[Fri]: Hightower says cash live cattle are leaning nearly $1 to $2 softer this week. No trades were reported yesterday in Iowa and Nebraska, with Wednesday prices in the $119 to $121 range. Average dressed steer weights came in at 901 pounds, down from 907 the previous week but up from 888 pounds a year ago… [Thurs]: Boxed beef cutout values steady on Choice and lower on Select… Choice up 21 cents… Select down $1.98… In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 120 head sold live at $123, and dressed sales of 203 head at $193 were reported. In Iowa/Minnesota, there were 351 head sold live at $119.50-122 with no dressed sales… Stewart-Peterson says while packer margins are currently positive, but many expect beef supplies to continue to grow into the second quarter. Those estimates are likely curbing much of the enthusiasm in the live cattle market… 

 

Farm Commodity Newsletter/Iowa Farmer Today

 

Fri 2/7/2020 8:58 AM

 

Cattle - Hightower says cash live cattle are leaning nearly $1 to $2 softer this week. No trades were reported yesterday in Iowa and Nebraska, with Wednesday prices in the $119 to $121 range. Average dressed steer weights came in at 901 pounds, down from 907 the previous week but up from 888 pounds a year ago.

 

Beef trends this week “have not done any favors for the cast markets,” says Total Farm Marketing. “Without cash strength, we do not feel there are enough supportive fundamentals to attract fund buying,” they said.

 

Recovery bounce could happen in cattle

 

A hook reversal from oversold cattle could spark a recovery bounce, says The Hightower Report. “The reversal action could help support a short-term bounce in the cattle market,” Hightower said. “However, demand issues remain a significant concern.” A stronger tone in the market may be necessary to see much of a recovery.

 

Hog futures are expected to be higher again today, according to Total Farm Marketing. They said “global optimism regarding coronavirus containment, as well as China’s willingness to work with the U.S. on ag purchases, could continue to push prices higher.

 

Thu 2/6/2020 4:48 PM

 

Boxed beef cutout values steady on Choice and lower on Select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, USDA said.

 

Choice up 21 cents to $210.93/cwt.

Select down $1.98 to $205.96/cwt.

 

In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 120 head sold live at $123, and dressed sales of 203 head at $193 were reported. In Iowa/Minnesota, there were 351 head sold live at $119.50-122 with no dressed sales.

 

April live cattle finished up 57 cents, closing at $119.75. March feeder cattle were up 22 cents, closing at $135.90. Hightower says a limit-up move in hogs helped boost cattle prices. While monthly beef exports for December were down from last year, the figure was still higher than November’s report.

 

Barchart.com says wholesale boxed beef prices were mixed this morning. Choice boxes were over a dollar higher, with Select prices down more than $1. USDA says cash activity was light Wednesday, with live prices in the $122 range.

 

Hog futures close limit up

 

After opening lower this morning, a steady flow of buying helped lean hog prices close limit up at the end of trading. The Hightower Report says weekly export sales continue to bring positive news to the market, and December export data was seen as supportive.

 

Stewart-Peterson says while packer margins are currently positive, but many expect beef supplies to continue to grow into the second quarter. Those estimates are likely curbing much of the enthusiasm in the live cattle market.

 

China tariff cuts support beans

 

Corn prices moved off a three-week low, but still closed down Thursday. Hightower says Brazil’s second season crop is seeing strong growing conditions, providing pressure to the market. Argentina’s corn planting is at nearly 99 percent, up from 97 percent last week

 

Headlines that China was reducing tariffs for certain U.S. goods offered support for the bean market. ADM Ag Market View says soybean exports for the week were higher than expected at 703 MT.

 

Corn

 

March corn closed down 1 ½ cents at $3.79, with May corn down 2 cents at $3.84 ½. Hightower says “ongoing reports indicated that the coronavirus has yet to be contained, which diminishes the chances for U.S. exports of corn and DDGs during the first half of 2020.”

 

ADM Ag Market View says talk of China buying corn from Ukraine and other countries is likely pressuring prices. “This could be part of an existing agreement, but would be counted as part of their TRQ deal,” they said.

 

Soybeans

 

March soybeans were up 1 cent to $8.81, while May beans closed at $8.94 ¾, up 1 ¼ cents. Hightower says bean prices were strong early Thursday, but couldn’t hang on to gains. Meal prices had a positive price reversal with a modest gain, while oil prices fell back from a new one-week high.

 

Barchart.com says good weather in South America and talk of a bigger U.S. crop in 2020 is limiting any upside in bean futures. Exports remain decent, with Egypt and the Netherlands among the biggest buyers of soybeans.

 

Wheat

 

March wheat finished down 5 ¾ cents to $5.56 ¼, with May wheat down 5 ½ cents to $5.53 ½. Kansas City wheat fell back from a new high, says Hightower. Losses were modest in Minneapolis. Improving weather in Russia and Ukraine has also pressured wheat prices.

 

Wheat bookings from the weekly update to USDA’s export sales report were 338,559 MT for the week ending Jan. 30. Barchart.com says that represents nearly a 48 percent decrease from last week and over a 45 percent decrease from a year ago.

 

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