December Cattle on Feed Report Recap

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA, NASS) released their monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon (Dec 19). The report revealed that 10.876 million head of cattle were in U.S. feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger on December 1, 2014. Placements into feedlots during the month of November totaled 1.792 million head while marketings during the same month totaled 1.475 million head.

[ … For detailed numbers and charts CLICK HERE … ]

Placements totaled 1.792 million head, a decrease of 4.0% from November 2013 but a 7.2% decrease from the five-year average from 2009 to 2013. Market analyst expected placements to come in at 1.794 million head, so the reported value was largely in-line with the forecast. This marks the second lowest November placement number on record, since 1996.

Placements of cattle under 600 pounds continued to outpace heavier weight placements. However, the heavy weight groups were higher year-over-year, while lighter placement weights were smaller. Cattle on feed for more than 120 days also grew as the lightweight placements from the summer require more days on feed.

Cattle marketed in November totaled 1.475 million head, yet another record low for this year when compared to the same month in prior years, marking the ninth monthly record low set in 2014. This puts marketings down 11.1% versus last year and down 14.3% compared to the average from 2009 to 2013. Pre-report expectations called for marketings to come in at a 10.1% year-over-year drop.

The total number of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity totaled 10.876 million head, up 1.4% versus December 2013 but 4.6% lower than the five-year average.  Market analyst expected a 1.1% year-over-year increase in cattle inventories.

A break down on the numbers can be found at this link: http://goo.gl/1M4YXv

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Dec 19, 2014

Cash Cattle:

Nebraska cattle sold at $249-$252 for dressed and $157-$160 for live. Other feeding states did not have enough cash sales volume to report a price. Overall, the five-area weighted average fed steer price was $157.51 for live, down $5.60, and $249.92 for dressed, down $6.63. These have fallen about $15 since their peak at the end of November.

Feeder and calf markets were down sharply across the U.S. Steer calves in Mississippi auctions were down $20-$30, while feeder steers were down about $15.  Heifers were lower by about $12 across the board. In Oklahoma City, steers were $10-$15 lower, feeder heifers were $2-$5 lower, and heifer calves $8-$15.

[ … For Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE … ]

Futures:

Cattle futures remained under pressure this week. Boxed beef prices have been slipping as a result of demand concerns heading into the holiday season. Demand seems to be the primary issue at the moment. Lower energy prices and higher corn were also part of the cause. Contracts improved on the final day of the week, which likely came about as a result of some correction in the market.

Corn prices were higher. As the market has moved beyond harvest prices are beginning to increase. Last week, USDA reported a slightly smaller carry-over for the current marketing year as a result of increased industrial and food use (non-ethanol).

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices fell for the third straight week. Choice boxes averaged $242.27, down $6.78. Select boxes ended the week at an average of $232.05, down $3.52.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.

*** There will not be a newsletter until after the new year. Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you all have had a prosperous 2014 and hope it continues into 2015! ***

Few Changes for Corn, Soybeans in December WASDE Report

Wednesday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) left most of the balance sheet for new crop U.S. corn unchanged. Domestic food, seed, and industrial use was revised up by 10 million bushels while production remained constant. All other domestic uses as well as exports remained unchanged, leaving ending stocks 10 million bushels lower. The ending stocks reported by the USDA were 25 million bushels below pre-report estimates. Global ending stocks for the 2014/15 crop are increased by 0.70 million metric tons from last month, mostly due to an increase of 1.26 million metric tons in global production. Overall, the report could be considered slightly bullish and may continue to contribute to the corn market’s recent upward trend. Last week we saw a record for ethanol production, but there is some question about how long the ethanol production boom will continue. Crude oil prices continue to fall, which has been cutting into margins for ethanol production.

Despite harvest delays that had some traders worried, the USDA left soybean production unchanged in December WASDE report. Soybean exports were boosted by 40 million bushels, while the rest of the balance sheet remained unchanged. The boost in exports was reflected with a 40 million bushel reduction in soybean ending stocks. Global soybean ending stocks are down slightly with increased production being offset by an increase in exports. Global exports are up by 0.68 million metric tons. The U.S. alone accounts for an increase of 1.09 million metric tons in exports while Argentina and Brazil both saw reductions in exports to partially offset the increase from the U.S. Overall, the report could be considered bullish with export demand seemingly holding up well. Looking further out, there are some concerns for the soybean market with potential for another record South American crop limiting the market’s upside potential.

The new crop 2014/15 wheat ending stocks were increased by 10 million bushels from the November report as a result of an increase in imports. Wheat production estimates as well as domestic consumption remained unchanged from November’s report. Global wheat stocks were revised up by 2 million metric tons with much of the increase coming from an increase in Canadian production.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here. Detailed information on crop progress can be found here.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Dec 05, 2014

Cash Cattle:

Following the holiday shortened Thanksgiving week, cash trade in Kansas was called $5 lower at $168. Nebraska cattle sold at $264 for dressed and $165-$168 for live. On Thursday in the Western Cornbelt, dressed sales were recorded at $263 and live cattle were at $166. Overall, the five-area weighted average fed steer price was $166.61 for live, down $5.35, and $263.97 for dressed, down $2.44.

Steers in Mississippi auctions were mostly higher compared to two weeks ago. Lightweight heifers were higher, while heavier feeder heifers were lower when compared to two weeks ago. In Oklahoma City, calves were steady to $5 lower, feeder steers were steady, and feeder heifers were steady to $2 higher.

[ … For Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE … ]

Futures:

Live cattle futures markets fell back from record levels throughout the week. Weakness in cash and beef markets provided the pressure for futures markets this week. A strong jobs report on Friday did not inject any positive momentum. Feeder futures opened the week strong but could not sustain the pace with weakness all around.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices fell each day of the week, essentially erasing the previous week’s gains. Choice boxes averaged $255.44, down $1.34. Select boxes ended the week at an average of $241.55, down $2.39.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.