Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending August 28, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $143.40 for live sales, and $226.97 for dressed; respectively, down $3.87 and $5.58. Total volume sold was up 5,000 head from a week ago but 39,000 head lower than last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $7.00 to $15.00 lower while heavy steers were $7.00 to $8.00 lower. Pasture conditions continue to decline across much of the U.S. as summer draws to an end. The USDA rated 51% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, unchanged from last week and up from a rating of 48% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions have declined the last few weeks and are rated 48% good or excellent, up 3% from a week ago. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down sharply from last week, averaging $240.00, while heavy steers were averaging $185.00, down $15 from a week ago.

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

Futures:

Live cattle futures were up across the board while feeder cattle futures were mixed this week. October live cattle were up $0.38 on the week but down $7.50 from a year ago, while February live cattle were up $0.15 from last week but down $8.65 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were mixed with September futures up $0.53 from last Friday and down $16.13 from a year ago while January futures are down $0.40 on the week. Corn futures are down slightly this week with December futures $0.03 lower and March futures also down $0.03.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices are down compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $243.97, down $1.78 from a week ago and $3.78 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $233.49, down $2.42 from last week. The choice-select spread has continued to widen from $9.84 a week ago to $10.48 this week.

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

Crop Market Update: August 24, 2015

Corn remained relatively steady last week after adjusting to the release of the USDA’s newest production estimates the week prior. Greenville cash corn is currently trading $0.01 higher than a week ago at $3.60/bu on Friday. September futures contracts are also a penny higher on the week. The USDA Crop Progress and Condition Report is currently showing the U.S. corn crop rated as 69% good or excellent while Mississippi’s corn crop is rated as 66% good or excellent. This is on par with a year ago when the U.S. crop was also rated 69% good or excellent. Mississippi’s corn harvest is ahead of the 5-year average with 52% of the crop harvested compared 18% a year ago and a 5-year average of 36%.

Soybean markets are lower this week, with Greenville soybeans trading $0.22 lower at $9.15/bu on Friday. Nearby September soybean futures are also trading $0.20 lower than a week ago. Mississippi soybean progress is ahead of last year with 8% of the state’s soybeans harvested compared to 2% a year ago and a 5-year average of 5%. Mississippi’s soybeans are rated as 66% good or excellent while the U.S. soybean crop is rated as 63% good or excellent compared to 70% a year ago.

September wheat futures are down $0.07 from a week ago while Greeneville wheat prices are also down $0.07 at $4.55/bu on Friday. U.S. wheat producers have harvested 75% of the spring wheat crop so far and are ahead of the 5-year average of 47%.

Cotton prices are higher again this week with South Delta cash prices finishing the week $0.48/cwt higher than a week ago. Mississippi’s cotton crop condition is down this week with 56% of the state’s crop rated in good or excellent condition. The condition of the U.S. crop has declined in recent weeks with 53% good or excellent compared to 55% a year ago.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending August 21, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $147.27 for live sales, and $232.55 for dressed; respectively, down $5.46 and $6.47. Total volume sold was unchanged from a week ago but 50,000 head lower than last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly lower across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $9.00 higher while heavy steers were steady to $5.00 higher. Pasture conditions continue to decline across much of the U.S. as summer draws to an end. The USDA rated 51% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, down 4% from last week and up from a rating of 48% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions have declined the last few weeks and are rated 45% good or excellent, down 3% from a week ago. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were unchanged from last week, averaging $270.00, while heavy steers were averaging $200.00, up $10 from a week ago.

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

Futures:

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were down across the board this week. October live cattle were down $2.70 on the week and down $3.93 from a year ago, while February live cattle were down $1.57 from last week and down $5.30 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also lower with September futures down $6.25 from last Friday and down $8.40 from a year ago while January futures are down $6.97 on the week. Corn futures have bounced back some this week with December futures $0.13 higher and March futures up $0.04.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices are higher compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $245.75, up $3.09 from a week ago but $6.21 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $235.91, up $1.36 from last week. The choice-select spread has continued to widen from $8.11 a week ago to $9.84 this week.

August Cattle on Feed

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA, NASS) released their monthly Cattle on Feed Report Friday afternoon. Placements totaled 1.547 million head, down 0.77% from July 2014, slightly lower than expected. Cattle marketed in July totaled 1.725 million head, down 3.47% versus last year but slightly lower than analysts were expecting. The total number of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity totaled 10.002 million head, up 2.56% versus August 1, 2014 and very close to expectations.

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

August 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 (August 21). The report revealed that 10.002 million head of cattle were in U.S. feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger on August 1, 2015. Placements into feedlots during the month of July totaled 1.547 million head while marketings during the same month totaled 1.725 million head.

[ … For detailed numbers and charts CLICK HERE … ]

Placements totaled 1.547 million head, a decrease of 0.77% from July 2014 and a 14.61% decrease from the five-year average of 2010 to 2014. Market analyst expected placements to come in at 1.573 million head, so the reported value was slightly lower than anticipated — although it was still well within the range of expectations. This month’s numbers were similar to the last several months in that the drop in placements came from a decrease in lightweight placements, with all weight classes except for cattle larger than 800 pounds coming in lower than a year ago nationally. Cattle smaller than 600 pounds saw the largest year-over year drop with a 14.1% decline in placements while cattle larger than 800 pounds saw a 19.2% year-over-year increase.

Cattle marketed in July totaled 1.725 million head, down 3.47% versus last year and down 9.11% compared to the average from 2010 to 2014. Pre-report expectations called for marketings to be 3.0% lower than the same period last year. While marketings were lower than expected, they were still well within the range of analyst expectations.

The total number of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity totaled 10.002 million head, up 2.56% versus July 1, 2014 but 1.73% lower than the five-year average.  Market analysts expected a 2.6% year-over-year increase in cattle inventories, so the reported value came in very close to expectations.

Crop Market Update: August 17, 2015

Corn started the week strong but took another hit this week after the release of the USDA’s newest production estimates. Greenville cash corn is currently trading $0.09 lower than a week ago at $3.59/bu on Friday. September futures contracts are also down on the week, finishing $0.09 lower than last Friday. The USDA Crop Progress and Condition Report is currently showing the U.S. corn crop rated as 69% good or excellent while Mississippi’s corn crop is rated as 68% good or excellent. This lags a bit behind a year ago when the U.S. crop was rated as 72% good or excellent. Mississippi’s corn crop harvest is ahead of the 5-year average with 31% of the crop harvested compared 8% a year ago and a 5-year average of 21%.

Soybean markets are also down from a week ago, with Greenville soybeans trading $0.46 lower at $9.37/bu on Friday. Nearby September soybean futures are also trading $0.50 lower than a week ago. Mississippi soybean progress is ahead of last year with 13% of the state’s soybeans dropping leaves compared to 2% a year ago and a 5-year average of 8%. Mississippi’s soybeans are rated as 67% good or excellent while the U.S. soybean crop is rated as 63% good or excellent compared to 71% a year ago.

September wheat futures are down $0.04 from a week ago while Greeneville wheat prices were $4.62/bu on Friday. The U.S. spring wheat crop is rated as 70% good or excellent condition, and what may be a good spring wheat harvest has been keeping prices down here in Mississippi as well.

Cotton prices are the lone bright spot among Mississippi’s major crops with the South Delta cash prices finishing the week $4.39/cwt lower than a week ago. Mississippi’s cotton crop looks relatively good so far this year with 57% of the state’s crop rated in good or excellent condition. The wetter than normal summer has helped the U.S. crop with 55% good or excellent compared to 50% a year ago.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending August 14, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week higher. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $152.73 for live sales, and $239.29 for dressed; respectively, up $4.25 and $5.54. Total volume sold was 5,000 head higher than a week ago but 37,000 head lower than last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mixed across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $9.00 higher while heavy steers were $1.00 higher and some $3.00 higher. Pasture conditions continue to look good this summer across much of the U.S. The USDA rated 55% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, down 3% from last week and up from a rating of 50% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions have declined the last few weeks and are rated 48% good or excellent. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were averaging $270.00, while heavy steers were averaging $190.00.

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

Futures:

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were down across the board this week. October live cattle were down $2.08 on the week and down $2.10 from a year ago, while February live cattle were down $1.90 from last week and down $5.45 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also lower with September futures down $1.55 from last Friday and down $7.13 from a year ago while January futures are down $2.18 on the week. Corn futures are lower this week with December futures $0.20 lower and March futures down $0.10.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices are higher on the week. Choice boxes averaged $242.66, up $7.62 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $234.55, up $5.67. The choice-select spread has continued to widen from $5.96 a week ago to $8.11 this week.

WASDE

The August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates were released this week. Beef Production for 2015 was cut by 65 million pounds or 0.27% from last month and 2016 beef production was cut by 15 million pounds or approximately 0.06%. The biggest shock came in adjustments to the corn and soybean crops. Production and yield numbers for both crops far exceeded expectations.

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

Corn and soybeans far exceed expectations, cotton falls short in latest USDA reports

The corn balance sheet for the 2015/16 crop currently growing in the field saw several changes from last month. Ending stocks for the 2015/16 crop were revised up by 114 million bushels as a result of higher production. Acreage remained unchanged from last month, but yields were raised by 2 bu/acre to 168.8. That is lower than a year ago, but still would mark the third highest yield on record if realized. The yield estimate is also much higher than expected, with many analysts expecting yields to be lowered. With the higher yields, production was also raised by 156 million bushels, again much higher than industry expectations. To go along with higher production, feed use was increased by 25 million bushels, as was ethanol use. Exports were lowered by 25 million bushels. Global ending stocks were increased substantially from 189.5 million metric tons to 195.02 million metric tons with increases in U.S. and Brazilian stocks making up most of the difference. Mississippi corn yields are forecasted to be slightly lower than a year ago at 184 bu/acre, but production will be nearly 6 million bushels higher than last year.

The soybean balance sheet also had several changes from the July WASDE report. The USDA re-surveyed producers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas in July who had not yet finished their planting before being surveyed for the June 30 acreage report. The results from that survey are now appearing in the updated numbers. Soybean harvested acres were lowered by 900,000 acres from a month ago while yields were increased by 0.9 bu/acre. The increase in yields gave us a 31 million bushel increase in total production from a month ago. All of those numbers came in higher than expected. As with corn, soybean yields and production were both expected to be decreased from last month’s numbers, and the yield and production estimates both exceeded even the highest analyst’s expectations. Ending stocks were increased by 45 million bushels as a result of increased production numbers and lower exports. The crush for the 2015/16 crop was increased by 20 million bushels while exports were reduced by 50 million bushels. Global ending stocks were reduced from 91.8 million metric tons to 86.88 million metric tons. Large declines in Argentina and Brazilian production and stocks have more than offset increases in U.S. stocks. Mississippi soybean yield are expected to fall to 48 bu/acre, down 4 bu/acre from last year’s record yield. As a result, total production is expected to be just under 2.6 million bushels lower than a year ago despite higher acreage.

The 2015/16 wheat crop had much fewer changes made to the balance sheet. Yields were reduced slightly to 44.1 bu/acre, down 0.2 bu/acre from last month’s estimate. With acres remaining unchanged, there was a slight reduction in production. Carryover was 8 million bushels higher primarily as a result of a 25 million bushel reduction in exports while the rest of the balance sheet remained unchanged from a month ago.

The cotton balance sheet saw several revisions from a month ago as well. Harvested acres was reduced by 610,000 acres from last month while yields were reduced by 24 pounds/acre from last month’s estimates. As a result, production was lowered by 1.4 million bales from a month ago. Along with lower production, exports were reduced by 800,000 bales, leaving ending stocks 1.1 million bales lower. Global cotton ending stocks were reduced by nearly 3 million bales, with reductions in the U.S., India, and China making up most of the difference. Mississippi cotton yields are forecasted to be slightly lower than last year’s record highs at 1,228 pounds/acre, down from 1,232 pounds/acre\ a year ago. Lower yields combined with sharply lower acres will mean a much smaller cotton crop for the state this year.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending August 7, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week higher. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $148.48 for live sales, and $233.75 for dressed; respectively, up $1.11 and $0.24. Total volume sold was 3,000 head higher than a week ago but 38,000 head lower than last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mixed across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $3.00 to $5.00 higher while heavy steers were mixed with some $2.00 higher and some $5.00 lower. Pasture conditions continue to look good this summer. The USDA rated 58% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, down 3% from last week and up from a rating of 50% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions are rated 58% good or excellent. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were averaging 262.50, while heavy steers were averaging 207.50.

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

Futures:

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were up across the board this week. October live cattle were up $2.47 on the week, while February live cattle were up $1.83. Feeder cattle were also higher with September futures up $2.38 from last Friday and January futures are up $1.85 on the week. Corn futures are up slightly on the week with September futures $0.02 higher and December futures up $0.03.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices are higher on the week. Choice boxes averaged $234.84, up $2.11 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $228.88, down $0.21. The choice-select spread has begun to increase from $3.64 a week ago to $5.96 this week.

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

Crop Market Update: August 4, 2015

Corn continued to struggle this week with Greenville cash corn selling $0.27 lower than a week ago at $3.76/bu on Friday. September futures contracts are also down on the week, finishing $0.22 lower than last Friday. The USDA Crop Progress and Condition Report is currently showing the U.S. corn crop rated as 70% good or excellent while Mississippi’s corn crop is rated as 69% good or excellent. This lags a bit behind a year ago when the U.S. crop was rated as 73% good or excellent. Mississippi’s corn crop progress is trending behind the 5-year average with 23% of the crop mature compared 25% a year ago and a 5-year average of 32%.

Soybean markets are also down from a week ago, with Greenville soybeans trading $0.51 lower at $9.55/bu on Friday. Nearby August soybean futures are also trading $0.10 lower than a week ago. Mississippi soybean progress is ahead of last year with 75% of the state’s soybeans setting pods compared to 61% a year ago and a 5-year average of 75%. Mississippi’s soybeans are rated as 70% good or excellent while the U.S. soybean crop is rated as 63% good or excellent compared to 71% a year ago.

September wheat futures are down $0.13 from a week ago while Greeneville wheat prices were not reported on Friday. U.S. wheat producers have harvested 93% of the winter wheat crop so far and despite a slow start, they are ahead of the 5-year average of 85%. The U.S. spring wheat crop is rated as 70% good or excellent condition, and what may be a good spring wheat harvest has been keeping prices down here in Mississippi as well.

Cotton prices are also down with South Delta cash prices finishing the week $1.83/cwt lower than a week ago. Mississippi’s cotton crop looks relatively good so far this year with 65% of the state’s crop rated in good or excellent condition. The wetter than normal summer has helped the U.S. crop with 57% good or excellent compared to 53% a year ago.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending July 31, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week higher. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $147.37 for live sales, and $233.51 for dressed; respectively, up $1.97 and $1.48. Total volume sold was 7,000 head lower than a week ago and 42,000 head lower than last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly lower across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City lightweight steers were $2.00 lower while heavy steers were $2.00 to $3.00 higher. Pasture conditions continue to look good this summer. The USDA rated 58% of U.S. pastures in good or excellent condition this week, down 3% from last week and up from a rating of 51% good or excellent a year ago. Mississippi pasture conditions are rated 58% good or excellent. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were averaging 255.00, while heavy steers were averaging 204.00.

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

Futures:

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures were mixed this week. August live cattle were up $2.72 on the week, while February live cattle were down $0.70. Feeder cattle were mostly higher with August futures up $0.38 from last Friday and January futures are up $1.25 on the week. Corn futures were also lower week with September futures down $0.22 and December futures down $0.22.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices are up slightly on the week. Choice boxes averaged $232.73, up $0.06 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $229.09, up $0.14. The choice-select spread narrowed slightly from $3.72 a week ago to $3.64 this week.

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