Weekly Market Highlights

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Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Apr. 12, 2019

“Feeder calves and stocker calves under 800 lbs., especially those carrying a minimal amount of flesh, showed the way with the best demand,” according to analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). “Buyers continue to shy away from cattle carrying too much flesh condition for their weight.”

Overall, AMS pegged the price trend for steers and heifers at $2/cwt. lower to $2 higher.

Week to week on Friday, except for 72¢ lower in spot Apr, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.49 higher (27¢ to $3.27 higher at the back).

Weather-delayed forage growth and cattle finishing appear to be capping demand currently.

Lighter Carcass Weights Remain Supportive

 With the latest widespread storm, AMS analysts say, “There is bound to be more weight loss of nearly-finished cattle throughout the Northern Plains. Just how much was lost will be evident in the coming months as calf-feds get closer to harvest. Currently, cattle are not meeting their projected out-weights and cost of gains are higher than anticipated just a few months ago.”

The average dressed steer weight was 7 lbs. lighter than a year earlier at 865 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report for the week ending Mar. 31. The average dressed heifer weight was 8 lbs. lighter at 806 lbs. Fed steer and heifer slaughter was 16,070 head more at 480,913 head. Total cattle slaughter for the week of 618,707 head was 28,320 head more. Beef production was 15.8 million lbs. more (+3.3%) at 496.7 million lbs.

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reduced expected beef production for this year to 27.280 billion lbs. (-20 million lbs.) in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

“The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, primarily on lower carcass weights, but higher total cattle slaughter for 2019 is expected to partially offset declines in carcass weights,” say ERS analysts.

Projected WASDE fed steer prices (5-area Direct) were lowered slightly based on a lower price in the first quarter. The 5-area Direct fed steer price is projected at $122-$126/cwt. in the second quarter; $111-$119 in the third and $109-$119 in the fourth.

Pork Potential Adds Lift

Through late Friday afternoon, based on USDA reports, the only trendable negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was steady money in the Southern Plains at $124/cwt.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ higher.

“The beef market is inching ever closer to grilling season and the unofficial start of summer that comes with Memorial Day weekend grilling. One might surmise that this should provide some support in the near term, but it may take the passing of Easter before interest in beef begins to soar,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “Market participants should also consider that feedlots will become more interested in filling pen space as favorable weather conditions become more evident and as wet pens dry. In some instances, it appears the market is priming the pump to make a run.”

Week to week on Friday, Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.91 higher at $228.84/cwt. Select was 74¢ higher at $221.02.

If Lean Hog futures are any indication, then more beef price support could emerge based on expectations of improved international pork demand, stemming from African Swine Fever in China and Southeast Asia.

Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35% this year. Analysts there note the loss is at least 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and nearly as large as Europe’s annual pork supply.

Rabobank also expects production losses to exceed 10% in Vietnam, the world’s fifth largest pork-producing country and a significant supplier to China.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Apr. 12

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct

(head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total

(head)

(change)

190,400

(-42,800)

53,800

(-38,200)

72,800

(+70,800)

317,000

(-10,200)

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Apr. 11 Change
$142.78 –  1.23

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Apr. 12 Change
600-700 lbs. $169.07 +  $1.59
700-800 lbs. $154.15 –   $0.06
800-900 lbs. $142.03 –   $1.34

South Central

Steers-Cash Apr. 12 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 Apr. 12 Change
400-500 lbs. $159.01 –   $7.78
500-600 lbs. $144.11 –   $14.42
600-700 lbs. $132.27 –   $12.24

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Apr. 12 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $228.84 +  $1.91
Select $221.02 +  $0.74  
Ch-Se Spread $7.82 +  $1.17

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Apr. 12 Change
Apr $145.425 –  $0.725
May $150.500 + $0.275
Aug $158.700 + $1.975
Sep $159.775 + $1.550
Oct $159.750 + $0.775
Nov $159.575 + $0.750
Jan ’20 $157.300 + $1.825
Mar $155.450 + $3.275
Live Cattle   Apr. 12 Change
Apr $126.550 +  $0.500
Jun $121.450 +  $1.100
Aug $118.200 +  $0.825
Oct $119.025 +  $0.900
Dec $122.725 +  $0.900
Feb ’20 $124.600 +  $0.650
Apr $125.575 +  $0.975
Jun $119.150 +  $0.775
Aug $117.950 +  $1.450
Corn futures Apr. 12 Change
May $3.610 –  $0.014
Jul $3.694 –  $0.016
Sep $3.774 –  $0.020
Dec $3.890 –  $0.010
Mar ’20 $4.030 -0-
May $4.106 -0-
Oil CME-WTI Apr. 12 Change
May $63.89 + $0.81
Jun $64.02 + $0.87
Jul $64.10 + $0.92
Aug $64.08 + $0.91
Sep $63.96 + $0.89
Oct $63.76 + $0.88

Equities

Equity Indexes Apr. 12 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26412.30 –   12.69
NASDAQ     7984.16 +   45.47
S&P 500     2907.41 +    14.67
Dollar (DXY)          96.94 –       0.45
April 14th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending Apr. 5, 2019

Demand for turnout cattle continued to boost calf prices. Overall, steers and heifers traded steady to $3/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“Buyers were very critical of excessive flesh, especially on heifers as market activity slowed substantially if they were over-conditioned,” AMS analysts explained. “After the previous week’s downward trend in the futures contracts, early-week sales had cattle buyers more cautious when procuring heavier cattle.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 81¢ higher week to week on Friday, thanks in large part to a bounce higher Thursday, as traders continue to push Lean Hog futures.

Through Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices for the week were steady to a touch softer in the Northern Plains at $126/cwt. in Nebraska and at $127-$128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was reported at $204-$206, compared to $206 the previous week. Prices in the Southern Plains were $1-$2 lower at $124.

Other than 35¢ higher in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.42 higher week to week on Friday.

Carcass weights diluted by the long, cold and wet winter continue to provide support.

For the week ending Mar. 23, average dressed steer weights were 866 lbs., which was 12 lbs. less than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 804 lbs., which was 11 lbs. lighter than the prior year. Fed cattle slaughter of 492,477 head was 11,614 head more year over year. Total cattle slaughter of 636,169 head was 24,792 head more. Beef production for the week was 9.6 million pounds more than the previous year at 508.4 million pounds.

“Weather impacts are holding carcass weights well below year-ago levels so far this year and annual average carcass weights are projected to only increase slightly year over year,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in is weekly market comments. “Cattle slaughter is projected to increase about 1% year over year. With beef imports projected to decrease and beef exports expected to increase again in 2019, per capita beef consumption is expected to decrease to 56.8 lbs. (retail basis), down from 57.1 lbs. one year ago.”

Increased beef demand, via warmer temperatures and summer grilling season is surely close.

Choice wholesale beef value was 89¢ higher week to week on Friday at $226.93/cwt. Select was $1.39 higher at $220.28.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Apr. 5

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

233,200

(-25,500)

92,000

(+23,300)

2,000

(-67,700)

327,200

(-2,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Apr. 4 Change
  $144.01 + 2.27

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Apr. 5 Change
600-700 lbs. $167.48 +  $0.96
700-800 lbs. $154.21 +  $2.48
800-900 lbs. $143.37 +  $2.99

South Central

Steers-Cash Apr. 5 Change
500-600 lbs. $174.31 –   $0.54
600-700 lbs. $160.51 +  $1.48
700-800 lbs. $145.59 +  $1.97

Southeast

Steers-Cash Apr. 5 Change
400-500 lbs. $166.79 +  $2.19
500-600 lbs. $158.53 +  $1.67
600-700 lbs. $144.51 +  $0.99

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 29 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $226.93 +  $0.89
Select $220.28 +  $1.39  
Ch-Se Spread $6.65 –   $0.50

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Apr. 5 Change
Apr $146.150 + $0.900
May $150.225 + $1.450
Aug $156.725 + $0.475
Sep $158.225 + $0.500
Oct $158.975 + $0.725
Nov $158.825 + $0.800
Jan ’20 $155.475 + $0.725
Mar $152.175 + $0.925

 

Live Cattle   Apr. 5 Change
Apr $126.050 +  $0.350
Jun $120.350 +  $1.350
Aug $117.375 +  $1.700
Oct $118.125 +  $1.300
Dec $121.825 +  $1.525
Feb ’20 $123.950 +  $1.700
Apr $124.600 +  $1.350
Jun $118.375 +  $1.325
Aug $116.500 +  $1.075

 

Corn futures Apr. 5 Change
May $3.624 + $0.060
Jul $3.710 + $0.048
Sep $3.794 + $0.044
Dec $3.900 + $0.054
Mar ’20 $4.030 + $0.060
May $4.106 + $0.072

 

Oil CME-WTI Apr. 5 Change
May $63.08 + $2.94
Jun $63.15 + $2.87
Jul $63.18 + $2.78
Aug $63.17 + $2.68
Sep $63.07 + $2.54
Oct $62.88 + $2.41

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Apr. 5 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26424.99 +  496.31
NASDAQ     7938.69 +   209.37
S&P 500     2892.74 +    58.34
Dollar (DXY)          97.39 +      0.15
April 7th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 29, 2019

Despite pressure on Cattle futures—from the Cattle on Feed report early and then Lean Hog Futures—cash steers and heifers traded steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“In many places that have been wet all winter, the ground started to dry early to mid week, giving way for pasture repairs and field work,” say AMS analysts. “Ranchers were trying to catch up and beat another rain event late week by fertilizing pastures while the ground had some firmness to it.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.55 lower week to week on Friday (47¢centslower to $5.27 lower). That doesn’t count expiring spot Mar or new away Mar.

Calf prices could get a boost from Friday’s Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports from USDA, which were bearish for corn.

“The calf and feeder cattle markets continue displaying a lack of continuity as the calf market showed considerable strength, while the feeder cattle market held the status quo,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “There does appear to be some optimism in the feeder cattle market as the August feeder cattle futures price is trading at an $11 premium to the April contract. What does this mean for the future? It means the cash price has a long way to go and a spring and summer to get there or the futures market is over-valuing feeder cattle. The educated guess at this point is that the cash price of feeder cattle will begin a strong advancement to the upside in the coming months to fall more in line with what is expected for live cattle.”

Fed Cattle Prices Move Lower

Through late Friday afternoon, negotiated cash fed cattle prices for the week were mostly $2-$3 less on a live basis at $125-$126/cwt. in the Southern Plains, mostly $126 in Nebraska and mostly $128 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was also $2-$3 lower at $206 in Nebraska and at $205 in the western Corn Belt.

There’s plenty of speculation about whether the previous week represents the seasonal high or fed cattle prices have one more surge left.

Except for 45¢ higher in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $3.08 lower (75¢ to $4.50 lower)—week to week on Friday.

“Analysts are looking at current cattle weights under federal inspection and looking at the tonnage impact going into summer,” say AMS analysts. “Since the week ending Dec. 29 last year, steer dressed weights declined 31 lbs. compared to a 25 lb. decline the same time period a year ago.”

Choice wholesale beef value was $3.05 lower week to week on Friday at $226.04/cwt. Select was 25¢ higher at $218.89.

“Wholesale Choice boxed beef prices declined for the first time in eight weeks, which means the price of Choice beef increased from the beginning of February through last week before faltering to close out the month of March,” Griffith says. “During the price run, Choice beef prices increased $15/cwt. while Select box prices only increased $5. Some of the price support in the beef market through the first quarter of 2019 could be considered artificial to some degree, due to reduced steer slaughter. However, the other portion of the support is not a manipulation of production and quantity of beef supplied. It is true supply and demand determining prices with lighter carcass weights that are a function of the tough feeding conditions across much of cattle feeding country and strong demand for high valued beef cuts.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 29

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

258,700

(+2,600)

68,700

(-21,600)

2,000

(-26,800)

329,400

(-45,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Mar. 28 Change
  $141.74 + 0.72

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 29  Change
600-700 lbs. $166.52 +  $3.46
700-800 lbs. $151.73 +  $2.15
800-900 lbs. $140.38 –   $0.57

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 29 Change
500-600 lbs. $174.85 +  $4.58
600-700 lbs. $159.03 +  $3.22
700-800 lbs. $143.62 –   $0.27

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 29 Change
400-500 lbs. $164.60 –   $3.59
500-600 lbs. $156.86 +  $0.18
600-700 lbs. $143.52 –   $1.00

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 29 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $226.04 –   $3.05
Select $218.89 +  $0.25  
Ch-Se Spread $7.15 –   $3.30

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 29 Change
Apr $145.250 –  $3.550
May $148.775 –  $5.275
Aug $156.250 –  $3.075
Sep $157.725 –  $2.225
Oct $158.250 –  $1.675
Nov $158.025 –  $1.600
Jan ’20 $154.750 –  $0.475
Mar $151.250 n/a

 

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 29 Change
Apr $125.700 –  $4.025
Jun $119.000 –  $4.500
Aug $115.675 –  $4.350
Oct $116.825 –  $4.025
Dec $120.300 –  $3.025
Feb ’20 $122.250 –  $2.350
Apr $123.250 –  $1.625
Jun $117.050 –  $0.750
Aug $115.425 +  $0.425

 

Corn futures Mar. 29 Change
May $3.564 –  $0.218
Jul $3.662 –  $0.212
Sep $3.750 –  $0.182
Dec $3.846 –  $0.154
Mar ’20 $3.970 –  $0.132
May $4.034 –  $0.116

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 29 Change
May $60.14 + $1.10
Jun $60.28 + $0.99
Jul $60.40 + $0.87
Aug $60.49 + $0.74
Sep $60.53 + $0.64
Oct $60.47 + $0.55

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 29 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25928.68 +  426.36
NASDAQ     7729.32 +    86.65
S&P 500     2834.40 +    33.69
Dollar (DXY)          97.24 +      0.64
March 31st, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 22, 2019

Between wonderments about ultimate impacts from the bomb cyclone and surging optimism in Lean Hog futures, Cattle futures gained significant ground last week. That, along with clearing weather, whetted buyer appetites for calves and feeder cattle.

Steers and heifers sold $2-$6/cwt. higher, according to analysts with the Agricultural marketing Service (AMS).

“It didn’t matter what weight cattle were, they were in demand,” said AMS analysts. “Many auctions had reputation strings and large bunches on offer, allowing buyers to make full pens of uniform cattle.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.87 higher week to week on Friday ($1.67 higher in spot Mar to $6.37 higher).

“This week’s feeder cattle price movement presents an opportunity to hedge sales for summer and fall at profitable levels for most producers,” notes Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Negotiated cash fed cattle traded end up mostly $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $128/cwt. in the South and $129 in the North (up to $131 in the western Corn Belt). Dressed trade was mainly $4 higher at mostly $208.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.22 higher (62¢ higher in spot Apr to $2.95 higher).

“Finished cattle are trading nearly $2 below the April live cattle contract, which means upside potential remains in the market,” Griffith says. “The slight increase in cattle on feed for March was unexpected by most market participants, but it is unlikely to sway the market in either direction (see below).

Weather-depressed carcass weights continue to offer support as the volume of fed cattle slaughter increases.

Average dressed steer weights for the week ending March 9 were 10 lbs. lighter than the same week a year earlier at 871 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Average heifer dressed weights were 9 lbs. lighter at 814 lbs. Total beef production for the week of 488.0 million lbs. was 3.4 million lbs. less than a year earlier but total cattle slaughter was 7,889 head more.

“April marketings will be an important indicator of the potential strength of the cattle markets through the summer. Weak marketings will suggest a backlog of animals,” says Stephen Koontz, agricultural economist at Colorado State University, in the most recent issue of In the Cattle Markets. “As of Feb. 1, he explains the calculated inventory of cattle on feed for more than 120 days of 3.99 million head is 12.2% more than the same time last year and 14.1% more than the five-year average.

In the meantime, wholesale beef values continue to provide support to fed cattle, t00.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.10 higher week to week on Friday at $229.09 per cwt. Select was $1.30 higher at $218.64.

Feedlot Placements Up

Feedlot marketings in February of 1.68 million head—for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity—were 0.48% more than a year earlier, according to Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. That was slightly less than most pre-report expectations.

Placements were 1.86 million head in February, which was 2.20% more than a year earlier. Most estimates ahead of the report projected a decline.

Cattle on feed March 1 of 11.80 million head were 0.69% more than the previous year. Average estimates ahead of the report suggested a slight decline.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 22

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

256,100

(+49,800)

90,300

(+42,300)

2,800

(+26,000)

257,100

(+118,100)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Mar. 21 Change
  $141.02 + 3.37

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 22  Change
600-700 lbs. $163.06 +  $4.42
700-800 lbs. $149.58 +  $3.90
800-900 lbs. $140.95 +  $5.27

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $170.27 +  $4.37
600-700 lbs. $155.81 +  $5.10
700-800 lbs. $143.89 +  $2.69

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 22 Change
400-500 lbs. $168.19 +  $1.76
500-600 lbs. $156.68 +  $0.71
600-700 lbs. $144.52 +  $2.52

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 15 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $229.09 +  $2.10
Select $218.64 +  $1.30  
Ch-Se Spread $10.45 +  $0.80

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 22 Change
Mar $143.000 + $1.675
Apr $148.800 + $1.875
May $154.050 + $5.600
Aug $159.325 + $5.775
Sep $159.950 + $5.950
Oct $159.925 + $6.100
Nov $159.625 + $6.375
Jan ’20 $155.225 + $5.600

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 22 Change
Apr $129.725 + $0.625
Jun $123.500 + $1.575
Aug $120.025 + $2.300
Oct $120.850 + $2.950
Dec $123.325 + $2.925
Feb ’20 $124.600 +  $2.825
Apr $124.875 +  $2.750
Jun $117.800 +  $2.300
Aug $115.000 +  $1.750

 

Corn futures Mar. 22 Change
May $3.782 + $0.050
Jul $3.874 + $0.052
Sep $3.932 + $0.046
Dec $4.000 + $0.040
Mar ’20 $4.102 + $0.032
May $4.150 + $0.028

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 22 Change
May $59.04 + $0.22
Jun $59.29 + $0.17
Jul $59.53 + $0.09
Aug $59.75 + $0.03
Sep $59.89 -0-
Oct 59.92 –  $0.03

 

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 22 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25502.32 –   346.55
NASDAQ     7642.67 –     45.86
S&P 500     2800.71 –      21.77
Dollar (DXY)          96.60 +      0.06
March 24th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 15, 2019

Steers and heifers sold $1-$5/cwt. lower in the North and South Central regions, while the Southeast was quoted mostly steady, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

“Grazing cattle out of the Southeast were in the greatest demand,” say AMS analysts. “Feedyards were tepid in taking on more cattle this week. More precipitation and/or blizzard-like conditions bombarded a widespread area of the Plains late in the week. High winds, from the Texas Panhandle to western Nebraska, brought treacherous conditions…Receipts were curtailed again due to either reduced or cancelled sales in Nebraska and the Dakotas.”

Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed week to week on Friday with the most pressure in the front three contracts (7¢to $2.60 lower in spot Mar). Late-week support came from Live Cattle, which were boosted in part by the rally in Lean Hog futures (see below).

“For those cow-calf producers that starting calving four to six weeks ago, this

winter has been extremely taxing emotionally and physically,” say AMS analysts. “Cow-calf producers in Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Missouri are poised to wean a calf crop that will fall way short of perfect this fall. Anecdotes of cattleman losing 10-25% of their calf crop is commonplace this year.”

Although the extraordinarily tough winter continues to hamper feeder cattle demand and hold calf prices in check, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee notes in his weekly market comments, “When feeding pens dry and the weather moderates, feedlots will become hungry for feeder cattle and the calf and feeder cattle markets will likely change without the fed cattle market ever having to move.”

Likewise, analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service—in the most recent Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook—expect tighter feeder supplies in the second half of this year to support higher calf and feeder cattle prices.

Fed Cattle Trade Lower

Despite lighter carcass weights and less beef production, relative to harvest numbers, packers bought fat cattle for mostly $1 less at $127/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Northern Plains. Through Friday afternoon, the week’s dressed trade was steady at $204-$205 in the western Corn Belt. 

Spillover support from the aforementioned rally in Lean Hog futures helped boost Live Cattle futures. Except for 57¢ lower in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 68¢ higher week to week on Friday.

Incidentally, many attribute the rally in Lean Hogs to growing expectations that China must import significantly more pork because of losses incurred by African Swine Fever. If so, the notion is that the global market place will need more pork from the U.S. Apparently, much of last week’s optimism was based on weekly USDA export data, which doesn’t seem like much to hang a bet on.

In the meantime, wholesale beef prices continue to underpin the fed cattle market.

Week to week, Choice wholesale beef value was 86¢ higher on Friday at $226.99/cwt. Select was $1.44 lower at $217.34.

Griffith believes there’s room for wholesale beef values to climb, if winter weather the last several weeks delayed demand among consumers in the Northeast. Potentially, he says increased demand on that front could coincide with seasonally higher spring beef demand.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 15

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

206,300

(+2,300)

48,000

(-15,400)

2,800

(-34,100)

257,100

(-47,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Mar. 14 Change
  $137.65 –  2.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 15  Change
600-700 lbs. $158.64 –   $2.15
700-800 lbs. $145.68 –   $0.94
800-900 lbs. $135.68 –   $0.01

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 15 Change
500-600 lbs. $165.90 –   $3.55
600-700 lbs. $150.71 –   $2.97
700-800 lbs. $141.20 –   $1.26

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 15 Change
400-500 lbs. $166.43 –   $3.43
500-600 lbs. $155.97 +  $0.83
600-700 lbs. $142.00 +  $0.02

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 15 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $226.99 +  $0.86
Select $217.34 –   $1.44  
Ch-Se Spread $9.65 +  $2.30

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 15 Change
Mar $141.325 –  $2.600
Apr $146.925 –  $0.775
May $148.450 –  $0.075
Aug $153.550 + $0.850
Sep $154.000 + $0.625
Oct $153.825 + $0.175
Nov $153.250 –  $0.150
Jan ’20 $149.625 –  $0.075

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 15 Change
Apr $129.100 –  $0.575
Jun $121.925 + $0.975
Aug $117.725 + $0.550
Oct $117.900 + $0.500
Dec $120.400 +  $0.400
Feb ’20 $121.775 +  $0.525
Apr $122.125 +  $0.625
Jun $115.500 +  $1.000
Aug $113.250 +  $0.900

 

Corn futures Mar. 15 Change
May $3.732 + $0.090
Jul $3.822 + $0.088
Sep $3.886 + $0.084
Dec $3.960 + $0.076
Mar ’20 $4.070 + $0.070
May $4.122 + $0.066

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 15 Change
Apr $58.52 + $2.45
May $58.82 + $2.39
Jun $59.12 + $2.25
Jul $59.44 + $2.12
Aug $59.72 + $2.04
Sep $59.89 + $1.95

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 15 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25848.87 +  398.63
NASDAQ     7688.53 +  280.39
S&P 500     2822.48 +    79.41
Dollar (DXY)          96.54 –       0.83
March 17th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 8, 2019

Steers and heifers sold steady to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), with analysts noting buyers paid higher prices for both grass calves and feeder-weight cattle headed to the feedlot.

“Grass cattle prices made a strong run through the month of February with 550-lb. steer prices moving from $142/cwt. to $152,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The $55 gain per head was welcomed by sellers, but the average price of these animals stalled and has remained steady for three consecutive weeks, based on reported weekly auctions in Tennessee. The stagnation in the calf market is likely brought on by the less than stellar feeder cattle market that has been dismal since November.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.71 higher (92¢higher in the back contract to $2.70 higher in spot Mar).

Fed Cattle Trade Steady

For the week, negotiated cash fed cattle trade was generally steady at $128 in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dressed trade was also steady at $205.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 52¢cents higher (17¢higher in the back contract to 90¢higher).

Extreme winter weather continues to depress feedlot performance and carcass weights.

“Cattle are not meeting projections so far in the first quarter; just how much damage is done to meat production remains to be seen,” said AMS analysts.  “However, the World Agriculture Outlook Board lowered the 2019 annual beef production by 310 million lbs. After last month’s revision on beef production, they are estimating that a full week of beef production will be taken out due to lower first-quarter slaughter, slowed placements and lighter carcass weights.” 

Choice wholesale beef value was $4.84 higher week to week on Friday at $226.13/cwt. Select was $1.99 higher at $218.78.

“Beef production is reduced from the previous month on the pace of fed cattle slaughter in the first quarter and lower expected marketings in mid-2019,” say analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). “Partly offsetting the lower fed cattle slaughter is higher expected cow slaughter. The lower production forecast also reflects lighter carcass weights in 2019.”

Projected beef production for this year is 27.30 billion pounds, according to the March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Feedlot Placements Lower

Feedlot placements continued lower month to month in January, according to Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Placements of 1.96 million head was 5.27% less (-109,000 head) than a year earlier. Keep in mind the report reflects feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity. Most analysts expected the decline to be a touch steeper, but the report will likely be gauged as neutral.

As for placement weights: 41.61% went on feed weighing up to 699 lbs.; 49.72% weighed 700-899 lbs.; 8.67% weighed 900 lbs. 

Marketings in January of 1.91 million head were 2.80% more (+52,000 head) than the previous January.

Cattle on feed Feb. 1 were 11.68 million head, which was 0.41% more (+48,000 head) than a year earlier.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 8

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

204,000

(-15,100)

63,400

(+3,ooo)

36,900

(+34,200)

304,300

(+22,100)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Mar. 7 Change
  $140.03 + 0.80

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 8  Change
600-700 lbs. $160.79 +  $0.49
700-800 lbs. $146.62 +  $0.87
800-900 lbs. $138.12 –   $0.01

South Central

Steers-Cash Mar. 1 Change
500-600 lbs. $169.45 +  $1.89
600-700 lbs. $153.68 +  $2.22
700-800 lbs. $142.46 +  $1.79

Southeast

Steers-Cash Mar. 8 Change
400-500 lbs. $169.86 +  $2.81
500-600 lbs. $155.14 +  $0.35
600-700 lbs. $141.98 –   $0.16

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Mar. 8 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $226.13 +  $4.84
Select $218.78 +  $1.99  
Ch-Se Spread $7.35 +  $2.85

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Mar. 8 Change
Mar $143.925 + $2.700
Apr $147.700 + $2.650
May $148.525 + $2.000
Aug $152.700 + $1.300
Sep $153.375 + $1.225
Oct $153.650 + $1.325
Nov $153.400 + $1.525
Jan ’20 $149.700 + $0.925

 

Live Cattle   Mar. 8 Change
Apr $129.675 + $0.125
Jun $120.950 + $0.525
Aug $117.175 + $0.900
Oct $117.400 + $0.475
Dec $120.000 +  $0.525
Feb ’20 $121.250 +  $0.600
Apr $121.500 +  $0.650
Jun $114.500 +  $0.675
Aug $112.350 +  $0.175

 

Corn futures Mar. 8 Change
Mar  $3.546 –  $0.094
May $3.642 –  $0.088
Jul $3.734 –  $0.080
Sep $3.802 –  $0.070
Dec $3.884 –  $0.058
Mar ’20 $4.000 –  $0.046

 

Oil CME-WTI Mar. 8 Change
Apr $56.07 + $0.27
May $56.43 + $0.24
Jun $56.87 + $0.22
Jul $57.32 + $0.21
Aug $57.68 + $0.19
Sep $57.94 + $0.19

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 8 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25450.24 –   576.08
NASDAQ     7408.14 –   187.21
S&P 500     2743.07 –     60.62
Dollar (DXY)          97.37 +   $0.91
March 10th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

Cattle Current Weekly Highlights—Week ending March 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Trade Higher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beef Cowherd Expands

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Mar. 1

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

219,100

(+10,900)

60,400

(+2,700)

2,700

(-45,900)

282,200

(-32,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

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

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Equities

Equity Indexes Mar. 1 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26026.32 –        5.49
NASDAQ     7595.35 +     67.81
S&P 500     2803.69 +      11.02
Dollar (DXY)          96.46 –        0.07
March 3rd, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

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

Overall market fundamentals continued to firm last week, while winter weather kept altering cattle trade.

“Even though auction receipts just barely topped the 200,000 mark for this report (week), feedlots and grazers were ready to procure if producers could

get them to town,” said analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  “Many auction locations were still reeling from a winter storm the previous Friday and earlier in the week as many locations received more snow than anticipated.”

Except for the Southeast, calves and feeder cattle traded steady to mixed. Steers and heifers brought $1/cwt. lower to $2 higher in the North and South Central regions, according to AMS. They sold steady to $4 lower in the Southeast.

“February 2019 is shaping up to be one of the wettest February’s on record, which is delaying calf marketing as well as slaughter cow marketing in the Southeast region of the country,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The same abundant moisture that is keeping producers from marketing cattle is also setting cattle country up for favorable grazing conditions this spring and is also positively influencing summer grazing pastures.”

Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 54¢ higher (7¢ to 90¢ higher).

Cattle feeders ended up being rewarded for their marketing patience last week. Late-week trade was mostly $1-$2 higher on a live basis at $126/cwt. in Kansas, $126.50 in Nebraska and $124.50-$128.00 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed sales were $2 higher at $202. There was no trend reported for the Texas Panhandle.

“The expectation over the next few weeks is for continued strength in the finished cattle market as seasonal trends support prices, from a supply and demand standpoint,” Griffith says. 

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.10 higher (65¢ higher to $2.05 higher in spot Feb).

“Today, the February Live Cattle contract has been trading at its highest level since the contract came on the Board in September 2017,” explained AMS analysts on Friday. “The steady rise in the Feb contract is evident, with a few corrections since November 2018. The April and June contracts followed that trend line as well.”

Wholesale beef values, which have remained stronger than some anticipated, continued to inch higher.

Choice wholesale beef values was $2.54 higher week to week on Friday at $219.39/cwt. Select was $1.36 higher at $212.35.

Feedlot Placements Lower

Feedlot placements (feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity) were fewer than many expected, in Friday’s Cattle on Feed (COF) report. Keep in mind, this was the delayed January COF, so placements are for December.

Placements in December of 1.77 million head were 1.78% less than a year earlier. Ahead of the report’s original publication date, most analysts expected placements to be about 2% more year to year. In terms of weights, 51.21% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 38.88% weighing 700-899 lbs.; 9.91% weighing 900 lbs. or more.

Marketings in December of 1.74 million head were 0.63% less than the previous year, in line with pre-report expectations.

Cattle on feed Jan. 1 of 11.69 million head were 1.75% more than a year earlier (+201,000 head), on the low side of expectations.

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Feb. 22

Auction (head)

(change)

Direct (head)

(change)

Video-Net (head)

(change)

Total (head)

(change)

 

208,200

(-15,600)

57,700

(-20,100)

48,600

(+45,000)

314,500

(+8,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 21 Change
  $141.31  -0-

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 22  Change
600-700 lbs. $160.40 +  $0.16
700-800 lbs. $147.44 –   $0.37
800-900 lbs. $138.91 –   $0.96

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 22 Change
500-600 lbs. $169.48 +  $1.15
600-700 lbs. $152.07 +  $0.88
700-800 lbs. $141.26 +  $0.60

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 22 Change
400-500 lbs. $160.49 –   $3.91
500-600 lbs. $150.37 –   $3.63
600-700 lbs. $138.42 –   $3.93

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb.22 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $219.39 +  $2.54
Select $212.35 +  $1.36  
Ch-Se Spread $7.04 +  $1.18

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 22 Change
Mar $142.900 + $0.300
Apr $145.300 + $0.075
May $146.850 + $0.275
Aug $151.050 + $0.600
Sep $151.350 + $0.625
Oct $151.450 + $0.800
Nov $150.950 + $0.900
Jan ’20 $146.750 + $0.725

 

Live Cattle   Feb. 22 Change
Feb ’19 $128.675 + $2.050
Apr $128.875 + $1.700
Jun $119.475 + $1.400
Aug $115.500 + $1.125
Oct $116.625 + $0.925
Dec $118.950 +  $0.675
Feb ’20 $120.150 +  $0.650
Apr $120.475 +  $0.700
Jun $113.675 +  $0.675

 

Corn futures Feb. 22 Change
Mar  $3.752 + $0.006
May $3.844 + $0.018
Jul $3.924 + $0.020
Sep $3.964 + $0.022
Dec $4.016 + $0.024
Mar ’20 $4.116 + $0.034

 

Oil CME-WTI Feb. 22 Change
Apr $57.26 + $1.28
May $57.75 + $1.21
Jun $58.25 + $1.15
Jul $58.71 + $1.12
Aug $59.08 + $1.11
Sep $59.32 + $1.08

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 22 Change
Dow Industrial Average  26031.81 +  148.56
NASDAQ     7527.54 +     55.13
S&P 500     2792.67 +      17.07
Dollar (DXY)          96.53 –        0.39
February 24th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

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

Steers and heifers sold $2 lower to $2/cwt. higher in the North Central and South Central part of the country, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). They traded $2-$5 higher in the Southeast.

“Ranchers are gearing up for grazing season as many areas have ample moisture for this time of year,” say AMS analysts. “Order buyers were out in full force with fewer receipts at sales across the country and feedyards were willing to take on replacement cattle in spite of muddy pens in the major feeding regions.”

Although early grass fever is providing some lift to calf prices, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee says feeder cattle prices are discounted relative other to other cattle classes.

“The reasoning for seemingly undervalued feeder cattle may be due to muddy pens and unfavorable feeding conditions, but it is also likely linked to cattle feeders lack of confidence that the finished cattle market will remain strong through the second and third quarters of 2019,” Griffith says in his weekly market comments.

Other than an average of $1.54 lower on either end of the board, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower week to week on Friday.

Fed Cattle Trade Steady 

Although carcass weights continue to tumble beneath the weight of wet winter weather, and front-end supplies seem snug, packers and feeders continued their weekly standoff until after late afternoon Friday.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up mainly steady on a live basis last week at $125/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Nebraska; unevenly steady in the western Corn Belt at $124-$126. Dressed trade was steady in Nebraska at $200 and steady to $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $199-200.

As for recent carcass weights, steer dressed weights were 883 lbs. for the week ending Jan. 12, according to the Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection reports from USDA. That was an extraordinary 13 lbs. less than a year earlier. Dressed heifer weights were 825 lbs., which was 6 lbs. less than the same week a year earlier.

Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 41¢ lower across the front half of the board (2¢ to 75¢ lower) and then an average of 22¢ higher (5¢ to 65¢ higher).

Consumer beef demand continues to lift Choice wholesale beef values higher year over year.

Choice boxed beef cutout was $1.50 higher week to week on Friday at $216.85/cwt.—$7.81 more year over year. Select was 18¢ lower week to week at $210.99—$5.85 higher than a year earlier.

“This week’s Valentine’s Day holiday is one of the top three holidays for the public eating out, with many of those customers choosing beef or a surf and

turf for their entrees,” explain AMS analysts. “Moving out of February and into March, a beef rally is expected to happen, and with that should come increased fed cattle  prices if the trickle down effect comes to fruition.”

“The Choice cutout price has been supported through the first month and a half of 2019 because middle meat (steak) demand has remained relatively strong compared to end meats or roast type cuts,” Griffith says. “The winter months are when end meats experience their strongest demand and few consumers place much price differential between quality grades of end meats. This is why the Choice-Select spread tends to narrow during the winter months.”

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 15

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

223,800

(-35,900)

78,200

(-22,100)

3,600

(-18,700)

305,600

(-32,500)

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index* Feb. 14 Change
$141.31  –  $0.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 15  Change
600-700 lbs. $160.24 +   0.80
700-800 lbs. $147.81 +   0.19
800-900 lbs. $139.87 –    2.53

South Central

Steers-Cash Feb. 15 Change
500-600 lbs. $168.33 +   1.41
600-700 lbs. $151.19 –    0.33
700-800 lbs. $140.66 –    1.56

Southeast

Steers-Cash Feb. 15 Change
400-500 lbs. $164.40 +   4.40
500-600 lbs. $154.00 +   5.28
600-700 lbs. $142.35 +   3.75

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

Boxed Beef  (p.m.) Feb. 15 ($/cwt) Change
Choice $216.85 +  $1.50
Select $210.99 –   $0.18  
Ch-Se Spread $5.86 +  $1.68

Futures

Feeder Cattle  Feb. 15 Change
Mar $142.600 –  $1.500
Apr $145.225 –  $0.675
May $146.575 –  $0.325
Aug $150.450 –  $0.450
Sep $150.725 –  $0.400
Oct $150.650 –  $0.300
Nov $150.050 –  $0.450
Jan ’20 $146.025 –  $1.575
Live Cattle   Feb. 15 Change
Feb ’19 $126.625 –    $0.750
Apr $127.175 –    $0.750
Jun $118.075 –    $0.025
Aug $114.375 –    $0.200
Oct $115.700 –    $0.325
Dec $118.275 +   $0.050
Feb ’20 $119.500 +   $0.100
Apr $119.775 +   $0.075
Jun $113.000 +   $0.650
Corn futures Feb. 15 Change
Mar  $3.746 + $0.004
May $3.826 + $0.004
Jul $3.904 + $0.004
Sep $3.942 + $0.008
Dec $3.992 -0-
Mar ’20 $4.082 –  $0.004
Oil CME-WTI Feb. 15 Change
Mar $55.59 + $2.87
Apr $55.98 + $2.89
May $56.54 + $2.99
Jun $57.10 + $3.08
Jul $57.59 + $3.14
Aug $57.97 + $3.16

Equities

Equity Indexes Feb. 15 Change
Dow Industrial Average  25883.25 +  776.92
NASDAQ     7472.71 +    174.21
S&P 500     2775.60 +      67.72
Dollar (DXY)          96.92 +      0.28
February 17th, 2019|Weekly Market Highlights|

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 8

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

259,700

(+49,000)

56,100

(+2,200)

22,300

(+18,800)

338,100

(+13,700)

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

Wholesale Beef Value

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

Futures

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

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Feb. 1

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

210,700

(+23,900)

53,900

(+18,400)

3,500

(-28,600)

268,100

(+13,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

 

South Central

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

 

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

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

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

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

Wholesale beef values also continue to be supportive.

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 25

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

186,800

(-80,900)

35,800

(-27,800)

32,100

(-28,300)

254,400

(-80,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

 

South Central

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

 

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Appeared Steady to Higher

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 18

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

267,700

(-99,200)

63,600

(-1,400)

3,800

(-150,600)

335,100

(-251,200)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

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

 

South Central*

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

 

Southeast*

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

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

Weather impacts provided support to Cattle futures, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scant Data Adds Uncertainty

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 11

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

366,900

(+287,600)

65,000

(+41,800)

154,400

(+147,000)

586,300

(+476,400)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

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

 

South Central*

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

 

Southeast*

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

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cash Fed Cattle Hold Steady

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts*

Jan. 4

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

79,300

(-104,000)

23,200

(+6,300)

7,400

(+3,400)

109,900

(-94,800)

*Compared to two weeks earlier

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central*

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

 

South Central*

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

 

Southeast*

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

*Compared to two weeks earlier

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Overview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Last available

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

Last available

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

South Central

Last available

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

Southeast

Last available

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

183,800

(-74,100)

16,900

(-19,800)

4,000

(-22,400)

204,700

(-116,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 14

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

257,900

(-72,500)

36,700

(-14,300)

26,400

(+22,800)

321,000

(-64,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Prices Firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Dec. 07

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

330,400

(+40,900)

51,000

(+1,600)

3,600

(-40,200)

385,000

(+2,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

Winter weather impacted sales and buyer attitudes in some areas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 30

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

289,500

(+191,800)

49,400

(+28,900)

43,800

(+43,800)

382,700

(+264,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle and Beef Prices Gain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 23

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

97,700

(-210,000)

20,500

(-8,600)

0

(-31,600)

118,200

(-250,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Trade Unevenly Steady

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 16

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

307,700

(-22,100)

29,100

(-11,900)

31,600

(+25,100)

368,400

(-8,900)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 9

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

329,800

(-8,000)

41,000

(-2,200)

6,500

(-16,500)

377,300

(-26,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Nov. 2

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

341,400

(-16,300)

43,200

(-14,400)

23,000

(+6,500)

407,600

(-24,200)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Mostly $3-$4 Higher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 26

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

357,700

(+87,400)

57,600

(+32,200)

16,500

(-11,200)

431,800

(+108,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Steady Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feedlot Placements Decline

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 19

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

270,300

(+75,300)

25,400

(-7,100)

27,700

(+21,600)

323,400

(+89,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Continue Steady

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

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

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

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

International demand continues to underpin domestic prices.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 12

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

195,000

(-54,600)

32,500

(-15,100)

6,100

(-33,100)

233,600

(-102,800)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Oct. 5

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

249,600

(+64,200)

47,600

(+600)

39,200

(+37,300)

336,400

(+102,100)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cold Storage Increases

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 28

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

185,400

(+6,900)

47,000

(-67,500)

1,900

(-38,100)

234,300

(-96,000)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 21

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

178,500

(-5,900)

114,500

(+54,100)

40,000

(-4,800)

330,300

(+40,700)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 14

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

184,400

(+62,200)

60,400

(+12,600)

44,800

(-12,400)

289,600

(+62,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cash Fed Prices Hold Steady

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Sept. 7

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

122,200

(-26,500)

47,800

(-1,800)

57,200

(-46,600)

227,200

(-18,300)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beef Prices Move Seasonally Lower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 31

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

148,700

(-15,000)

49,600

(-10,800)

10,600

(-239,000)

206,200

(-267,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed Cattle Prices Soften

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Placements Higher Than Expected

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 24

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

163,700

(+14,200)

60,400

(+6,700)

249,600

(+242,500)

473,700

(+263,400)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 17

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

157,200

(-1,000)

53,700

(-19,300)

7,100

(-224,600)

210,300

(-252,600)

 

CME Feeder Index

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

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Equities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beef demand continues to support cattle price strength.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grain Markets Under Pressure

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

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

Friday to Friday Change*

Weekly Auction Receipts

Receipts

Aug. 10

Auction (head)

(Change)

Direct (head)

(Change)

Video/net (head)

(Change)

Total (head)

(Change)

 

158,200

(+1,300)

73,000

(+5,700)

231,700

(+201,500)

462,900

(+208,500)

 

CME Feeder Index

CME Feeder Index Aug. 9 Change
  $151.12   +   1.38

*Thursday-to Thursday for CME Feeder Index

 

Cash Stocker and Feeder

North Central

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

South Central

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

Southeast

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

(AMS National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary)

 

Wholesale Beef Value

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

 

Futures

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

 

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

 

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

 

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