Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending December 18, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle was lower this week. The five-area fed steer price ended the week averaging $116.66 for live sales, and $183.36 for dressed; respectively, down $1.75 and $3.91. Total volume sold was up 9,000 head from a week ago and up 38,000 head from last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were trading lower across much of the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were $8 to $14 lower than a week ago for most weight classes. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $2.50 compared to a week ago, averaging $182.50, while heavy steers were averaging $125.00, unchanged from last week.

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Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures were mixed across contract months this week. December live cattle were down $2.22 on the week and $41.10 lower than a year ago at $120.15, while April live cattle were up $0.83 from last week and down $32.48 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also mixed with January futures down $0.65 from last Friday and down $71.45 from a year ago at $148.75 while March futures are up $0.75 on the week. Nearby corn futures are down $0.01 from a week ago while May futures are also down $0.01.

Beef:                                                                                           

Wholesale boxed beef prices are lower compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $196.56, down $6.57 from a week ago and $45.71 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $186.07 down $3.13 from last week. The choice-select spread narrowed from $13.93 a week ago to $10.49 this week.

December 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 (December 18, 2015). Placements totaled 1.601 million head, a decrease of 10.76% from November 2014 and significantly lower than expectations. November’s placements mark the lowest placement number since the report began in 1996. Cattle marketed in November totaled 1.532 million head, up 3.86% versus last year. Pre-report expectations called for marketings to be 3.0% lower than the same period last year, so they were higher than expected, but still within the range of analysts’ expectations. The total number of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity totaled 10.794 million head, down 0.2% versus December 1, 2014.  Market analysts expected a 0.9% year-over-year increase in cattle inventories, so the reported value was much lower than expected.

It looks like this report is turning out to be an early Christmas present for cattle producers. With such low placement numbers coming in, the cattle markets have shot up across the board. Nearly all cattle futures closed the day limit-up and I would expect the bullish tone to carry into early next week as well.

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

 

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 (December 18, 2015). The report revealed that 10.794 million head of cattle were in U.S. feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger on December 1, 2015. Placements into feedlots during the month of November totaled 1.601 million head while marketings during the same month totaled 1.532 million head.

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Placements totaled 1.601 million head, a decrease of 10.76% from November 2014 and a 16.61% decrease from the five-year average from 2010 to 2014. November’s placements mark the lowest placement number since the report began in 1996. Market analyst expected placements to be down 4.3%, so the reported value significantly lower than anticipated. The reported value was nearly 3% lower than even the lowest analyst’s estimate. This month’s numbers mark the first time in several months that heavy placements were down, with cattle larger than 800 pounds seeing a 1.1% year-over-year decline.

Cattle marketed in November totaled 1.532 million head, up 3.86% versus last year and down 9.28% 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, so they were higher than expected, but still within the range of analysts’ expectations.

The total number of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity totaled 10.794 million head, down 0.2% versus December 1, 2014 and 4.58% lower than the five-year average.  Market analysts expected a 0.9% year-over-year increase in cattle inventories, so the reported value was much lower than expected.

It looks like this report is turning out to be an early Christmas present for cattle producers. With such low placement numbers coming in, the cattle markets have shot up across the board. Nearly all cattle futures contracts for both live and feeder cattle are trading limit-up and I would expect the bullish tone to carry into next week as well.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending December 11, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle was lower this week. The five-area fed steer price ended the week averaging $118.41 for live sales, and $187.27 for dressed; respectively, down $5.00 and $7.17. Total volume sold was up 21,000 head from a week ago and up 12,000 head from last year. The large increase in total volume was due at least in part to the ice storms in the Southern Plains two weeks ago that hampered some cattle movement.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were trading lower across much of the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were $8 to $12 lower than a week ago for most weight classes. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $7.50 compared to a week ago, averaging $185, while heavy steers were averaging $125.00, down $15.00 from last week.

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

Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures were both down across the board this week. December live cattle were down $1.58 on the week and $39.68 lower than a year ago at $122.38, while February live cattle were down $2.70 from last week and down $36.22 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also lower with January futures down $9.40 from last Friday and down $76.20 from a year ago at $149.40 while March futures are down $9.55 on the week. Nearby corn futures are down $0.07 from a week ago while May futures are down $0.06.

Beef:                                                                                           

Wholesale boxed beef prices are lower compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $203.13, down $1.00 from a week ago and $45.92 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $189.20 down $3.66 from last week. The choice-select spread continued to widen from $11.27 a week ago to $13.93 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.

Cotton Production Lowered in Latest USDA Report

The corn balance sheet for the 2015/16 crop saw few changes from the November release. Ending stocks for the 2015/16 crop were revised up by 25 million bushels as a result of lower disappearance. Yields were left unchanged at 169.3 bu/acre, as was total production at 13.654 billion bushels. Feed use was left unchanged while ethanol use was increased by 25 million bushels. Exports were reduced by 50 million bushels, leaving ending stocks at 1.785 billion bushels. This was slightly higher than expected, but still well within the range of analysts’ expectations. Global ending stocks were decreased slightly from 211.91 million metric tons to 211.85 million metric tons.

The soybean balance sheet remained unchanged from the November WASDE report. Soybean harvested acres were unchanged from a month ago while yields remained at 48.3 bu/acre. Soybean demand was also left unchanged from a month ago and ending stocks remained at 465 million bushels. This came in very close to pre-report expectations. Global ending stocks were reduced from 82.86 million metric tons to 82.58 million metric tons with a slight increase in domestic crush numbers.

The 2015/16 wheat crop balance sheet also remained unchanged. Ending stock for wheat came in at 911 million bushels, which is just slightly lower than analysts’ expectations. Global wheat ending stocks were increased slightly from 227.3 million metric tons to 229.86 million metric tons. Much of the difference was a result of increased Canadian production.

The cotton balance sheet saw several revisions this month. Harvested acres were left unchanged from last month while yields were reduced by 14 pounds/acre from last month’s estimates. As a result, production was lowered by 250,000 bales from a month ago. Domestic use was left unchanged, while exports were decreased by 200,000 bales, leaving ending stocks down 100,000 bales from a month ago. Global cotton ending stocks reduced by 1.7 million bales as a result of lower production from several major cotton producers. Mississippi cotton yields were lowered by 46 pounds/acre to 1,021 pounds/acre.

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending December 4, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle was steady this week. The five-area fed steer price ended the week averaging $123.41 for live sales, and $194.44 for dressed; respectively, up $0.19 and down $0.56. Total volume sold was up 98,000 head from a week ago and down 2,000 head from last year. The sharp increase in total volume from a week ago was a result of a shortened week with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Feeder steer cattle and calves saw too low of a volume to establish a trend across much of the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were $11.00 lower than a week ago for lightweight steers. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were up $7.50 compared to two weeks ago, averaging $192.50, while heavy steers were averaging $140.00, down $4.50 from last week.

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

Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures were both down across the board this week. December live cattle were down $7.87 on the week and $40.08 lower than a year ago at $123.95, while February live cattle were down $5.20 from last week and down $35.90 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also lower with January futures down $7.22 from last Friday and down $75.50 from a year ago at $158.80 while March futures are down $6.93 on the week. Nearby corn futures are up $0.14 from a week ago while May futures are also up $0.14.

Beef:                                                                                           

Wholesale boxed beef prices are mixed compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $204.13, up $0.36 from a week ago and $51.31 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $192.86, down $0.28 from last week. The choice-select spread continued to widen from $10.63 a week ago to $11.27 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.