The negotiated cash trade held off last week as small showlists and reasonable strength in the futures gave the bargaining power to cattle feeders. Bids developed low on Tuesday at $115-117 in the South Plains and $190-191 in the Corn Belt, but sales were too few to set a market trend.
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WAS- DE) report came out Thursday, July 11, and was much anticipated on the corn front. Ending stocks of corn—what most were interested in—increased slightly, which had the immediate result of a decent rally in corn futures and a decline in feeders.
At this point in 2013, fed cattle prices have generally been disappointing compared to 2012 forecasts which called for prices in the low $130s for much of the first half of 2013. Instead, slaughter cattle prices averaged $125.12 per cwt for the first six months of the year, explained Darrell R.
Exports of U.S. beef moved 3 percent higher in volume in May, and a healthy 9 percent in value, while pork exports dipped 3 percent in volume and 3.6 percent in value, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Last week’s short trade week saw surprisingly sluggish buying behavior from packers. Because of the July 4 holiday, markets—cash and futures alike—closed early on Wednesday and were closed Thursday, leaving only Monday through Wednesday and some of Friday for trading cattle.
With the first half of the year behind us, it is useful to take a look at what has happened and the prospects for the second half of 2013. Beef demand has been and remains a crucial question, perhaps even more so in the second half of the year. Currently, Choice boxed beef prices are roughly $127/cwt.
“It is a rare occurrence that all sectors within the cattle industry are profitable at the same,” says report author and Rabobank FAR group analyst Don Close. “However, before the U.S. cattle industry can begin to fully rebuild after several years of contraction, it is necessary for equity recovery to take place in the cattle feeding sector.
Light cash trade developed sporadically throughout last week with Iowa and Nebraska selling several hundred head on Tuesday and Wednesday at $120-122 live and $190-192 dressed with a few at $194 dressed going to a regional packer in Nebraska.
Mexico has long been a major beef industry trading partner with the U.S. in roles that have continually evolved into deeper and more integrated relationships. For many years, Mexico has been the major source of imported feeder cattle. U.S.
Last week saw donut-like activity in the cash fed market. Light trade occurred on Monday and Tuesday in Iowa at $193.50-195 dressed and $122-124 live. This was called clean-up trade from the previous week by Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage.