275
Oct $112.625 +$0.300
Dec $114.700 +$0.475
Feb ’21 $116.450 +$0.775

 

Corn futures Oct. 18 Change
Dec $3.910 – $0.066
Mar ’20 $4.026 – $0.050
May $4.094 – $0.032
Jul $4.152 – $0.012
Sep $4.064 – $0.012
Dec $4.102 – $0.002

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 18 Change
Nov $53.78 –  $0.92
Dec $53.87 –  $0.91
Jan ’20 $53.82 –  $0.90
Feb $53.62 –  $0.92
Mar $53.37 –  $0.97
Apr $53.08 –  $1.02

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 18 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26770.81 –     45.78
NASDAQ   8089.54 +    32.50
S&P 500    2986.17 +    15.90
Dollar (DXY)        97.14 –        1.19
October 20th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Oct. 11, 2019

While discounts are increasing for un-weaned calves, demand continues strong for the dwindling supply of yearlings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“As the cash fed cattle market works its way higher and the supply of yearlings gets tighter, buyers are willing to chase the feeder market,” explained the AMS reporter on hand for Monday’s weekly auction at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where yearlings traded steady with instances of $2 higher.

Nationwide, AMS pegged the trend for cash calves and feeders at $3/cwt. lower to $2 higher, with calves in the Northern Plains trading for as much as $8 lower.

“The Southeast started to move more calves this week, compared to recent weeks and the demand would be considered moderate to good,” say AMS analysts. “Demand for feeders is good for those calves weaned at least 45 days and preferably for 60 days, along with a couple of rounds of shots.”

Although auction receipts increased week to week, winter weather in the Northern Plains and muddy feedlot conditions continued to limit demand. This year’s extended wet weather also appears to be weighing on weaning weights in some areas.

“In Nebraska, most sellers pick a week and sell their livestock at about the same time every year. The bulk of the calves and some yearlings are a few pounds lighter than last year,” AMS analysts explain. “Most pasture grass grew rapidly all summer and never hardened up. A lot of producers complained about washy grass and it has affected the weaning weight on a lot of calves.”

Feeder Cattle futures grew more optimistic, closing an average of $1.91 higher week to week on Friday (80¢to $2.87 higher). That was thanks to a mid-week surge that was difficult to explain.

Stronger futures also came in the face of Corn futures that were an average of 11¢ higher through the front four contracts week to week. Traders took Corn down hard Thursday, with bearish estimates in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. They rebounded Friday with reports that the U.S. and China reached agreement to a phased approach to its trade standoff, which will suspend added tariffs, for now at least.

Carcass Weights Suggest Market Currentness

Except for some early sales in the North, negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports.

Early dressed sales in Nebraska were $2 higher than the previous week at $172/cwt. Early dressed sales also were trading for $172 in the western Corn Belt, but too few to trend. Live sales in the western Corn Belt were steady to $2 higher than the previous week at $109. Live sales were at $109-$110 in Nebraska, but too few to trend.

Through Thursday, the average five-area direct fed steer price was $3.36 higher week to week at $109.08/cwt. on a live basis. The average dressed steer price was $3.44 higher at $170.08.

Live Cattle futures continued to extend recent gains, closing an average of $1.24 higher week to week on Friday (95¢higher to $2.10 higher in spot Oct).

Earlier in the week, Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University explained market impacts from the Tyson plant fire have mostly dissipated.

“Limited packing capacity will likely continue to restrict fed cattle prices somewhat, but it appears the industry has thus far avoided even worse implications of a serious backlog of fed cattle and a pronounced lack of ability to process cattle in a timely fashion,” Peel explained, in his weekly market comments.

Wholesale beef values also appear to have found a seasonal bottom.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.70 higher week to week on Friday at $215.66/cwt. Select was $1.76 higher at $188.68.

Moreover, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says retail beef prices are demand neutral. In his weekly market comments, he explains the all fresh beef retail price last month was $5.78/lb., which was 7¢less than the prior month and 5¢higher than the same time a year earlier.

“Total meat production is something to keep an eye on while trade deals are hashed out,” Griffith says. “It will take some strong trade deals and China importing a lot of meat protein from any country to help support prices and clear the market.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

# head

Oct. 11

Auction 

(change)

Direct 

(change)

Video/Net 

(change)

Total 

(change)

 

218,500

(+28,800)

48,100

(-12,500)

33,200

(+28,900)

299,800

(+42,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Oct. 10 Change
  $144.65 +  $1.05

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 11 Change
600-700 lbs. $151.30 –  $1.06
700-800 lbs. $148.02 –  $4.18
800-900 lbs. $146.47 –  $0.51

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Oct. 11 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.28 –  $1.02
600-700 lbs. $145.85 –  $1.16
700-800 lbs. $145.62 –  $0.45

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Oct. 11 Change
400-500 lbs. $140.02 + $0.95
500-600 lbs. $131.85 + $1.56
600-700 lbs. $127.77 + $1.49

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Oct. 11 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $215.66 + $3.70
Select $188.68 + $1.76
Ch-Se Spread $26.98 + $1.94

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Oct. 11 Change
Oct $144.100 + $3.675
Nov $144.250 + $3.650
Jan ’20 $140.475 + $3.500
Mar $139.150 + $3.000
Apr $140.350 + $3.000
May $141.050 + $2.550
Aug $145.125 + $3.775
Sep $144.475 + $0.975

 

Live Cattle   Oct. 11 Change
Oct $109.450 +$2.100
Dec $112.150 +$1.375
Feb ’20 $118.050 +$4.700
Apr $120.200 +$1.425
Jun $113.125 +$0.975
Aug $111.125 +$0.950
Oct $112.325 +$1.025
Dec $114.225 +$1.175
Feb ’21 $115.675 +$1.150

 

Corn futures Oct. 11 Change
Dec $3.976 +$0.130
Mar ’20 $4.076 +$0.106
May $4.126 +$0.102
Jul $4.164 +$0.108
Sep $4.076 +$0.072
Dec $4.100 +$0.058

 

Oil CME-WTI Oct. 11 Change
Nov $54.70 + $1.89
Dec $54.78 + $2.04
Jan ’20 $54.72 + $2.16
Feb $54.54 + $2.21
Mar $54.34 + $2.27
Apr $54.10 + $2.34

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Oct. 11 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26816.59 + 242.87
NASDAQ   8057.04 +    74.57
S&P 500    2970.27 +    18.16
Dollar (DXY)        98.33 –      0.51
October 20th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Sept. 13, 2019

Cattle futures rallied after potentially finding the lows on Monday, but cash calf and feeder cattle prices continued under pressure most of the week.

Steers and heifers sold mostly $2-$6/cwt. lower, with calves as much as $10 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.29 higher ($2.55 to $3.77 higher).

“The most pressing issue from a marketing standpoint comes from the expectation that calf prices will continue to soften from now through November,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Producers are already taking a hit on the chin with relatively low calf prices…the market is poor and there is no near term improvement in sight with the fall marketing rush around the corner.”

In his neck of the woods, where dryness is spreading, Griffith noted some producers are compounding the situation by using available forage to hold calves longer in hopes of market improvement.

“The available marketing alternatives become fewer the longer a person waits to make a decision,” Griffith says. “Not only do alternatives become fewer, but the check often gets smaller.”

Fed Cattle Prices Sag

Fed cattle prices continued to grind lower on lighter week-to-week trade through late Friday afternoon.

Week to week through Thursday afternoon, on lighter trade, the Five Area direct average steer price was $2.82 lower at $99.49/cwt. on a live basis. The average dressed steer price was $6.69 lower at $159.50.

Through Friday afternoon, USDA reported negotiated prices in the Texas Panhandle $1 lower at $99. 

Live Cattle futures rallied, though, helped along by surging Lean Hog futures. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of $3.91 higher ($3.45 to $4.70 higher).

Plentiful supplies and the continued bottleneck resulting from less harvest capacity, resulting from the Tyson plant fire, continue to cap fed cattle price potential.

So far, it appears that positive fed cattle basis continues to encourage timely fed cattle marketing, maintaining currentness. However, Griffith explains that could change, given the incentive of further-out futures premiums.

“Cattle feeders have been willing sellers of fat cattle most of the year, but the market is beginning to send signals that may derail the marketing schedule and result in heavier cattle being marketed,” Griffith says. “The deferred contract months are trading at a premium compared to the October contract, which provides cattle feeders an incentive to feed cattle longer. The December Live Cattle contract has a $6/cwt. premium priced in compared to October while the February contract has more than a $12 premium. These types of premiums may result in feedlot managers deciding to keep cattle on feed two to three weeks longer in hopes of capturing higher prices. This decision will also result in more beef hitting the market.”

At the same time, besides seasonal pressure, wholesale beef prices continue downward, adjusting to fundamental price levels before the Tyson fire.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.43 lower week to week on Friday at $220.88/cwt. Select was $3.34 lower at $198.60.

“Prices are closing in on $20 lower than their weekly peak but remain $5 higher than where they were prior to the fire,” Griffith explains. “It is likely boxed beef prices will continue to moderate as fall approaches since the market is typically soft compared to the summer. The next round of support for beef prices will be the holiday season, but holiday price support is a few months down the road.”

Chinese purchases of U.S. pork last week, if continued, could provide some support.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sep. 13

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

176,400

(+69,600)

73,500

(+15,400)

122,000

(+107,300)

371,900

(+192,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Sept. 12 Change
  $136.09 –  $2.27

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 13 Change
600-700 lbs. $147.21 –  $8.08
700-800 lbs. $143.06 –  $4.09
800-900 lbs. $135.35 –  $5.10

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 13 Change
500-600 lbs. $142.74 –  $5.35
600-700 lbs. $141.30 –  $3.48
700-800 lbs. $137.73 –  $2.01

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 13 Change
400-500 lbs. $139.62 –  $5.15
500-600 lbs. $132.09 –  $5.47
600-700 lbs. $126.86 –  $5.12

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 13 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $220.88 –  $6.43
Select $198.60 –  $3.34
Ch-Se Spread $22.28 –  $3.09

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 13 Change
Sep $136.500 + $3.150
Oct $134.575 + $3.675
Nov $134.025 + $3.650
Jan ’20 $131.975 + $3.500
Mar $131.400 + $3.000
Apr $132.625 + $3.000
May $132.975 + $2.550
Aug $135.975 + $3.775

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 13 Change
Oct $98.075 +$3.200
Dec $104.375 +$4.625
Feb ’20 $111.100 +$4.700
Apr $115.050 +$4.200
Jun $107.950 +$3.675
Aug $106.250 +$3.850
Oct $107.950 +$3.500
Dec $110.800 +$3.950
Feb ’21 $112.300 +$3.450

 

Corn futures Sept. 13 Change
Sep $3.554 +$0.130
Dec $3.686 +$0.132
Mar ’20 $3.814 +$0.128
May $3.904 +$0.130
Jul $3.970 +$0.124
Sep $4.006 +$0.106

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 13 Change
Oct $54.85 –  $1.67
Nov $54.80 –  $1.63
Dec $54.59 –  $1.58
Jan ’20 $54.27 –  $1.55
Feb $53.94 –  $1.52
Mar $53.61 –  $1.49

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 13 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27219.52 + 422.06
NASDAQ     8176.71 +    73.64
S&P 500     3007.39 +    28.68
Dollar (DXY)          97.86 –      0.53
September 15th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Sept. 6, 2019

Sliding cash fed cattle prices cast a pall over markets, especially later in the week.

Overall, feeders and calves traded $3/cwt. lower to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), with the most strength in the North Central region.

Thanks to a surge early in the week, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 58¢higher across a broad range (5¢to $1.05 higher), except for 2¢lower in Jan.

“The market price movement from the middle of April to the beginning of September has been a violent ride from a futures standpoint,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “A quick glance at the September contract shows a decline from $162/cwt. at the peak to below $134 recently. The cash prices have not seen as violent of a movement, but they have not benefited from this type of action.”

Between extending grazing opportunities and lousy prices, auction receipts continue lighter year over year. Year to date, auction, direct and video receipts counted by the National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary are 4.4% less than the same time last year, according to AMS.

“Feeder cattle producers have been hesitant to offer yearlings for sale as they would like to see a higher market, but with an abundance of grass, the need to pull cattle off and ship them to town has diminished,” say AMS analysts. “Feedlot backgrounders are just as hesitant to sell cattle but are also very concerned of where the market could go if the Live Cattle futures contracts go lower yet.”

Cash Fed Cattle Prices Continue Lower

Live sales ended up $3 lower in the Southern Plains last week at $100/cwt., $4-$6 lower in Nebraska at mostly $100 and $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at $102-$107. Dressed sales were $9-$10 lower in Nebraska at $160-$166; $7-$9 lower in the western Corn Belt at $163-$166.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.53 lower through the front three contracts and then and average of 46¢lower.

“The weak Live Cattle futures complex is hanging heavy on cattle feeders’ minds as they want to buy yearlings and get them placed on feed, but breakeven prices are much higher than current futures prices,” say AMS analysts. “Outgoing fed cattle continue to lose money and the outlook going forward is very murky, leaving cattle feeders very unsure of what they should do.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.46 lower week to week on Friday at $227.31/cwt. Select was $10.33 lower at $201.94.

“Boxed beef prices have spent the last couple of weeks retreating from their post-Tyson fire high,” Griffith explains. “The two weeks following the fire, the Choice cutout value escalated nearly $34 to just shy of $240/cwt. This was an unexpected price boom for packers who generally have to fight the market in late summer and fall. However, they continue to benefit from the sudden price escalation as prices this week remain a good $12 higher than where they were prior to the fire.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sep. 6

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

106,800

(-43,600)

58,100

(-500)

14,700

(-197,100)

179,600

(-241,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Sept. 5 Change
  $138.36 –  0.19

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 6 Change
600-700 lbs. $155.29 + $1.37
700-800 lbs. $147.15 + $0.57
800-900 lbs. $140.45 –  $1.75

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Sept. 6 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.09 –  $2.26
600-700 lbs. $144.78 –  $1.34
700-800 lbs. $139.74 –  $1.97

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Sept. 6 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.77 –  $1.12
500-600 lbs. $137.56 –  $1.23
600-700 lbs. $131.98 –  $2.03

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Sept. 6 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $227.31 –  $4.46
Select $201.94 –  $10.33
Ch-Se Spread $25.37 + $5.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Sept. 6 Change
Sep $133.350 + $0.950
Oct $130.900 + $0.100
Nov $130.375 + $0.050
Jan ’20 $128.475 –  $0.025
Mar $128.400 + $0.350
Apr $129.625 + $0.700
May $130.425 + $0.850
Aug $132.200 + $1.050

 

Live Cattle   Sept. 6 Change
Oct $94.875 – $4.050
Dec $99.750 – $3.925
Feb ’20 $106.400 – $2.625
Apr $110.850 – $0.325
Jun $104.275 – $0.125
Aug $102.400 – $0.075
Oct $104.450 – $0.225
Dec $106.850 – $1.550

 

Corn futures Sept. 6 Change
Sep $3.424 – $0.156
Dec $3.554 – $0.142
Mar ’20 $3.686 – $0.136
May $3.774 – $0.126
Jul $3.846 – $0.124
Sep $3.900 – $0.092

 

Oil CME-WTI Sept. 6 Change
Oct $56.52 + $1.42
Nov $56.43 + $1.54
Dec $56.17 + $1.61
Jan ’20 $55.82 + $1.66
Feb $55.46 + $1.68
Mar $55.10 + $1.67

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Sept. 6 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26796.46 + 394.18
NASDAQ     8103.07 + 140.19
S&P 500     2978.71 +   52.25
Dollar (DXY)          98.01 –      0.80
September 8th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 30, 2019

Cattle markets started the week with some bounce from news about the U.S. trade deal with Japan and a neutral to friendly monthly Cattle on Feed report. However, Cattle futures faltered as the week wore on, with wholesale beef values adjusting lower toward pre-fire levels and with holiday beef buying in the rearview mirror.

Steer and heifer calves sold mostly steady to $5/cwt. higher, while yearlings traded steady to $3 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“With the CME cattle board displaying a gloomy outlook the last quarter, demand for big yearlings off grass was good at the few locations that had several load lots on hand,” say AMS analysts. 

At the same time, sellers are less than eager to accept current prices. For instance at Superior’s Big Horn Classic video auction the previous week, with 208,800 head on offer, the AMS reporter noted some consignors moved cattle to the next sale or passed on the bids.

“Given the lower placement numbers for July, based on the August Cattle on Feed report, one could probably surmise that there are several feeder cattle that will be coming to market in September and October,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “If corn prices remain relatively low and beef demand remains steady, then yearling type cattle prices should remain steady the next several weeks before succumbing to a downtrend.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.91 lower week to week on Friday (87¢ lower in spot Sep to $2.40 lower).

Although a sense of normalcy is returning, there’s still plenty of uncertainty remaining after the Aug. 9 fire that temporarily shuttered the Tyson plan at Holcombe, KS.

“While the impacts of the Tyson plant fire will likely diminish relatively quickly in the next few weeks, feeder cattle markets are still nervous and defensive about the corn market situation, increasingly shaky macroeconomic conditions and continued global economic turmoil,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “The uncertainty and volatility impacting feeder cattle markets is likely to continue this fall and winter. This increases the risks of winter stocker production but may also present short term opportunities for either buying or selling cattle or both,” Peel says. “The best advice at this point is to evaluate and reevaluate possibilities frequently and remain as nimble as possible both offensively and defensively.”

Cash Fed Cattle Prices Sink

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices lost ground as the week progressed. They ended up $3/cwt. lower in the Southern Plains last week at $103/cwt. Live trades were $2-$3 lower in Nebraska at $104-$106 and steady to $5 lower in the western Corn Belt at $105-$110. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $6-$10 lower at $165-$172; $3-$7 lower in the western Corn Belt at mostly $171.

“The market is down one large harvest facility,” Griffith says. “Cattle feeders cannot feed the same animal for infinity and beyond. Availability of feeder cattle will increase in the near term. All of this information results in packers continuing to put the squeeze on cattle feeders as they appear to be holding all of the leverage. It is difficult to identify any leverage point cattle feeders control in today’s market, but this situation will not last forever.”

Except for 37¢ higher in expiring Aug and 45¢ higher in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 57¢ lower week to week on Friday.

Although feedlot marketing remained aggressive last month, the estimated supply of cattle on feed more than 120 days was 0.7% more than the previous year, according to Brenda Boetel, a livestock economist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“Total cattle on feed inventory saw the largest July-to-August decline since 2008,” Boetel explains in the most recent In the Cattle Markets. “Although cattle are currently being marketed in a timely manner, there is danger that this pace will slow and currentness will slip. Given the decrease in slaughter capacity due to the Tyson fire, Saturday slaughter will need to continue to keep the market current. Keeping up with the increased supply in the fourth quarter will be a challenge.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.75 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $231.77/cwt. Select was 44¢ lowerat $212.27. Compared to the Friday of the Tyson fire, that’s still $15.40 more Choice and $18.46 more for Select.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 30

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

150,400

(+150,400)

58,600

(-6,300)

211,800

(+145,900)

420,800

(+202,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 29 Change
  $138.55 –  1.17

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 30 Change
600-700 lbs. $153.92 –  $6.45
700-800 lbs. $146.58 –  $5.52
800-900 lbs. $142.206 –  $3.46

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 30 Change
500-600 lbs. $150.35 + $1.06
600-700 lbs. $146.12 + $1.46
700-800 lbs. $141.71 + $1.62

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 30 Change
400-500 lbs. $145.89 + $1.16
500-600 lbs. $138.79 + $2.52
600-700 lbs. $134.01 + $2.05

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 30 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $231.77 –  $5.75
Select $212.27 –  $0.44
Ch-Se Spread $19.50 –  $5.31

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 30 Change
Sep $132.400 –  $0.850
Oct $130.800 –  $1.725
Nov $130.325 –  $1.975
Jan ’20 $128.500 –  $1.925
Mar $128.050 –  $2.175
Apr $128.925 –  $2.400
May $129.575 –  $2.325
Aug $131.150 n/a

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 30 Change
Aug $105.000 + $0.375
Oct $98.925 – $0.475
Dec $103.675 – $0.625
Feb ’20 $109.025 – $0.700
Apr $111.175 – $0.725
Jun $104.400 – $0.400
Aug $102.475 – $0.525
Oct $104.675 – $0.575
Dec $108.400 + $0.450

 

Corn futures Aug. 30 Change
Sep $3.580 – $0.016
Dec $3.696 + $0.020
Mar ’20 $3.822 + $0.022
May $3.900 + $0.016
Jul $3.970 + $0.018
Sep $3.992 + $0.002

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 30 Change
Oct $55.10 + $0.93
Nov $54.89 + $0.87
Dec $54.56 + $0.82
Jan ’20 $54.16 + $0.75
Feb $53.78 + $0.69
Mar $53.43 + $0.61

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 30 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26403.28 + 774.38
NASDAQ     7962.88 + 211.11
S&P 500     2926.46 +   79.35
Dollar (DXY)          98.81 +     1.55
August 31st, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 23, 2019

Calf and feeder cattle prices last week continued to rebound from bearishness tied to the Tyson fire.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $1-$5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“The supply of feeders was light with receipts much lower than normal,” according to AMS analysts. “Coupling the week’s receipts with last week, a new two-week non-holiday low was set by only having 192,900 head sold at weekly auctions.”

After getting within spitting distance of where they were before the fire, Cattle futures fell on Friday, beneath the weight of a variety of factors that included record-high July U.S. red meat production, the sharp month-to-month increase in frozen beef supplies an sharply lower outside markets tied to increasingly volatile trade relations between the U.S. and China.

Feeder Cattle futures closed $2.77 and 87¢ higher in the front two contracts week to week on Friday and then an average of 31¢ lower.

“The finished cattle market experienced a soft rebound this week following last week’s precipitous decline,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “A few dollars were gained back by cattle feeders, but they are still below where they were prior to the news of the Tyson fire. The story in all of this is what is happening in futures. The August Live Cattle contract has regained half of its losses but all the deferred contracts continue to be bottom feeders. The deferred contracts have failed to have any follow-through when compared to the August contract. When the August contract terminates, the October contract is likely to make some type of sudden movement since it will be the nearby contract. The strong basis will keep cattle moving out of feedlots.”

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.54 higher through the front five contracts (60¢ higher to $4.70 higher in spot Aug) and then an average of 36¢ lower.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.17 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $237.52/cwt. Select was 55¢ lowerat $212.71.

“Beef markets reacted sharply higher last week as fears of reduced product availability initially led to the sharp rise in prices for Choice boxed beef, up 12% from the Aug. 9 close to the peak Aug. 21,” AMS analysts explain. “Much of this rise was attributed to buying for the coming Labor Day holiday (September 2) as retailers competed to acquire sufficient product to cover planned holiday promotions. Prices have since begun to decline as buyers cover their needs and retreat from the market.”

“…there was concern that the reduced slaughter capacity may influence the short and intermediate term availability of beef items. Using weekly slaughter data, it is too early to tell if slaughter has actually slowed due to the Tyson facility being shut down,” Griffith says. “However, it appears that other facilities have ramped up chain speed and are running on Saturday to fill the gap. One should not be so naïve to think that packers are running faster and harder to help the cattle industry. Packers are attempting to pick up the slack because they are making profits that exceed $400 per head. Thus, there is plenty of incentive for packers to run chain speeds as quickly as possible and keep killing cattle. Paying workers overtime wages is a small price to pay to take advantage of the current beef market. Maybe the one positive for cattle producers to take away from this is that beef demand is strong.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 23

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

87,400

(-17,400)

64,900

(+37,000)

65,900

(-4,200)

218,200

(+15,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 22 Change
  $139.72 + 2.12

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 23 Change
600-700 lbs. $160.37 + $1.44
700-800 lbs. $152.10 + $3.54
800-900 lbs. $145.66 + $2.20

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 23 Change
500-600 lbs. $149.29 + $1.08
600-700 lbs. $144.66 + $2.20
700-800 lbs. $140.09 + $3.89

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 23 Change
400-500 lbs. $144.73 + $3.13
500-600 lbs. $136.27 + $2.49
600-700 lbs. $131.96 + $3.18

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 23 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $237.52 –  $1.17
Select $212.71 –  $0.55
Ch-Se Spread $24.81 –  $0.62

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 23 Change
Aug $137.350 + $2.775
Sep $133.250 + $0.875
Oct $132.525 –  $0.325
Nov $132.300 –  $0.450
Jan ’20 $130.425 –  $0.500
Mar $130.225 –  $0.075
Apr $131.325 –  $0.100
May $131.900 –  $0.400

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 23 Change
Aug $104.625 +$4.700
Oct $99.400 +$1.350
Dec $104.300 +$0.775
Feb ’20 $109.725 +$0.800
Apr $111.900 +$0.600
Jun $104.800 – $0.025
Aug $103.000 – $0.200
Oct $105.250 – $0.325
Dec $107.950 – $0.900

 

Corn futures Aug. 23 Change
Sep $3.596 –  $0.114
Dec $3.676 –  $0.130
Mar ’20 $3.800 –  $0.126
May $3.884 –  $0.116
Jul $3.952 –  $0.104
Sep $3.990 –  $0.060

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 23 Change
Oct $54.17 –  $0.64
Nov $54.02 –  $0.40
Dec $53.74 –  $0.25
Jan ’20 $53.41 –  $0.15
Feb $53.09 –  $0.10
Mar $52.82 –  $0.08

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 23 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25628.90 -257.11
NASDAQ     7751.77 -144.22
S&P 500     2847.11 –   41.57
Dollar (DXY)          97.26 –    0.94
August 26th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 16, 2019

Fire at the Tyson beef packing plant at Holcombe, KS cast a pall over cattle markets last week.

Uncertainty about how much beef packing capacity was lost and for how long, amid seasonally and cyclically heavy fed cattle supplies, created an exodus among futures traders at the opening bell.

Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle futures were limit-down last Monday, then down the expanded limit in some contracts Tuesday.

Some auctions cancelled sales, waiting for the dust to settle. Where auctions proceeded, extreme heat and the futures fallout limited receipts and demand.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $5-$10/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $5.48 lower week to week on Friday. They were down an average $10.10 after the first two sessions of the week, before recovering an average of $5.18 on Wednesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index was down $4.06 week to week on Thursday at $137.60.

All of that was with Corn futures closing an average of 36¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week on Friday. Pressure was tied to the surprisingly large estimate for corn production in last week’s USDA Crop Production report.

Cash feeder prices were already under pressure, of course.

“Prices for feeder steers weighing 750-800 lbs. for the week of August 12, 2019, were $137.71/cwt., more than $10 below the same week last year,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. “Based on recent price data, the third-quarter 2019 feeder steer price was lowered by $1 to $142 and the 2019 fourth-quarter price forecast was lowered $1 from the prior month to $140. This month’s annual price forecast for 2019 is $141/cwt.”

“This market is likely to rebound following the kneejerk reaction,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The primary rebound will be in the yearling cattle arena which is where cattle feeders will continue to search for cattle to fill pen space. The calf market may see a short-lived rebound, but the calf market is going to be coming under seasonal price pressure as spring born calves begin to move to market in September and October.”

Fed Cattle Lower in Cautious Trade

Through late Friday afternoon, the only established negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week remained the $105/cwt. paid in the Southern Plains, which was $5 less than the previous week. Although too few to trend, there were a few trades in Nebraska Friday at $106/cwt. on a live basis and at $172 in the beef.

Through Thursday the 5-area direct steer price was $105.40 on a live basis (7,941 head) and $170.46 in the beef (4,172 head). Week to week that was $8.71 less on a live basis and $12.11 less dressed.

Live Cattle futures were down an average of $7.34 after the first two trading sessions of the week. Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $6.53 lower ($4.17 to $8.70 lower). 

“The last time the weekly weighted average finished cattle price fell below $100 was December 2010, while the $100 mark was only achieved in 12 weeks from 2000 through 2010,” Griffith says. “Could the cash market fall below the century mark? It is possible, but unlikely.”

Wholesale beef prices exploded higher as there were apparently lots of buyers living hand to mouth in the spot market for supply.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was a staggering $22.32 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $238.69/cwt. Select was $19.45 higher at $213.26.

“Price jumps like this do not come along very often and will be only temporary as adjustments take place in future,” say AMS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 16

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

104,800

(-49,800)

27,900

(-26,200)

70,100

(-171,300)

202,800

(-247,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 15 Change
  $137.60 –  4.06

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
600-700 lbs. $158.93 –  $3.75
700-800 lbs. $148.56 –  $5.17
800-900 lbs. $143.46 –  $0.41

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
500-600 lbs. $148.21 –  $9.02
600-700 lbs. $142.46 –  $8.36
700-800 lbs. $136.20 –  $7.61

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 16 Change
400-500 lbs. $141.60 –  $7.08
500-600 lbs. $133.78 –  $7.93
600-700 lbs. $128.78 –  $6.65

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 16 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $238.69 + $22.32
Select $213.26 + $19.45
Ch-Se Spread $25.43 +   $2.87

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 16 Change
Aug $134.575 –  $4.325
Sep $132.375 –  $6.075
Oct $132.850 –  $5.400
Nov $132.750 –  $5.525
Jan ’20 $130.925 –  $5.675
Mar $130.300 –  $5.725
Apr $131.425 –  $5.675
May $132.300 –  $5.475

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 16 Change
Aug $99.925 – $8.125
Oct $98.050 – $8.700
Dec $103.525 – $7.925
Feb ’20 $108.925 – $6.775
Apr $111.300 – $6.375
Jun $104.825 – $6.050
Aug $103.200 – $5.750
Oct $105.575 – $4.900
Dec $108.850 – $4.175

 

Corn futures Aug. 16 Change
Sep $3.710 –  $0.392
Dec $3.806 –  $0.370
Mar ’20 $3.926 –  $0.356
May $4.000 –  $0.340
Jul $4.056 –  $0.318
Sep $4.050 –  $0.172

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 16 Change
Sep $54.87 + $0.37
Oct $54.81 + $0.44
Nov $54.42 + $0.33
Dec $53.99 + $0.21
Jan ’20 $53.56 + $0.10
Feb $53.19 + $0.03

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 16 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25886.01 -401.43
NASDAQ     7895.99 –  63.15
S&P 500     2888.68 –   29.97
Dollar (DXY)          98.20 +    0.71
August 18th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 9, 2019

By and large, Cattle futures and cash markets faded the extreme volatility that whipsawed equity markets last week.

Feeder steer prices were uneven, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): $2/cwt. lower in the South Central region; $3.50 higher in the North Central. Feeder heifers in both regions traded mostly steady to $1 lower. In the Southeast, feeder steers and heifers sold $1-$2 lower amid lighter offerings.

“Extremely hot weather gripped most of the southern trading areas…Temperatures topped 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the Southern Plains, with heat indices of +110 degrees all week,” say AMS analysts. “Pasture conditions are deteriorating, causing concern for the remainder of grazing season. Producers are weighing their options between decreased forage and the thought of hauling cattle to the auction barn in these extreme conditions.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed week to week on Friday, from an average of 42¢ lower to an average of 27¢ higher.

“Most cattle producers in the business of marketing cattle recently have not been satisfied with current price levels. Many of them have found it difficult to make money at the cow-calf level. As well, stocker margins are extremely thin, if not negative in many instances,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.“The angst on this matter stems from summer Feeder Cattle futures market contracts trading as high as $160 in the March and April time period, now trading closer to $140. There was significant optimism in the spring for the summer marketing timeframe. It appeared that producers with fall-calving cows would benefit from backgrounding cattle through the summer, which was the same thought process of many stocker producers when purchasing calves in the spring. However, the market plummeted nearly $30/cwt. before recapturing $10. Maybe the one bright side is that the summer feeder cattle contracts have been trading in a tight range for about a month, which has provided another opportunity to reevaluate marketing alternatives.”

Griffith suggests the narrow trading channel for the past several weeks could stem partly from producers awaiting Monday’s USDA reports to get a tighter handle on potential corn and soybean production.

Corn futures closed an average of 8¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday, reversing the downward trend of recent weeks.

Cash Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Lower

“Negotiated cash trade followed a similar trend compared to recent weeks with early dressed purchases in the North ranging from $183 to $185/cwt. Dressed purchases late in the week traded mostly at $180,” say AMS analysts. “In the Western Corn Belt, early live purchases traded at $114-$115. Early live purchases in Nebraska were at $113.” They add that trade was slow to develop in the Southern Plains with producers passing on bids of $109.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed from an average of 50¢ lower in three contracts (10¢ to $1.07 lower) to an average of 31¢ higher.

As mentioned, that was despite extreme volatility rocking equity markets.

Major U.S. financial indices blasted lower Monday as China responded to the latest intended U.S. tariffs by allowing its currency to slide to decade-low values and ordering state-owned companies to suspend purchases of U.S. agricultural goods. Stocks were up the next day when China set its currency value higher than originally feared. Equities followed U.S.-China trade news up and down the rest of the week.

For perspective, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 767 points lower on Monday, 311 point higher Tuesday, little changed on Wednesday, though it was down 600 points during the session, up 371 points on Thursday, then 90 points lower Friday. For all of the gyrations, it ended up closing 197 points lower week to week on Friday.

Wholesale Values Increase

Wholesale beef values continued to gain traction last week, perhaps buoyed by the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.64 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $216.37/cwt. Select was $3.18 higher at $193.81. For the last two weeks, Choice was up $4.20, while Select increased $5.47.

“The beef values that cattle producers ultimately see as determinants of cattle prices are the result of a diverse set of beef products with widely ranging values and seasonal patterns,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Many beef product values vary sharply at various times of the year as a result of seasonal demand and supply influences.”

Overall, Peel explains boxed beef cutout values typically vary by about 13% from a seasonal high in May (about 7% above average) to a seasonal low in October (about 6% below average).

Overall, U.S. beef exports continue to provide strong underpinning, despite all of the trade issues.

U.S. beef exports in June were up 3% year-over-year for volume (118,677 mt) and were 1% higher for value at $724.8 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Value was the fourth most on record for any month.

For January-June, beef exports were 2% less in volume (648,765 mt), compared to the same period last year, but value was steady with last year’s record value pace at $4.03 billion.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter in June averaged $325.10, up 4% from a year ago, while export value for the first six months of the year averaged $312.06 per head, down 2%.

 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 9

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

154,600

(+5,900)

54,100

(-40,100)

241,400

(+235,200)

450,100

(+201,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 9 Change
  $141.66 –  0.08

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 9 Change
600-700 lbs. $162.68 –  $2.79
700-800 lbs. $153.73 –  $0.62
800-900 lbs. $143.87 –  $4.86

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 9 Change
500-600 lbs. $157.23 + $0.72
600-700 lbs. $150.82 + $0.64
700-800 lbs. $143.81 + $2.00

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 9 Change
400-500 lbs. $148.68 + $0.40
500-600 lbs. $141.71 –  $1.29
600-700 lbs. $135.43 –  $1.63

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 9 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $216.37 +  $1.64
Select $193.81 +  $3.18
Ch-Se Spread $22.56 –   $1.54

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 9 Change
Aug $138.900 –  $0.725
Sep $138.450 + $0.225
Oct $138.250 + $0.275
Nov $138.275 –  $0.150
Jan ’20 $136.600 –  $0.475
Mar $136.025 –  $0.375
Apr $137.100 –  $0.375
May $137.775 + $0.300

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 9 Change
Aug $108.050 +$0.400
Oct $106.750 – $1.075
Dec $111.450 – $0.325
Feb ’20 $115.700 +$0.250
Apr $117.675 +$0.500
Jun $110.875 +$0.375
Aug $108.950 +$0.125
Oct $110.475 +$0.225
Dec $113.025 – $0.100

 

Corn futures Aug. 9 Change
Sep $4.102 +$0.108
Dec $4.176 +$0.082
Mar ’20 $4.282 +$0.078
May $4.340 +$0.076
Jul $4.374 +$0.068
Sep $4.222 +$0.056

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 9 Change
Sep $54.50 – $1.16
Oct $54.37 – $1.30
Nov $54.09 – $1.57
Dec $53.78 – $1.78
Jan ’20 $53.46 – $1.95
Feb $53.16 – $2.06

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 9 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26287.44 -195.57
NASDAQ     7959.14 –  44.93
S&P 500     2918.65 –   13.40
Dollar (DXY)          97.03 –     1.07
August 10th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Aug. 2, 2019

Growing pessimism about the U.S. and China being able to resolve trade differences sooner rather than later cast an increasingly dark cloud over commodities last week.

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

“Some offerings in the Northern Plains were $2-$5 lower after the previous week’s sharp uptick, while some steers in the Southern Plains were $6-$7 higher at special sales,” explain AMS analysts. 

Most all of that came before the announcement Thursday that the U.S. plans to assess new tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, beginning Sept. 1.

Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle melted.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.61 lower on Friday. They were an average of $4.41 lower week to week ($3.02 lower at the back to $5.87 lower toward the front).

That was despite Corn futures closing an average of 13¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week on Friday. That’s 45¢ lower for those contracts in the last three weeks.

That was also despite what appears to be ongoing strength in beef demand.

Wholesale beef values gained during the week, mostly due to strength in rib prices, according to AMS. 

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.56 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $214.73/cwt. Select was $2.29 higher at $190.63.

Lighter year-over-year carcass weights continue to temper beef production amid increased cattle harvest.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 20 was 866 lbs., which was 6 lbs. lighter than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 10 lbs. lighter at 795 lbs. Fed slaughter for the week was 20,754 head more than a year earlier. Total cattle slaughter was 20,474 head more. Beef production for the week of 527.3 million lbs. was 14.1 million lbs. more.

Lighter carcass weights also speak to currentness in feedlot marketing, which is helping support fed cattle prices.

Through late Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $111/cwt. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $2 higher than the bulk of the previous week’s trade at mostly $185. In the western Corn Belt, prices were steady: $115-$116 on a live basis and at mostly $185 in the beef.

However, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.25 lower week to week on Friday, with pressure from Lean Hog futures battered by the lack of a trade resolution between the U.S. and China.

“If feedstuff costs do not skyrocket, cattle feeders are expected to generally breakeven or post small profits late this year,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). “In the situation where corn cost is already locked-in, November breakeven sales price is in the range of $105.50-106.50/cwt., and $111-112 for December.” That’s basis the Southern Plains, from non-survey estimation.

Despite ongoing pressure from the U.S.-China trade impasse, U.S. beef producers did receive some positive trade news to end the week.

The Unites States reach a new agreement with the EU on Friday that establishes a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) exclusively for the United States. Under the agreement, American ranchers will have an initial TRQ of 18,500 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $220 million, according to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Over seven years, the TRQ will grow to 35,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $420 million.

Under the current agreement, U.S. duty-free beef exports to the EU are only approximately 13,000 metric tons annually, valued at approximately $150 million, and risked declines going forward. The new agreement will go into effect following the European Parliament’s approval, which is expected this fall.

“We have to remember that only 4% of the world’s consumers live in this country,” says Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO. “Currently 14% of beef and beef by products are exported. More than 20% of the value of every fed steer is generated by exports. We need to have more outlets for not only our beef, but our poultry and pork.”

Through January of this year, U.S. beef exports equated to an average of $309.33 per head of fed slaughter, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Blach was sharing insights at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting near Denver on Tuesday. With record meat consumption expected next year, he emphasized the importance of opening export markets and resolving trade issues.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 2

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

148,700

(+17,500)

94,200

(+31,700)

6,200

(-107,600)

249,100

(-58,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Aug. 1 Change
  $141.74 + 2.16

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 2 Change
600-700 lbs. $162.58 –  $2.89
700-800 lbs. $153.73 –  $0.62
800-900 lbs. $143.87 –  $4.86

 

South Central

Steers-Cash Aug. 2 Change
500-600 lbs. $157.23 + $0.72
600-700 lbs. $150.82 + $0.64
700-800 lbs. $143.81 + $2.00

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash Aug. 2 Change
400-500 lbs. $148.68 + $0.60
500-600 lbs. $141.71 –  $1.29
600-700 lbs. $135.43 –  $1.63

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Aug. 2 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $214.73 +  $2.56
Select $190.63 +  $2.29
Ch-Se Spread $24.10 +  $0.27

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Aug. 2 Change
Aug $139.625 –  $4.100
Sep $138.225 –  $5.875
Oct $137.975 –  $5.600
Nov $138.425 –  $4.875
Jan ’20 $137.075 –  $4.525
Mar $136.400 –  $3.975
Apr $137.475 –  $3.325
May $137.475 –  $3.025

 

Live Cattle   Aug. 2 Change
Aug $107.650 – $1.000
Oct $107.825 – $2.075
Dec $111.775 – $2.525
Feb ’20 $115.450 – $2.575
Apr $117.175 – $2.600
Jun $110.500 – $2.550
Aug $108.525 – $2.275
Oct $110.250 – $2.750
Dec $113.125 – $1.875

 

Corn futures Aug. 2 Change
Jul $3.994 – $0.150
Sep $4.094 – $0.150
Dec $4.204 – $0.140
Mar ’20 $4.264 – $0.122
May $4.306 – $0.116
Jul $4.166 – $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI Aug. 2 Change
Sep $55.66 – $0.54
Oct $55.67 – $0.66
Nov $55.66 – $0.76
Dec $55.56 – $0.87
Jan ’20 $55.41 – $0.95
Feb $55.22 – $0.99

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Aug. 2 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26485.01 -707.44
NASDAQ     8004.07 -326.14
S&P 500     2932.05 –  93.81
Dollar (DXY)          98.10 +    0.19
August 4th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending July 26, 2019

Cash feeder cattle continued to make incremental gains last week, supported by stability in the futures market and what looked to be steady to higher fed cattle prices. The previous week’s neutral Cattle on Feed report and the Cattle inventory report—hinting at an end to cyclically growing cattle numbers—also helped.

Overall, steers and heifers sold steady to $3/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), with some auctions in the Northern Plains reporting prices $4-$8 higher.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $3.06 higher week to week on Friday ($2.12 higher at the back to $4.30 higher toward the front).

“It is always difficult to project what the market is going to do, but the best guess on yearling cattle is for the market to remain steady or gain a few dollars over the next four to five weeks,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The one thing that could stop a feeder cattle price rally in the next couple of weeks is a bullish crop report that sends corn prices closer to $5.” The next USDA reports with estimated crop production for this year are due out Aug. 12.

Corn futures closed an average of 11¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week on Friday. That’s 32¢ lower for those contracts in the last two weeks.

“Weaned and vaccinated cattle will continue to be in strong demand moving through the fall marketing time period as winter stocker programs look for inventory to put on pasture. The strong demand for those cattle today is associated with favorable forage conditions, good moisture, and the desire to receive lower risk cattle…” Griffith says.

AMS analysts point out, the U.S. Drought Monitor last week indicated drought across about 11% of the nation; about 3% in Moderate drought. “This is in a drastic contrast to a year ago, when near 54% of the country showed in drought status and 32% in Moderate drought or worse,” they say.

For the week ending July 21, 66% of the nation’s pasture and range was rated in Good (53%) or Excellent (13%) condition, compared to 45% last year. 9% was rated as Poor (7%) or Very Poor (2%), compared to 26% a year earlier.

Fed Cattle Prices Looked Steady to Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle traded at $112/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle on Friday, according to the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. That was $1 more than a week earlier.

Elsewhere, prices were yet to be established through late Friday afternoon, according to reports from the Agricultural Marketing Service. Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales reported in the Western Corn Belt at $115-$116 and a few in the beef at $185. Those prices are at the top of the range for the region the prior week.

Live Cattle futures an average of $1.01 higher week to week on Friday.

Feedlot marketing remains current, based on the most recent USDA slaughter and carcass grading data.

The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 13 was 865 lbs., which was 4 lbs. more than the previous week but 2 lbs. lighter year over year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 791 lbs. was 1 lb. lighter than the previous week and 8 lbs. less  year over year. Fed cattle slaughter of 531,743 head for the week was 11,828 head more than the same week a year earlier. Total cattle slaughter of 658,432 was 8,134 head more.

Moreover, Griffith says recent declines in frozen beef inventories point to strong demand.

“The quantity of beef in cold storage at the end of June totaled 394.5 million lbs., which only represents 78% of the average weekly beef production in 2019,” Griffith explains. “Thus, less than a week’s worth of beef production is in a freezer, which is an indicator that beef is moving at a decent pace. The June value is the lowest quantity of beef in cold storage since October 2014, which corresponds to a time period when fewer animals were being harvested due to rapid expansion in the beef cattle herd.”

Although seasonally softer, wholesale beef values continue higher than last year.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.25 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $212.17/cwt. Select was $1.17 lower at $188.34.

“Boxed beef values have pretty much held their ground during the dog days of summer as excellent beef demand, continued large kill levels and good margins remain for packers,” say AMS analysts. 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 26

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

131,200

(-18,200)

62,500

(+3,300)

113,800

(-103,400)

307,500

(-118,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* July 25 Change
  $139.58 + 0.93

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 26 Change
600-700 lbs. $165.47 + $4.58
700-800 lbs. $154.35 + $3.45
800-900 lbs. $148.73 + $4.57

 

South Central

Steers-Cash July 26 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.51 + $1.44
600-700 lbs. $150.18 + $2.07
700-800 lbs. $141.81 + $0.60

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 26 Change
400-500 lbs. $148.28 + $0.50
500-600 lbs. $143.00 + $1.37
600-700 lbs. $137.06 + $4.73

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 26 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.17 –   $1.25
Select $188.34 –   $1.17 
Ch-Se Spread $23.83 –   $0.08

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 26 Change
Aug $143.725 + $3.750
Sep $144.100 + $4.300
Oct $143.575 + $3.550
Nov $143.300 + $3.075
Jan ’20 $141.600 + $2.700
Mar $140.375 + $2.475
Apr $140.800 + $2.550
May $140.500 + $2.125

 

Live Cattle   July 26 Change
Aug $108.650 +$1.050
Oct $109.900 +$1.400
Dec $114.300 +$1.125
Feb ’20 $118.025 +$1.000
Apr $119.775 +$1.000
Jun $113.050 +$0.950
Aug $111.100 +$0.650
Oct $113.000 +$0.700
Dec $115.000 +$1.200

 

Corn futures July 26 Change
Jul $4.144 – $0.162
Sep $4.244 – $0.112
Dec $4.344 – $0.096
Mar ’20 $4.386 – $0.094
May $4.422 – $0.090
Jul $4.210 – $0.044

 

Oil CME-WTI July 26 Change
Sep $56.20 +$0.44
Oct $56.33 +$0.51
Nov $56.42 +$0.56
Dec $56.43 +$0.60
Jan ’20 $56.36 +$0.64
Feb $56.21 +$0.65

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 26 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27192.45 +  38.25
NASDAQ     8330.21 +183.72
S&P 500     3025.86 +  49.25
Dollar (DXY)          97.91 +    0.84
July 27th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending July 19, 2019

Softer futures prices and volatility in grain markets helped cap recent strength in cash feeder cattle prices. Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $3/cwt. lower to $3 higher, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“The pull on yearling cattle is dominated by feedlots that are attempting to fill pen space. Similarly, stocker operators who are taking advantage of the seasonally strong summer feeder cattle market are purchasing calves to replace the yearling cattle that are being moved to the feedlot,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

“Receipts were somewhat curtailed as summer returned to the heart of the country. Dangerous heat indexes spread from the Southwest to the Northeast and everywhere in between mid to late week,” say AMS analysts. “Some rains moved through the Northern Plains with some ranchers in South Dakota still trying to get their first cutting of hay done. Farmers and ranchers have been very focused on moisture needed after last year’s momentous drought that encompassed a vast area of grazing acres. Even though this spring has been extremely wet in places, some areas do need a drink now as heat indexes rise into triple digits.” 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.26 lower week to week on Friday. That was with Corn futures closing an average of 21¢ lower through the front five contracts week to week.

“With the strength in the yearling market the past couple of weeks, the question on many producers’ minds is how long will these prices hold and if there is a chance they can go higher,” Griffith says. “Starting with history, yearling cattle prices generally display strength from July through the middle of September. The July market started well, but there are some reasons to be concerned that feeder cattle prices will come under pressure sooner rather than later. The expectation of higher corn prices this fall and winter will temper interest in bidding up feeder cattle. Similarly, the sluggish live cattle futures price will weigh on feeder cattle prices moving through the second half of summer and into the fall marketing time period.

“With that being said, it is difficult to imagine yearling cattle prices finding much of a way to climb higher in 2019. At the same time, it may be wise to market yearling cattle sooner rather than later.”

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up mainly steady to $1 lower last week at $111/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $113.00-$113.50 in Nebraska and $114-$116 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady at $182-$185.

Live Cattle futures an average of $1.14 lower week to week on Friday.

Carcass weights continued lower year over year for the week ending July 6, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed steer weight was 861 lbs., which was 7 lbs. more than the previous week but 6 lbs. lighter than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight was 792 lbs., which was 3 lbs. more than a week earlier but 5 lbs. lighter year over year.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 62¢ higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $213.42/cwt. Select was 9¢ lower at $189.51.

“The $20/cwt. decline since the end of April is not at all surprising when considering last year’s summer low was $28 lower than the spring price peak; the five-year average decline is $30,” Griffith says. “Despite the summer price pressure, the only beef primal exhibiting lower prices compared to last year is the loin. The rib primal struggled through most of May and June, but held its own to start July. The chuck could be considered the primal displaying the most strength as prices are above year-ago levels and trading steady with the winter months. However, the brisket has been king for most of the year as the smoking of briskets has become a craze in more parts of the U.S. than just Texas. Another beef item price to make note of is fresh 50% lean beef. Fresh 50% lean beef comes from the trimmings of finished cattle, and the price of this product has been over $80 since March.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 19

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

149,400

(+13,700)

59,200

(-18,500)

217,200

(+5,400)

425,800

(+90,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* July 18 Change
  $138.67 –  2.39

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 19 Change
600-700 lbs. $160.89 –  $4.06
700-800 lbs. $151.00 –  $4.06
800-900 lbs. $144.16 –  $4.06

 

South Central

Steers-Cash July 19 Change
500-600 lbs. $155.07 + $0.66
600-700 lbs. $148.11 + $0.29
700-800 lbs. $141.21 –  $0.89

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 19 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.78 + $0.10
500-600 lbs. $141.63 + $0.58
600-700 lbs. $132.33 –  $2.43

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 19 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $213.42 +  $0.62
Select $189.51 –   $0.09 
Ch-Se Spread $23.91 +  $0.71

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 19 Change
Aug $139.375 –  $2.225
Sep $139.800 –  $2.750
Oct $140.025 –  $2.825
Nov $140.225 –  $2.400
Jan ’20 $138.900 –  $2.125
Mar $137.900 –  $1.975
Apr $138.250 –  $1.925
May $138.375 –  $1.875

 

Live Cattle   July 19 Change
Aug $107.600 – $0.875
Oct $108.500 – $1.475
Dec $113.175 – $1.050
Feb ’20 $117.025 – $1.125
Apr $118.775 – $1.350
Jun $112.100 – $1.200
Aug $110.450 – $1.100
Oct $112.300 – $1.075
Dec $113.800 – $1.050

 

Corn futures July 19 Change
Jul $4.306 – $0.236
Sep $4.356 – $0.236
Dec $4.440 – $0.210
Mar ’20 $4.480 – $0.186
May $4.512 – $0.164
Jul $4.254 – $0.060

 

Oil CME-WTI July 19 Change
Aug $55.63 – $4.58
Sep $55.76 – $4.54
Oct $55.82 – $4.45
Nov $55.86 – $4.29
Dec $55.83 – $4.13
Jan ’20 $55.72 – $3.98

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 19 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27154.20 – 177.83
NASDAQ     8146.49 –   97.65
S&P 500     2976.61 –   37.16
Dollar (DXY)          97.07 +    0.35
July 20th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending July 12, 2019

Finally, feeder cattle markets gained some seasonal steam last week.

Overall, steers and heifers traded steady to $5/cwt. higher early in the week and then $3-$10 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Market activity at special sales throughout the country was strong, especially after Tuesday’s rally on the CME Feeder board. Traders quickly and aggressively

moved back into the market,” say AMS analysts.

On the other side of the trade, the AMS folks note, “Ranchers were ready

and willing to sell cattle out front with the market getting a little bounce.” Analysts are referring to heavy video trade last week, including 118,000 via the Western Video Market and 209,000 head at Superior’s week-long auction. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 3.11 higher week to week on Friday.

At $141.06 on Thursday, the CME Feeder Cattle Index was $7.85 higher week to week, at the highest level since the first two days of May.

“The surge in the index value is largely due to cattle feeders looking to reload pens that have emptied recently. It makes logical sense that cattle feeders were looking to capitalize on a somewhat soft feeder cattle market in May and June, but the strong demand for feeder cattle has boosted prices,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were yet to be fully established through Friday afternoon, based on reports from AMS, but the trend appeared decidedly higher. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $112/cwt., which was $3 more than the previous week. Although too few to trend, early dressed sales were $2-$5 higher at $182-$185 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt.

“It appears the packer needs inventory and the fed cattle market is bracing

for a higher market,” explain AMS analysts. “Market-ready fed cattle supplies in the Northern Plains are very current, and for the time being, will remain that way. The Southern Plains will more than likely remain at a discount because of

large numbers of cattle on feed.”

After 77¢ higher in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures an average of $1.80 higher week to week on Friday.

Wholesale beef values continue the seasonal decline.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $4.87 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $212.80/cwt. Select was $5.20 lower at $189.60.

“Even though the cutout has turned lower, packer margins are reading on the positive side, despite having to increase bids to get cattle purchased,” according to AMS.

U.S. beef exports continue to underpin cattle prices but are getting iffier with protracted unresolved trade issues. Beef exports in May were steady with the previous year for volume (117,541 metric tons) and slightly higher for value at $727.6 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However export volume for January-May is 3% less year over year, while value is slightly lower at $3.3 billion.

“Beef exports to Japan, the leading beef export market, were down by 4.9% year over year in May and are down 4.5% for the first five months of 2019,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Beef exports to Japan are beginning to show the impact of the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), in which the U.S. does not participate, leaving the U.S. at a bigger tariff disadvantage.”

In fact, according to USMEF, all of U.S. pork and beef’s major competitors gained tariff relief in Japan this year through that agreement, as well as the economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union.

Corn Price Uncertainty Continues

Wonderments about how many acres of corn were planted and the ultimate yield, due to the long wet spring continue to roil markets.

Despite last week’s bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) shaving a dime off the projected season average corn price to $3.70/bu., Corn futures closed an average of 15¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday. The WASDE was based on the acreage and yield projections from the June 28 USDA Acreage report. Traders are betting there will be significantly less corn.

In July, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will collect updated information on 2019 acres planted, and if the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the August Crop Production report.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 12

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

135,700

(+111,000)

77,700

(+50,500)

121,100

(+81,900)

335,500

(+244,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* July 11 Change
  $141.06 + 7.85

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 12 Change
600-700 lbs. $165.82 +  $4.44
700-800 lbs. $156.78 +  $3.14
800-900 lbs. $147.03 +$10.36

 

South Central

Steers-Cash July 12 Change
500-600 lbs. $154.41 –   $4.06
600-700 lbs. $147.82 –   $0.24
700-800 lbs. $142.10 +  $2.61

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 12 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.68 +  $3.23
500-600 lbs. $141.05 +  $1.80
600-700 lbs. $134.76 +  $3.08

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 12 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $212.80 –   $4.87
Select $189.60 –   $5.20 
Ch-Se Spread $23.20 +  $0.33

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 12 Change
Aug $141.600 + $2.775
Sep $142.550 + $3.850
Oct $142.850 + $3.950
Nov $142.625 + $3.400
Jan ’20 $141.025 + $3.075
Mar $139.875 + $3.000
Apr $140.175 + $2.600
May $140.250 + $2.200

 

Live Cattle   July 12 Change
Aug $108.475 + $0.775
Oct $109.975 + $1.900
Dec $114.225 + $1.900
Feb ’20 $118.150 + $1.925
Apr $120.125 + $1.825
Jun $113.300 + $1.825
Aug $111.550 + $1.725
Oct $113.375 + $1.550
Dec $114.850 + $1.750

 

Corn futures July 12 Change
Jul $4.494 + $0.154
Sep $4.542 + $0.156
Dec $4.592 + $0.170
Mar ’20 $4.650 + $0.160
May $4.666 + $0.142
Jul $4.676 + $0.120

 

Oil CME-WTI July 12 Change
Aug $60.21 + $2.70
Sep $60.30 + $2.71
Oct $60.27 + $2.71
Nov $60.15 + $2.67
Dec $59.96 + $2.61
Jan ’20 $59.70 + $2.53

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 12 Change
Dow Industrial Average  27332.03 + 409.91
NASDAQ     8244.14 +   82.35
S&P 500     3013.77 +   23.36
Dollar (DXY)          96.72 –      0.45
July 14th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending July 5, 2019

Many auctions were shuttered in observance of Independence Day, but a firmer undertone was noted for steers and heifers at the ones that did take place, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Likewise, Cattle futures, especially Feeder Cattle closed higher week to week, amid lighter overall trade due to the holiday.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.31 higher week to week on Friday.

That was with Corn futures closing an average of 11¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday, recovering about half of the previous week’s decline.

Fed Cattle Prices Steady to Higher

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade provided overall support.

Live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $109/cwt. on a live basis, but $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $113.00-$113.50 and at $112-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $180.

Through Thursday, the weighted average 5-Area Direct price for steers was 59¢ higher than the prior week at $111.17/cwt. on a live basis. The dressed price was 74¢ higher at $180.10.

Carcass weights continue lighter year over year. Average dressed steer weight for the week ending June 22 was 854 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspections report. That was 4 lbs. lighter than the same week a year earlier. Average dressed heifer weight of 790 lbs. was 3 lbs. lighter. Fed slaughter of 537,433 head was 3,875 head more than last year. Total slaughter of 668,269 head was 9,773 head more. Beef production of 533.2 million lbs. was 4.3 million lbs. more.

Live Cattle futures were an average of $2.46 higher week to week on Friday.

“With feed costs destined to be somewhat higher in the second half of the year, feedlots will have some incentive to trim back days on feed suggesting lighter finished and, thus, carcass weights,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock Marketing Specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “However, feedlots do this largely by placing heavier feeder cattle, which need fewer days to finish. Heavier placement weights imply heavier finish weights. Feedlot data shows that every one pound increase in placement weight results in about one-half pound increase in finished weight. Thus, the impact of higher feed prices on carcass weights is unclear but is unlikely to have a major impact.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.99 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $217.67/cwt. Select was 76¢ lower at $194.80.

“As long as beef demand does not weaken appreciably in the reminder of the year, fed cattle prices are expected to average about equal to 2018 levels for an annual average,” Peel says. “Fed prices are expected to be slightly lower year over year in the third quarter before strengthening in the fourth quarter. Feeder prices are generally expected to average 3-5% below 2018 levels for the remainder of the year and for an annual average.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

July 5

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

n/a

(n/a)

27,200

(-8,500)

39,200

(-6,900)

66,400

(-171,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* July 4 Change
  $133.21 + 0.60

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash July 5 Change
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a
700-800 lbs. n/a n/a
800-900 lbs. n/a n/a

 

South Central

Steers-Cash July 5 Change
500-600 lbs. n/a n/a
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a
700-800 lbs. n/a n/a

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash July 5 Change
400-500 lbs. n/a n/a
500-600 lbs. n/a n/a
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) July 5 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $217.67 –   $1.99
Select $194.80 –   $0.76 
Ch-Se Spread $22.87 –   $1.23

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  July 5 Change
Aug $138.825 + $1.975
Sep $138.700 + $2.000
Oct $138.900 + $2.200
Nov $139.225 + $2.350
Jan ’20 $137.950 + $2.875
Mar $136.875 + $2.850
Apr $137.575 + $2.075
May $138.050 + $2.175

 

Live Cattle   July 5 Change
Aug $107.000 + $2.650
Oct $108.875 + $3.450
Dec $112.325 + $2.075
Feb ’20 $116.225 + $2.100
Apr $118.300 + $2.075
Jun $111.475 + $2.375
Aug $109.825 + $2.325
Oct $111.825 + $2.400
Dec $113.100 + $2.675

 

Corn futures July 5 Change
Jul $4.340 + $0.138
Sep $4.386 + $0.140
Dec $4.422 + $0.108
Mar ’20 $4.490 + $0.096
May $4.524 + $0.094
Jul $4.556 + $0.096

 

Oil CME-WTI July 5 Change
Aug $57.51 –  $0.96
Sep $57.59 –  $0.93
Oct $57.56 –  $0.84
Nov $57.48 –  $0.74
Dec $57.35 –  $0.63
Jan ’20 $57.17 –  $0.54

 

Equities

Equity Indexes July 5 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26922.12 + 322.16
NASDAQ     8161.79 + 155.55
S&P 500     2990.41 +  48.65
Dollar (DXY)          97.17 +    1.04
July 7th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 28, 2019

Calves and feeder cattle sold from $3/cwt. lower to $3 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Analysts there note that some auctions reported instances of $8-$10 higher.

“Many loads of yearlings were in the supply this week as several barns held pre-Fourth of July special sales,” explain AMS analysts. “Cattle feeders had the opportunity to make like-kind purchases and they were willing to step in and own them, especially after the CME Cattle Complex moved sharply higher on Wednesday.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.99 higher week to week on Friday ($1.32 higher to $3.17 higher in spot Aug). That included the aforementioned mid-week bounce on over-sold conditions.

“Following a nearly $30/cwt. decline in Feeder Cattle futures from the middle of April to the end of May, most contracts have traded in a $10 range during June,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “A range of $10 appears small when comparing

it to a change of $30, but a $10 price range on a Feeder Cattle contract is $80 per head or $5,000 per contract.

Friday’ s Acreage report provided lift with USDA reporting producers intended to plant 91.7 million acres of corn, up 3% from last year. That’s less than the 92.8 million acres estimated in the March Prospective Plantings report, but more than the 89.8 million acres estimated by the World Agricultural Outlook Board in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, and about 5 million acres more than average estimates ahead of the report.

Corn futures closed an average of 20¢ lower through the front six contracts week to week on Friday.

“From a longer term perspective, the probability of correctly predicting the price direction is much easier than in the near term,” Griffith says. “For instance, feeder cattle and calf prices are fairly low on the cash market and the futures market. Seasonal trends would suggest calf prices will decline further moving through the summer and fall, while feeder cattle prices are expected to garner some support. For anyone expecting to market cattle before the end of the year, do not expect prices to have a miraculous resurgence. Alternatively, today’s cattle market is soft. It would take something catastrophic to send calf and feeder cattle prices severely lower. Most producers know when they will be marketing cattle so

they should start early considering ways to price those cattle at profitable levels.”

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Mostly Sideways

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade began to develop by late Friday afternoon, but there were too few transactions to trend in any region.

Early live sales in the Southern Plains were at $109/cwt. on a live basis, in the middle of the previous week’s trading range. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association also reported its members trading at $109. Early live sales in Nebraska were steady to higher at $109.00-$111.50. In the western Corn Belt, though, the $109-$112 for early live sales was $1-$3 less than the previous week. Earlier week dressed sales in the latter two regions were at $180, which was steady in Nebraska and steady to lower in the western Corn Belt.

Through Thursday, the 5-area direct weighted average live price for steers was $110.58/cwt., about even with the previous week.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.38 higher week to week on Friday (42¢ higher to $3.95 higher in expiring Jun).

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 16¢ lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $219.66/cwt. Select was $3.99 lower at $195.56.

“The lack of summer thus far has limited seasonal beef demand,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “After early beef buying in April for Memorial Day, boxed beef cutout values have weakened, averaging 3.8% lower year over year for the last six weeks. The daily boxed beef price last Friday (June 21) was down 6.2% from the peak price in late April. The weakness has been most pronounced in the high value middle meats, with loin primals averaging 7.9% lower year over year for the last six weeks and rib primals averaging 5.5% lower year over year for the same period. Chuck and round primals have fared somewhat better with round primals down only 1.8% year over year and chuck primals up an average of 1.3% over the last six weeks, compared to the same period last year…Encouragingly, the ground beef market is showing a little life with both lean trimmings and 50% trimmings currently priced a bit higher compared to last year.”

Moreover, Griffith says recently stronger retail prices are helping reduce frozen beef inventories.

“The quantity of beef in cold storage at the end of May totaled 403.6 million lbs., which was 106.7 million lbs. less than the end of January and the lowest level of beef in cold storage since November 2014,” Griffith explains. “The all fresh retail price of beef in May was $5.89/lb. which was 21¢/lb.higher than May 2018 and 19¢/lb.higher than January 2019. The strong retail value of beef has provided incentive to pull beef out of storage and capture a strong margin.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 28

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

156,200

(+300)

35,700

(-5,900)

46,100

(+31,100)

238,000

(+25,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 27 Change
  $132.613 + 1.18

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 28 Change
600-700 lbs. $164.18 + $10.68
700-800 lbs. $148.35 + $7.14
800-900 lbs. $136.83 –  $0.12

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 28 Change
500-600 lbs. $155.93 –  $2.35
600-700 lbs. $146.96 –  $0.97
700-800 lbs. $137.99 +  $2.71

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 28 Change
400-500 lbs. $146.62 –  $0.94
500-600 lbs. $140.81 +  $1.62
600-700 lbs. $133.24 +  $2.67

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 28 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $219.66 –   $0.16
Select $195.56 –   $3.99  
Ch-Se Spread $24.10 +  $3.83

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 28 Change
Aug $136.850 + $3.175
Sep $136.700 + $2.650
Oct $136.700 + $2.200
Nov $136.875 + $2.000
Jan ’20 $135.075 + $1.600
Mar $134.025 + $1.325
Apr $135.500 + $1.400
May $135.875 + $1.600

 

Live Cattle   June 28 Change
Jun $110.500 + $3.950
Aug $104.350 + $2.125
Oct $105.425 + $1.275
Dec $110.250 + $1.225
Feb ’20 $114.125 + $0.750
Apr $116.225 + $0.925
Jun $109.100 + $1.000
Aug $107.500 + $0.750
Oct $109.425 + $0.425

 

Corn futures June 28 Change
Jul $4.202 –  $0.220
Sep $4.246 –  $0.228
Dec $4.314 –  $0.220
Mar ’20 $4.394 –  $0.198
May $4.430 –  $0.184
Jul $4.460 –  $0.172

 

Oil CME-WTI June 28 Change
Aug $58.47 + $0.97
Sep $58.52 + $1.10
Oct $58.40 + $1.15
Nov $58.22 + $1.18
Dec $57.98 + $1.19
Jan ’20 $57.71 + $1.19

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 28 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26599.96 –  119.17
NASDAQ     8006.24 –   25.47
S&P 500     2941.76 –     8.70
Dollar (DXY)          96.13 +    0.04
June 29th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 21, 2019

Higher grain prices continued to batter calf and feeder cattle markets last week. At least, that’s the fundamental explanation, along with stout cattle supplies and lower year-over-year exports.

Steers and heifers sold from $3/cwt. lower to $2 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Severe thunderstorms and extreme flooding remain across the Northern and Southern Plains. This is limiting movement for feeders and delaying wheat harvest,” explained the AMS reporter on hand for Thursday’s Superior Livestock Video auction.

“The feeder cattle index ($131.43 on Thursday) is at its lowest price level since March 2017, and there does not appear to be any relief in sight as the fundamental supply and demand factors appear as if they will continue to pressure prices,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 lower week to week on Friday, across the front half of the board and then an average of 40¢ lower.

“The questions producers have to ask is if they can be profitable with steer calves valued between $700 and $750 per head and heifer calves valued closer to $600 to $650 per head at weaning,” Griffith says. “One factor that is pushing feeder cattle prices lower is higher corn prices. Higher corn prices provide more incentive to put more weight on cattle outside the feedlot and this will likely remain true heading into the fall marketing time period. This brings forth a management decision that producers should already be considering in the form of backgrounding calves instead of selling off the cow.”

Fed Cattle Prices Drop

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were $2-$4 lower on a live basis at $108-$110/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $110 in Nebraska and at $113-$114 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $3-$4 lower in Nebraska at $180-$183 and $6 lower in the western Corn Belt at $178-$180.

Live Cattle futures an average of $1.19 lower week to week on Friday (72¢ to $2.25 lower in spot Jun).

“Live Cattle futures continue to find a way to scrape the bottom of the barrel, which keeps forcing cash prices lower,” Griffith explains. “A couple of months ago, it would have been absurd to fathom Live Cattle futures trading below $100. However, trading below $100 does not seem out of the question with the August contract closing the week just above $102/cwt. It will take serious work for finished cattle prices to drop another $10/cwt. this summer, but that does not mean the futures market cannot find a way to get there. Lower finished cattle prices and higher corn prices will put a pinch on cattle feeders, which means they will be forced to bid down feeder cattle. It is the only place to make margin in the current market.”

“Cattle feeders have approached the dog days of summer cautiously this year, with cost of gains expected to creep up with the lack of corn acres being planted nationwide this year,” say AMS analysts. “Flesh condition of cattle has really been attractive after the cold, wet, muddy conditions cattle have had to endure to this point. Backgrounders have historically sold cattle this time of year and probably wouldn’t hold on this long if the crystal ball would’ve predicted a much lower market for short and long yearlings.”

Wholesale beef prices are offering no extra support as they wallow between seasonal weakness and the still-delayed grilling season across wide swaths of the nation.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.41 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $219.82/cwt. Select was $3.21 lower at $199.55, the lowest since December.

Feedlot Placements Lower

Markets will likely view Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report—feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity—as neutral to slightly bearish.

Placements in May of 2.06 million head were 2.82% less (-60,000 head) than the previous year, whereas expectations ahead of the report were for a decline of about 4%.

Marketings in May of 2.07 million head were 0.68% more (+14,000 head) than the previous year. Expectations ahead of the report were for an increase of 0.80%.

Cattle on feed June 1 of 11.74 million head were 1.62% more (+187,000 head) more than last year, the most for the month since the data series began in 1996. Heading into the report, expectations were for an increase of 1.30%.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 21

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

159,800

(+24,900)

41,600

(-11,300)

15,000

(-34,400)

216,400

(-20,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 20 Change
  $131.43 –  2.82

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 21 Change
600-700 lbs. $153.50 – $10.27
700-800 lbs. $141.21 –  $6.85
800-900 lbs. $136.95 +  $1.09

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 21 Change
500-600 lbs. $158.28 +  $1.61
600-700 lbs. $147.93 +  $1.14
700-800 lbs. $135.28 –  $1.26

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 21 Change
400-500 lbs. $147.56 –  $6.21
500-600 lbs. $139.19 –   $4.32
600-700 lbs. $130.57 –   $2.26

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 21 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $219.82 –   $2.41
Select $199.55 –   $3.21  
Ch-Se Spread $20.27 +  $0.80

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 21 Change
Aug $133.675 –  $1.850
Sep $134.050 –  $1.750
Oct $134.500 –  $1.250
Nov $134.875 –  $1.000
Jan ’20 $133.475 –  $0.375
Mar $132.700 –  $0.375
Apr $134.100 –  $0.375
May $134.275 –  $0.475

 

Live Cattle   June 21 Change
Jun $106.550 – $2.225
Aug $102.225 – $2.050
Oct $104.150 – $1.325
Dec $109.025 – $0.925
Feb ’20 $113.375 – $0.725
Apr $115.300 – $0.875
Jun $108.100 – $0.825
Aug $106.750 – $0.775
Oct $109.000 – $1.000

 

Corn futures June 21 Change
Jul $4.422 –  $0.108
Sep $4.474 –  $0.108
Dec $4.534 –  $0.100
Mar ’20 $4.592 –  $0.082
May $4.614 –  $0.070
Jul $4.632 –  $0.048

 

Oil CME-WTI June 21 Change
Jul $57.43 + $4.92
Aug $57.50 + $4.73
Sep $57.42 + $4.47
Oct $57.25 + $4.25
Nov $57.04 + $4.03
Dec $56.79 + $3.81

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 21 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26719.13 + 629.52
NASDAQ     8031.71 +  235.05
S&P 500     2950.46 +   63.48
Dollar (DXY)          96.09 –       1.48
June 22nd, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 14, 2019

Despite futures pressure stemming from higher grain prices, cash feeder cattle mostly gained, perhaps with increased demand as more feedlots get cleaned up.

Steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Demand was reported as moderate to good across the Northern and Southern Plains as buyers were willing to put cattle back in pens even with the uptick in corn prices,” note AMS analysts. 

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.90 lower week to week on Friday ($1.55 to $2.45 lower). Over the same period, Corn futures closed an average of 34¢ higher through the front three contracts, as weather challenges both planted acres and yield.

“Steer and heifer calf prices are now expected to fall by about 3% in 2019 relative to last year, equivalent to taking between $4-$7/cwt. out of 500-600 lb. calf prices in the Southern Plains,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. They peg the season-average corn price at $4.50/bu.

In his weekly market comments, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee points out Dec Corn futures are up a staggering 80¢ since the middle of May.

“The market is already pricing corn in such a way to ration its use over the next 12-15 months,” Griffith explains. “Understanding that fewer acres of corn have been planted this year and yields are expected to be negatively impacted by later planting, fewer bushels of corn will pressure cattle markets the next 12 months as corn prices remain elevated.”

At the same time, Griffith points out the excessive moisture challenging row crops is fueling forage growth.

“…feedlots will be looking for heavier cattle to place in the feedlot which means there will be incentive to add weight to cattle the next several months,” Griffith says.

Fed Cattle Soften in Sluggish Trade

Neither cattle feeders nor packers seemed possessed to swap cattle.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week appeared steady to either side of even in two regions through Friday afternoon. The only established prices reported by USDA during the week were for the western Corn Belt: mainly steady on a live basis at $114-$115/cwt. and steady to $2 higher in the beef at $184-$186. There were prices reported in other regions at mostly $1-$2 lower than the previous week but too few to trend. On Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading at $112, which was $1 less than the previous week.

Both carcass weights and grading percentages continue to suggest that feedlot marketing is current, with no backlog building in the wings.

Live Cattle futures closed mixed week to week on Friday: an average of $1.08 higher through the front four contracts (52¢ to $1.85 higher) and then an average of 40¢ lower, except for 20¢ higher at the back.

In the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), USDA analysts forecast $118/cwt. for the 5-area Direct fed steer price in the second quarter, followed by $110 in the third quarter and $114 in the fourth.

Year to date, AMS notes that heifer slaughter rate is 8.7% more than last year, with beef cow slaughter up 2.6%, perhaps suggesting further pressure on limited herd expansion.

“Preliminary heifer slaughter through May is about 50,000 head short of 4 million head,” say AMS analysts. “The last time January-to-May heifer slaughter eclipsed the 4 million mark was 2011.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 8¢ lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $222.23/cwt. Select was $4.16 lower at $202.76.

“Weaker beef demand may be the biggest threat to cattle and beef markets for the remainder of the year,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist, in his weekly market comments. “Strong beef demand supported cattle and beef markets in 2017 and 2018, but there are signs that some weakness may be developing in beef demand in both domestic and international markets. While unemployment remains very low, other indications of weakness in the macro-economy are concerning and have led to reduced forecasts for U.S. economic growth in 2019; largely due to ongoing impacts of tariffs and trade disruptions. Relatively slow domestic income growth and higher prices for major consumer items, such as gasoline, combined with record large supplies of beef, pork and poultry may be limiting domestic beef demand going forward in 2019.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 14

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

134,900

(-29,100)

52,900

(+22,600)

49,400

(+37,300)

237,200

(+30,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 13 Change
  $134.25 + 2.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
600-700 lbs. $163.77 +  $10.35
700-800 lbs. $148.06 +  $4.87
800-900 lbs. $135.86 +  $1.83

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
500-600 lbs. $156.38 +  $1.61
600-700 lbs. $146.89 +  $1.14
700-800 lbs. $136.54 +  $1.76

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 14 Change
400-500 lbs. $153.77 +  $2.22
500-600 lbs. $143.51 –   $0.10
600-700 lbs. $132.83 –   $0.62

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 14 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $222.23 –   $0.08
Select $202.76 –   $4.16  
Ch-Se Spread $19.47 +  $4.08

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 14 Change
Aug $135.525 –  $1.725
Sep $135.800 –  $1.550
Oct $135.750 –  $1.625
Nov $135.875 –  $1.475
Jan ’20 $133.850 –  $1.975
Mar $133.075 –  $2.350
Apr $134.475 –  $2.025
May $134.750 –  $2.450

 

Live Cattle   June 14 Change
Jun $108.775 + $1.850
Aug $104.275 + $0.975
Oct $105.475 + $0.975
Dec $109.950 + $0.525
Feb ’20 $114.100 – $0.075
Apr $116.175 – $0.300
Jun $108.925 – $0.750
Aug $107.525 – $0.475
Oct $110.000 + $0.200

 

Corn futures June 14 Change
Jul $4.530 + $0.374
Sep $4.582 + $0.340
Dec $4.634 + $0.298
Mar ’20 $4.674 + $0.250
May $4.684 + $0.228
Jul $4.6.80 + $0.198

 

Oil CME-WTI June 14 Change
Jul $52.51 –  $1.48
Aug $52.77 –  $1.39
Sep $52.95 –  $1.32
Oct $53.00 –  $1.25
Nov $53.01 –  $1.18
Dec $52.98 –  $1.12

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 14 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26089.61 + 105.67
NASDAQ     7796.66 +   54.56
S&P 500     2886.98 +   13.64
Dollar (DXY)          97.45 +    0.89
June 16th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending June 7, 2019

Calf and Feeder Prices Continue Lower

Despite some recovery in Cattle futures, increasing beef production, trade tensions and grain price uncertainty continued to weigh on cash calf and feeder cattle markets.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold $1-$5/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Market reporters noted this week’s offerings were feeling the effects of the first hot spell of the year,” say AMS analysts. “Auction receipts lagged behind a year ago by 50,000 as analysts are scrutinizing the number of placements in May and June due to the unusually large placement number in April.”

Feeder Cattle futures recovered about 27% of the previous week’s steep losses, closing an average of $2.41 higher week to week on Friday (80¢ higher toward the back to $4.12 higher in spot Aug). That was thanks to strong gains Tuesday and Wednesday as Corn futures softened.

Corn futures closed an average of 11¢ lower through the front three contracts week to week on Friday. Keep in mind, the previous two weeks they were up an average of22¢higher through the front six contracts.

Monday’s Crop Progress report will likely drive near-term direction. The previous week, corn planting was record slow with just 67% of in the ground as of June 2, which was 29% less than last year and the 5-year average. Planting was even slower in most key corn states.

“Higher expected corn prices due to the inability to get corn planted is definitely a factor weighing negatively on the feeder cattle market, as are continued trade tensions,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “However, there are factors in the marketplace that should benefit the beef and cattle complex, including African Swine Fever, which is reducing the quantity of meat protein on the global market.”

Griffith also points to the easing of trade tensions with some nations, such as Canada and Mexico.

Recently threatened U.S. tariffs on Mexico—due to the flow of illegal immigrants through that nation—reportedly were suspended on Friday. If so, perhaps that paves the way for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

In the meantime, the lack of trade deals continues to weigh on U.S. beef exports.

U.S. beef exports totaled 105,241 mt in April, down 5% year over year and export value was down only slightly at $674.2 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the USMEF.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter in April averaged $305.61, which was 7% less than a year earlier.

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up generally $2-$3 lower on a live basis last week at $112-$113/cwt. in the Southern Plains and at $114-$115 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was also $2-$3 lower at $183-$184.

Except for $1.55 lower in spot Jun, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 higher week to week on Friday (22¢ to $1.57 higher).

“The story in the finished cattle market continues to be the strong basis where live cash prices are trading $5-$6 higher than June Live Cattle futures,” Griffith says. “For cattle feeders that hedged the sale of these cattle prior to April 23, the positive basis is a money-making proposition as the futures hedge will have protected against the huge futures price decline, and cattle feeders are capturing the value in the positive basis. At the same time, the positive basis provides good reason to stay current with marketings, which will keep pulling cattle through the system.”

So far, grading percentages and carcass weights suggest fed cattle marketing remains aggressive and current.

Although carcass quality in May was higher year over year with an average of 78.36% grading Choice and Prime, the average was 1.86% less month to month—compared to a decline of 0.84% the previous year.

As for carcass weights, after catching up and surpassing year-over-year levels for several weeks, average dressed steer weights sunk to 842 lbs. the week ending May 25, the lightest of the year. Though a seasonal decrease is unsurprising, dropping 7 lbs. from the previous week and 6 lbs. from the previous year speaks to heavy, timely marketing.

“Despite some good gains in Cattle futures, the previous week’s sharp break and plentiful supplies, with seasonal weakness coming for the summer months, still paints a bearish attitude,” say AMS analysts.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

June 7

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

164,000

(+72,800)

30,300

(+7,900)

12,100

(-6,000)

206,400

(+74,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* June 6 Change
  $131.87 –  0.60

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash June 7 Change
600-700 lbs. $153.42 –   $7.85
700-800 lbs. $143.19 –   $3.54
800-900 lbs. $134.03 –   $5.65

 

South Central

Steers-Cash June 7 Change
500-600 lbs. $154.77 –   $4.22
600-700 lbs. $145.75 –   $1.88
700-800 lbs. $134.78 –   $2.77

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash June 7 Change
400-500 lbs. $151.55 +  $3.17
500-600 lbs. $143.61 –   $1.03
600-700 lbs. $133.45 –   $1.47

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) June 7 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $222.31 –   $0.90
Select $206.92 –   $0.77  
Ch-Se Spread $15.39 –   $0.13

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  June 7 Change
Aug $137.250 + $4.125
Sep $137.350 + $3.275
Oct $137.375 + $2.850
Nov $137.350 + $2.350
Jan ’20 $135.825 + $2.175
Mar $135.425 + $2.650
Apr $136.500 + $0.800
May $137.200 + $1.025

 

Live Cattle   June 7 Change
Jun $106.925 – $1.550
Aug $103.300 + $0.225
Oct $104.500 + $0.600
Dec $109.425 + $0.950
Feb ’20 $114.175 + $1.400
Apr $116.475 + $1.400
Jun $109.675 + $1.575
Aug $108.000 + $1.325
Oct $109.800 + $0.975

 

Corn futures June 7 Change
Jul $4.156 –  $0.114
Sep $4.242 –  $0.118
Dec $4.336 –  $0.100
Mar ’20 $4.424 –  $0.090
May $4.456 –  $0.070
Jul $4.482 –  $0.054

 

Oil CME-WTI June 7 Change
Jul $53.99 + $0.49
Aug $54.16 + $0.52
Sep $54.27 + $0.54
Oct $54.25 + $0.53
Nov $54.19 + $0.53
Dec $54.10 + $0.55

 

Equities

Equity Indexes June 7 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25983.94 + 1168.90
NASDAQ     7742.10 +  288.95
S&P 500     2873.34 +   121.28
Dollar (DXY)          96.56 –       1.05
June 9th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending May 31, 2019

Widespread heavy rain and flooding continued to mire crop planting, increase price uncertainty and weigh heavy on feeder cattle markets.

Nationwide, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) pegged cash prices for steers and heifers at steady money to $5/cwt. lower, amid receipts curtailed by both Memorial Day and continued severe weather.

AMS analysts noted that last week’s heavy rains will test levees and dams in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. 

At the same time, high water levels continue to test and disrupt transportation.

One example.

“Commercial navigation on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) is being disrupted due to high waters,” explains Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “MKARNS provides inland ports that connect directly to the Mississippi river as far inland as the Port of Catoosa, near Tulsa. The MKARNS is an important transportation artery for agriculture in a multi-state region, providing a market for grain shipments downstream and the arrival of inputs such as fertilizer.”

Crop Uncertainty Pummels Feeder Cattle Futures

Softer cash prices for calves and feeders felt more severe, given the collapse in futures prices over the week’s last two sessions.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $8.80 lower week to week on Friday ($6.37 lower to $10.10 lower in spot Aug). Plenty of the pressure stemmed from

the extraordinary increase in grain futures prices, tied to growing uncertainty about this year’s crop production.

“Corn planting progress is the slowest on record for this time of year and soybean acreage planted is reported to be the second slowest on record,” say AMS analysts.

Just 58% of corn was planted as of May 26, according to the most recent USDA Crop Progress report. That was 32% less than last year and 32% less than the 5-year average. 32% was emerged, which was 37% less than last year and 37% less than average. Progress was even more bearish in some key states, compared to average: Illinois (-60%);  Indiana (-63%); Iowa (-20%); Minnesota (-27%); Nebraska (-13%).

Corn futures closed an average of 22¢higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday. That’s an average of 42¢ higher in the last two weeks.

Similarly, only 29% of soybeans were in the ground, compared to 74% for the previous year and 66% for the average. 11% were emerged, which was 33% less than last year and 24% less than average.

Soybean futures were about 48¢higher week to week on Friday, through the front six contracts. They’re up an average of 56¢over the last two weeks.

“The four remaining feeder cattle futures contracts for 2019 as well as the four feeder cattle contracts trading in the first half of 2020 are all trading in less than a $2 range,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Maybe today’s futures market quotes are correct in predicting the future cash price for the next 12 months, but it seems highly unlikely that feeder cattle will continue to trade in such a narrow range.”

Cattle futures were also pressured by news Friday that President Trump plans to impose 5% tariffs on Mexican imports, beginning June 10, unless that country makes significant progress toward stemming the flow of illegal immigrants across its northern border into the U.S. Should that come to pass, the move also casts a shadow over ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.45 lower week to week on Friday ($2.67 to $4.87 lower).

Fed Cattle Prices Steady

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended the week mainly steady with the previous week on a live basis at $115 in the Southern Plains, $116 in Nebraska and mostly $116-$117 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $3 higher at $186 in Nebraska and at $185-$187 in the western Corn Belt.

“There is no definitive way to know what halted the finished cattle price collapse in the cash market, but something came to the aid of cattle feeders,” Griffith says. “Finished cattle continue to trade with a positive basis which is desirable for anyone on the selling side of a transaction. However, the June Live Cattle contract is trading around $110 and the expectation would be to see convergence of the futures contract price and the cash price.”

In the latest Livestock Monitor, analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center forecasts average fed steer prices in the third quarter (July-September) at $112-$115/ cwt., about 3% more year over year.

In the meantime, despite increasing beef production, wholesale beef values continue to trade steady to higher.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.57 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $223.21/cwt. Select was 78¢ lower at $207.69.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

May 31

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

91,200

(-39,100)

22,400

(-22,900)

18,100

(+17,100)

131,700

(-44,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* May 30 Change
  $132.47 –  4.34

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash May 31 Change
600-700 lbs. $172.48 +  $1.81
700-800 lbs. $161.27 –   $0.34
800-900 lbs. $146.73 –   $2.91

 

South Central

Steers-Cash May 31 Change
500-600 lbs. $158.99 –   $5.07
600-700 lbs. $147.63 –   $7.89
700-800 lbs. $137.55 –   $8.93

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash May 31 Change
400-500 lbs. $148.38 –   $6.41
500-600 lbs. $144.64 –   $1.15
600-700 lbs. $134.92 +  $0.35

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) May 31 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $223.21 +  $1.57
Select $207.69 –   $0.78  
Ch-Se Spread $15.52 +  $2.35

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  May 31 Change
Aug $133.125 –  $10.100
Sep $134.075 –  $9.800
Oct $134.525 –  $9.700
Nov $135.000 –  $9.850
Jan ’20 $133.650 –  $9.225
Mar $132.775 –  $8.950
Apr $135.700 –  $6.375
May $136.175 –  $6.425

 

Live Cattle   May 31 Change
Jun $108.475 –   $2.700
Aug $103.075 –   $4.875
Oct $103.900 –   $3.875
Dec $108.475 –   $3.625
Feb ’20 $112.775 –   $3.450
Apr $115.075 –   $3.175
Jun $108.100 –   $3.350
Aug $106.675 –   $3.325
Oct $108.825 –   $2.675

 

Corn futures May 31 Change
Jul $4.270 + $0.228
Sep $4.350 + $0.236
Dec $4.436 + $0.240
Mar ’20 $4.514 + $0.222
May $4.526 + $0.204
Jul $4.536 + $0.192

 

Oil CME-WTI May 31 Change
Jul $53.50 –  $5.13
Aug $53.64 –  $5.07
Sep $53.73 –  $5.00
Oct $53.72 –  $4.94
Nov $53.66 –  $4.87
Dec $53.55 –  $4.80

 

Equities

Equity Indexes May 31 Change
Dow Industrial Average  24815.04 –   770.65
NASDAQ     7453.15 –   183.86
S&P 500     2752.06 –     74.00
Dollar (DXY)          97.61 +      0.01
June 1st, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending May 24, 2019

Volatile futures markets and continued pressure from increasing beef production weighed on cattle prices last week. Widespread heavy rain and flooding also hampered and altered calf and feeder cattle marketing.

“Soggy, waterlogged soils are prevalent throughout much of the country and is a far cry from a year ago when the drought monitor had over 25% of the country in a D1 moderate drought designation or worse,” say analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). “Swollen rivers have made transportation of goods up the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri almost non-existent.” 

Nationwide, AMS pegged calf and feeder cattle prices from $3/cwt. lower to $4 higher, with stronger prices later in the week.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.63 lower week to week on Friday, with added pressure from rising feed costs.

Only 49% of corn was planted as of May 19, according to the most recent USDA Crop Progress report, which was 29% less than last year and 31% less than the 5-year average. Corn futures closed an average of 20¢ higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday.

First-quarter prices for feeder steers (700-800 lbs.) in the Southern Plains were $5.76/cwt. less (-3.9%) year over year, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). Steer calf (500-600 lbs.) prices were down $8.60 (-4.8%). Those analysts expect second-quarter prices to be about 1% higher than last year.

The monthly Cattle on Feed report could offer some support, with about 4.5% fewer April placements than expected, though still 8.67% higher year over year.

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Lower

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon last week was generally $1-$2 lower on a live basis at $114-$115/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $116 in Nebraska. It was steady in the western Corn Belt at $116-$118. Dressed trade was steady to $2 lower in Nebraska at $183-$186; steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $185-$186.

“Despite lower prices in the finished cattle market for the fifth consecutive week, feedlot operators were willing sellers, in order to continue capturing the positive basis,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The cash market price has declined $13 over that five-week period, making it difficult to see the bottom of this price decline. This week’s cash trade resulted in the lowest finished cattle price since November of last year, and should raise a warning sign as the market moves through the soft summer months. The strong downward price movement could be pointing the market toward a weekly summer low near $106/cwt., but the hope will be to hold the line near $110, which will probably be close to the average price for June through August.”

Except for 10¢ and 40¢ lower at either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed $1.21 lower week to week on Friday.

Wholesale beef values edged higher, though, offering hope that summer grilling demand may finally be at hand.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.33 higher week to week on Friday afternoon at $221.64/cwt. Select was 19¢ higher at $208.47.

As well, beef in freezers as of  Apr. 30 totaled 430.35 million lbs. That was 5% less (-40.8 million lbs.) than the previous month and 9% less than the previous year, according to the monthly USDA Cold Storage report published Wednesday. That’s also well below the five-year average of 457 million lbs., according to Allendale, Inc.

Added bullishness from frozen inventory comes with understanding how much beef production began to surge in April.

Beef production in April of 2.26 billion lbs. was 143.8 million lbs. (+6.79%) more than the previous year, according to the monthly USDA Livestock Slaughter report. That was on total federally inspected cattle slaughter of 2.79 million head, which was 189,700 head (+7.30%) more.

For January through April, beef production of 8.67 billion lbs. was 91.7 million lbs. (+1.07%) more year over year. That was on 10.60 million head of cattle slaughtered under federal inspection, which was 248,600 head (+2.40%) more than a year earlier.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

May 24

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

130,300

(-18,600)

45,300

(+16,200)

1,000

(-15,500)

176,600

(-17,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* May 23 Change
  $136.81 +  4.05

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash May 24 Change
600-700 lbs. $170.67 –   $2.98
700-800 lbs. $161.61 +  $2.85
800-900 lbs. $149.64 +  $1.27

 

South Central

Steers-Cash May 24 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.06 –   $0.33
600-700 lbs. $155.52 +  $3.30
700-800 lbs. $146.48 +  $8.47

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash May 24 Change
400-500 lbs. $154.79 –   $4.65
500-600 lbs. $145.79 –   $5.00
600-700 lbs. $134.57 –   $6.50

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) May 24 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $221.64 +  $1.33
Select $208.47 +  $0.19  
Ch-Se Spread $13.18 +  $1.14

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  May 24 Change
Aug $143.225 –  $2.275
Sep $143.875 –  $2.825
Oct $144.225 –  $3.100
Nov $144.850 –  $2.950
Jan ’20 $142.875 –  $2.700
Mar $141.725 –  $1.950
Apr $142.075 –  $2.625
May $142.600 n/a

 

Live Cattle   May 24 Change
Jun $111.175 –   $0.100
Aug $107.950 –   $0.975
Oct $107.775 –   $1.125
Dec $112.100 –   $1.450
Feb ’20 $116.225 –   $1.725
Apr $118.250 –   $1.250
Jun $111.450 –   $0.700
Aug $110.000 –   $1.250
Oct $111.500 –   $0.400

 

Corn futures May 24 Change
Jul $4.042 + $0.210
Sep $4.124 + $0.220
Dec $4.196 + $0.214
Mar ’20 $4.292 + $0.216
May $4.322 + $0.190
Jul $4.344 + $0.162

 

Oil CME-WTI May 24 Change
Jul $58.63 –  $4.29
Aug $58.71 –  $4.28
Sep $58.73 –  $4.25
Oct $58.66 –  $4.20
Nov $58.53 –  $4.13
Dec $58.35 –  $4.04

 

Equities

Equity Indexes May 24 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25585.69 –   178.31
NASDAQ     7637.01 –   179.28
S&P 500     2826.06 –     33.47
Dollar (DXY)          97.60 –       0.41
May 25th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending May 17, 2019

Cattle and beef markets continued to erode on seasonal pressure, weather delays and bearishness concerning looming heavy beef production.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. lower, with instances of as much as $8 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.46 lower week to week on Friday (95¢ to $3.10 lower in spot May). That was with a surge of about $3.40 higher during the last two sessions, except for spot May.

“It is not surprising to see the lightweight calf market begin to soften as the market begins to move towards late spring and early summer. However, it is disconcerting to watch yearling cattle prices soften during this same time period when they typically begin seeing support,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

However, Griffith points out current Feeder Cattle futures prices are only $8-$12 below the trading range from late October to the middle of March.

“During this entire time period, cash feeder cattle prices never surged higher nor did they have a washout. People actually making a living with cattle have continued trading on a flat market with little change in price the past seven months,” Griffith says.

Based on recent prices and pressure on feedlot economics, analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) lowered the expected feeder steer price (Oklahoma City) by $2 for the second quarter to $145/cwt. In the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, ERS projects the annual feeder steer price for this year at $145.50.

In his weekly market comments,Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University says he expects prices to increase seasonally for heavy feeder cattle as feedlot pen conditions improve.

One potential snag in that outlook could be higher feed prices if planting continues to be delayed by wet, cool weather. As of May 12, only 30% of corn was planted, according to the USDA Crop Progress report. That was 29% less than last year and 36% less than the 5-year average.

Corn futures closed an average of 23¢higher through the front six contracts week to week on Friday (13¢higher to 31¢higher in spot Jul).

Fed cattle Prices Lose More Ground

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was $3-$5 lower last week on a live basis at $115-$117/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $117 in Nebraska and $116-$118 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $2-$5 lower in the western Corn Belt at $185-$190 and $3-$10 lower in Nebraska at $185-$186.

“The positive basis has been the motivating factor for most feedlot managers to push cattle out of the feedlot, even though they would prefer to hold the line on cash-traded cattle,” Griffith explains. “The current week’s cash trade is still resulting in a $6 positive basis, but the expectation is for this to be whittled away over the next month. It would appear the finished cattle market is now in a situation where things are going to get worse before they start to get better.”

Live Cattle futures closed mixed week to week on Friday, from 10¢ to $1.17 lower in three contracts, to an average of 61¢ higher (2¢ to $1.32 higher).

The slow start to grilling season continues to weigh on beef prices.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 80¢ lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $220.31/cwt. Select was 82¢ higher at $208.28.

“It is almost certain that Choice beef has hit its 2019 high and there is a real possibility that Choice boxes will test the $200 mark,” Griffith says. “It may take some additional bad news to push prices below $200, but it could occur. Similarly, the Choice Select spread has been seasonal, but the spread is nearly $10 lower than the widest spread a year ago which hints toward supply and demand of Choice versus Select beef.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

May 17

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

148,900

(+2,100)

29,100

(+7,800)

16,500

(-6,200)

194,500

(+3,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* May 16 Change
  $132.76 –   2.76

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash May 17 Change
600-700 lbs. $173.65 n/a
700-800 lbs. $158.76 n/a
800-900 lbs. $148.37 n/a

 

South Central

Steers-Cash May 17 Change
500-600 lbs. $164.39 n/a
600-700 lbs. $152.22 n/a
700-800 lbs. $138.01 n/a

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash May 17 Change
400-500 lbs. $159.44 n/a
500-600 lbs. $150.79 n/a
600-700 lbs. $141.07 n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) May 17 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $220.31 –   $0.80
Select $208.28 +  $0.82  
Ch-Se Spread $12.03 –   $1.62

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  May 17 Change
May $134.525 –  $3.100
Aug $145.500 –  $1.325
Sep $146.700 –  $1.075
Oct $147.325 –  $1.425
Nov $147.800 –  $1.550
Jan ’20 $145.575 –  $1.100
Mar $143.675 –  $1.125
Apr $144.700 –  $0.950

 

Live Cattle   May 17 Change
Jun $111.275 –   $1.175
Aug $108.925 +  $0.025
Oct $108.900 –   $0.125
Dec $113.550 +  $0.475
Feb ’20 $117.950 +  $1.200
Apr $119.500 +  $1.325
Jun $112.150 +  $0.150
Aug $111.250 +  $0.500
Oct $111.900 –   $0.100

 

Corn futures May 17 Change
Jul $3.832 + $0.316
Sep $3.904 + $0.294
Dec $3.982 + $0.262
Mar ’20 $4.076 + $0.214
May $4.132 + $0.172
Jul $4.182 + $0.136

 

Oil CME-WTI May 10 Change
Jun $62.76 + $1.10
Jul $62.92 + $1.12
Aug $62.99 + $1.13
Sep $62.98 + $1.15
Oct $62.86 + $1.16
Nov $62.66 + $1.17

 

Equities

Equity Indexes May 17 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25764.00 –   178.37
NASDAQ     7816.29 –   100.65
S&P 500     2859.53 –     21.87
Dollar (DXY)          98.01 +       0.69
May 18th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending May 10, 2019

Cattle markets continued to erode last week, pressured by everything from volatile outside markets whipsawed by kneejerk trade emotion, to the cool weather delaying summer grilling demand, to increasing fed cattle supplies.

Nationwide, steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. lower, with instances of $10 lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Rain and waterlogged fields were the main talk across the breadbasket of the country as cattle receipts were hampered from Kansas to the Dakotas to Illinois and Indiana,” AMS analysts say.

A late-week rally helped Feeder Cattle futures close and average of 89¢ higher week to week on Friday (45¢ to $1.27 higher). The previous two weeks, Feeder Cattle slid about an average of $14 lower.

Oversold conditions and the significant decline in open interest offer hope the rally in Cattle futures represents a turn from the bottom.

“Feeder cattle prices in the cash market moving through summer and fall are now on course to remain steady with the previous six months, given the expectations of Feeder Cattle futures,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Though the past three weeks of futures trading have not been advantageous for folks marketing feeder cattle, there is still time for the market to recover some of its losses. One can never predict prices with 100% certainty, but there may be an opportunity that summer and fall Feeder Cattle futures prices move back to the low $150s which will present a marketing opportunity.”

Moreover, it appears grain prices will remain supportive.

Bearishness Prevails in Grain Markets

Despite wet conditions and late planting that threaten to decrease corn planting,Corn futures were an average of 16¢lower week to week on Friday, through the front six contracts (18¢to 21¢lower). Friday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) offered no support.

For instance, analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) projected the 2019-20 season-average farm price for corn 20¢ lowerat $3.30/bu., the lowest since 2006-07.

Likewise, in the latest WASDE, ERS analysts say, “The projected season-average farm price for wheat is $4.70/bu., down from last year’s estimated $5.20 on the expectation of greater export competition and lower U.S. corn prices.”

As for soybeans, WASDE projects the 2019-20 U.S. season-average price at $8.10/bu., down 45¢ from the previous year.

Soybean futures were down about 31¢on average week to week, through the front six contracts.

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Decline

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued to lose ground last week. Live sales were $2.00-$4.50 lower at $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $121 in Nebraska and $122.00-$122.50 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $6-$11 lower in Nebraska at $189-$194. It was $8-$10 lower in the western Corn Belt at $190-$192.

“A $6 (per cwt.) loss in two weeks adds up to about $84 per head on an animal finishing at 1,400 lbs.,” Griffith explains. “There is good reason cattle feeders have been willing sellers at lower prices. That reason is the June Live Cattle futures price, which is trading at a $7-$8 discount to this week’s cash price. Cattle feeders are likely wanting to push even more cattle out of pens to keep from being forced to market those cattle on an even lower market than this week.”

Live Cattle futures closed mixed week to week on Friday, from an average of 54¢ lower (10¢ to 97 lower) to an average of 19¢ higher. They were down by about $9 on average the previous two weeks.

As mentioned earlier, cool, wet weather continues to stymie the seasonal increase in grilling demand.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $6.25 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $221.11/cwt. Select was $5.83 lower at $207.46.

Although upcoming holidays should offer an expected seasonal boost, cattle numbers and carcass weights are increasing. After months of lower year-over-year dressed steer and heifer weights, they began to draw even and then increase a couple of weeks ago. The average dressed steer weight of 854 lbs. (week ending Apr. 27) was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Average dressed heifer weights were 6 lbs. heavier at 794 lbs. Fed cattle slaughter for the same week was 14,665 head more at 512,477.

USDA didreduce beef production slightly for this year, in the latest WASDE. The May projection is 27.27 billion lbs., which would be 397 million lbs. more than last year.

“Beef production is forecast higher primarily on higher projected steer and heifer slaughter and heavier carcass weights,” according to ERS analysts.

Although slightly lower month to month, WASDE projects higher fed cattle prices year over year. The annual average fed steer price was projected at $118.50/cwt., compared to $117.12 last year. Prices are forecast at $121 in the second quarter, $113 in the third quarter and $114 in the fourth quarter.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

May 10

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

134,200

(-73,700)

21,300

(-30,300)

22,700

(-15,300)

178,200

(-119,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* May 9 Change
  $135.52 –   5.66

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash May 10 Change
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a
700-800 lbs. n/a n/a
800-900 lbs. n/a n/a

 

South Central

Steers-Cash May 10 Change
500-600 lbs. n/a n/a
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a
700-800 lbs. n/a n/a

 

Southeast

Steers-Cash May 10 Change
400-500 lbs. n/a n/a
500-600 lbs. n/a n/a
600-700 lbs. n/a n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) May 10 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $221.11 –   $6.25
Select $207.46 –   $5.83  
Ch-Se Spread $13.65 –   $0.42

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  May 10 Change
May $137.625 + $0.475
Aug $146.825 + $0.450
Sep $147.775 + $0.625
Oct $148.750 + $0.975
Nov $149.350 + $1.100
Jan ’20 $146.675 + $1.275
Mar $144.800 + $1.025
Apr $145.650 + $1.225

 

Live Cattle   May 10 Change
Jun $112.450 –   $0.975
Aug $108.900 –   $0.250
Oct $109.025 –   $0.650
Dec $113.075 –   $0.500
Feb ’20 $116.750 +  $0.100
Apr $118.175 +  $0.175
Jun $112.000 +  $0.250
Aug $110.750 +  $0.250
Oct $112.000 –   $0.350

 

Corn futures May 10 Change
May $3.424 –  $0.206
Jul $3.516 –  $0.190
Sep $3.610 –  $0.166
Dec $3.720 –  $0.156
Mar ’20 $3.862 –  $0.134
May $3.960 –  $0.104

 

Oil CME-WTI May 10 Change
Jun $61.66 –  $0.28
Jul $61.80 –  $0.24
Aug $61.86 –  $0.21
Sep $61.83 –  $0.18
Oct $61.70 –  $0.16
Nov $61.49 –  $0.15

 

Equities

Equity Indexes May 10 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25942.37 –   562.58
NASDAQ     7916.94 –   247.06
S&P 500     2881.40 –     64.24
Dollar (DXY)          97.32 –        0.13
May 12th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending May 3, 2019

Bearishness continued in cattle markets as futures prices dropped and cash prices eroded.

Nationwide, steers and heifer sold from steady to $7/cwt. lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). There were instances of $10-$12 lower for lightweight steers.

“Grass cattle demand has subsided as ranchers are taking stock of what is going on in Chicago,” say AMS analysts. “CME cattle futures continued to close in the red this week and all market participants are standing up and taking notice…The loss of $100 per head or more on a 750 lb. steers in the matter of two weeks makes one wonder just what the heck is going on fundamentally.”

Likewise, the AMS reporter on hand for Thursday’s Superior Livestock Video auction noted, “There is limited demand for feeders. Demand for lightweight cattle headed to grass is moderate as grass accounts are pretty much full…Some producers chose to pass at current bids.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $6.73 lower week to week on Friday. That’s an average of $13.88 lower in the last two weeks.

However, weekly weighted average prices for calves and feeders remained higher year over year in the North Central region, according to USDA’s National Weekly Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary. Compared to the same week a year earlier, prices were about even in other regions.

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Slide

Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were sharply lower for the week. Live trade was $3-$4 lower at $122-$123/cwt. in the Southern Plains; mostly $124 in Nebraska and $123-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was mainly $4-$6 lower at mostly $200. It’s worth noting that fed cattle prices remain higher year over year.

AMS analysts noted that estimated fed cattle trade (5-area) for the week of approximately 125,000 head would be the most since late October in 2018.

“The next 60 days are when some of the best meat consumption occurs in the U.S. and we will see how much is needed to satisfy our markets, both domestic and abroad,” say AMS analysts.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.48 lower week to week on Friday. That’s an average of $9.27 lower in the last two weeks.

“The June Live Cattle contract price has declined $8 in the past two weeks, with the August and October contracts trading $4 lower than the June contract,” explains Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “If this price decline is realized, the market will have declined 14.6% from its spring high to its summer low, which is only slightly higher than the seasonal 13-14% that is normally experienced. Some may question the expectation of the price decline due to cattle on feed numbers or other factors, but the market has a way of balancing based on supply and demand.”

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.63 lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $227.36/cwt. Select was $6.12 lower at $213.29.

Griffith points out the Choice cutout value traded higher year over year every week so far this year, except for one.

“One should be able to say with certainty that the strength in the cutout price has supported the finished cattle market despite the 1.9% increase in total cattle slaughter, which means the average weekly slaughter is nearly 12,000 head higher than the same period in 2018,” Griffith explains. “The increase in slaughter numbers through the first 17 weeks of the year are from heifers and cows. Even with 198,000 additional head in the slaughter mix thus far, domestic beef production over that time is only 0.7% higher than a year ago or 56.4 million lbs. more. The ability of packers to push the Choice cutout price higher than year-ago levels with additional beef on the market would point to strong beef demand.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

May 3

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

207,900

(+14,000)

51,600

(-21,700)

38,000

(+36,700)

297,500

(+29,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* May 2 Change
  $141.18 –   3.06

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash May 3 Change
600-700 lbs. $178.78 n/a
700-800 lbs. $164.66 n/a
800-900 lbs. $153.14 n/a

South Central

Steers-Cash May 3 Change
500-600 lbs. $170.28 n/a
600-700 lbs. $156.59 n/a
700-800 lbs. $142.46 n/a

Southeast

Steers-Cash May 3 Change
400-500 lbs. $168.29 n/a
500-600 lbs. $158.63 n/a
600-700 lbs. $144.92 n/a

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) May 3 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $227.36 –   $5.63
Select $213.29 –   $6.12  
Ch-Se Spread $14.07 +  $0.49

 

Futures

Feeder Cattle  May 3 Change
May $137.150 –  $6.800
Aug $146.375 –  $6.475
Sep $147.150 –  $6.700
Oct $147.775 –  $6.700
Nov $148.250 –  $6.625
Jan ’20 $145.400 –  $6.775
Mar $143.775 –  $6.675
Apr $144.425 –  $7.125

 

Live Cattle   May 3 Change
Jun $113.425 –   $1.625
Aug $109.150 –   $3.500
Oct $109.675 –   $3.750
Dec $113.575 –   $3.900
Feb ’20 $116.650 –   $3.725
Apr $118.000 –   $3.725
Jun $111.750 –   $3.850
Aug $110.500 –   $3.800
Oct $112.350 n/a

 

Corn futures May 3 Change
May $3.630 + $0.118
Jul $3.706 + $0.094
Sep $3.776 + $0.082
Dec $3.876 + $0.070
Mar ’20 $3.996 + $0.042
May $4.064 + $0.020

 

Oil CME-WTI May 3 Change
Jun $61.94 –  $1.36
Jul $62.04 –  $1.34
Aug $62.07 –  $1.29
Sep $62.01 –  $1.22
Oct $61.86 –  $1.18
Nov $61.64 –  $1.16

 

Equities

Equity Indexes May 3 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26504.95 –     38.38
NASDAQ     8164.00 +     17.60
S&P 500     2945.64 +       5.76
Dollar (DXY)          97.45 –        0.60
May 4th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Apr. 26, 2019

Bearishness returned to cattle markets last week, tied to the hard fall in Cattle futures, borne by increasing pessimism about looming cattle supplies as some funds began to unwind long positions. Added pressure came from volatility in Lean Hog futures.

Even so, steers and heifers sold from $3 lower to $4/cwt. higher according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Many markets from early to mid week were on the higher side, while later in the week markets followed the CME cattle complex in a downward trend,” say AMS analysts. They explain demand continued for summer turnout cattle as many auctions begin transitioning to summer schedules.

Feeder Cattle futures closed and average of $7.15 lower on Friday, compared to the previous Thursday ($3.80 lower at the back to $8.22 lower).

“…a downward movement in feeder cattle futures this week does not mean the market will continue to decline or stay at its current level,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “There are fundamental aspects of the market that could support the summer and fall contract months moving north of $160. However, the previous statement is not a solicitation to remain idle with a hope that the market will make a run. Producers should be considering their marketing alternatives and the cost of achieving their marketing objective.”

Fed Cattle Sell Steady to Lower

When all was said done last week, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $126/cwt., but $2-$3 less in the north at $125-$127 in Nebraska and $128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was $2-$3 lower at mostly $205 in Nebraska and mostly $205-$206 in the western Corn Belt.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of $5.79 lower on Friday, compared to the previous Thursday ($3.97 lower in spot Apr to $7.62 lower).

“It has been difficult the past two weeks to fully understand what is happening in the finished cattle market,” Griffith says. “The April contract, which will soon be pushed to the wayside, steadily increased from the low $120s to about $130 from November through the middle of March. Since that time, the contract moved from $126 to $128 and then declined to $124, all in a matter of two weeks. Similarly, the cash finished cattle market has moved in a similar pattern with no definitive reason for the gyrations. Maybe the Cattle on Feed report was an influencing factor or maybe it is a broader market signal related to demand. Either way, the market appears to have some uncertainty as is evident in the futures market. This does present opportunities.”

So far, weather-depressed carcass weights are helping support cattle prices in the face of growing numbers.

The average dressed steer weight in March was 11 lbs. less year over year at 867 lbs., according to USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report. For January-March it was 8 lbs. less at 878 lbs. Average dressed heifer weight was 13 lbs. less year over year at 807 lbs. in March. It was 11 lbs. less for January to March at 817 lbs.

Cattle numbers will continue to increase as carcass weights catch up to normal.

For perspective, AMS analysts note that cattle slaughter through the middle of April of approximately 9.1 million head was 1% more than last year and 0.6% more than the three-year average. For the same period, steer slaughter was 3.5% less than last year and 3.6% less than the 3-year average, while heifer slaughter was 7.7% more than last year and 5.7% more than the three-year average.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was 66¢ lower week to week on Friday afternoon at $232.99/cwt. Select was $1.08 lower at $219.41.

“Boxed beef values have been doing very well but started to find some resistance this week as packers have plenty of product to sell,” say AMS analysts. 

As well, Griffith points out U.S. beef and veal exports were 4.2% less year over year through the first two months of 2019.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Apr. 26

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

 

193,900

(-5,500)

73,300

(-13,100)

1,300

(-44,100)

268,500