[Fri]: Cash live cattle levels “appear to be leveling off,” The Hightower report said, “possibly even weakening”… [Thurs]: Afternoon National Slaughter Cattle Review / Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were lower on Choice and sharply lower on Select… Choice fell $2.23… Select went down $8.65… In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 1,726 head sold dressed at $175-190, with 687 head sold live at $115-117. In Iowa/Minnesota, 190 head were sold live at $120, and 2,240 head were sold dressed at $174-190… “Slaughter this week is running 11% ahead of last week, but is still nearly 17.5% behind the same week last year,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Cash trade this week so far has been seen as high as 120.00 which could continue to improve through the end of the week”…

 

Farm Commodity Newsletter/Iowa Farmer Today

 

Fri 5/22/2020 8:36 AM

 

Cattle - Cash live cattle levels “appear to be leveling off,” The Hightower report said, “possibly even weakening.” They noted that the drop of 2.5% in beef stocks is more than the typical decline of 1.3% for this period, so that is a positive factor.

 

“June remains at a huge discount,” The Hightower Report said. “Look for a continued advance in nearby futures contracts.”

 

Cold storage shows declines in beef, pork

 

Yesterday’s cold storage report showed 614.811 mln pounds of pork at the end of April, a 2 mln pound “draw-down” Allendale said. Beef stocks are at 490 mln pounds, a 12 mln decline from March’s report.

 

While the Cold Storage is something the markets are keeping an eye on, Oliver Sloup of Blue Line Futures said the market is likely more focused on today’s Cattle on Feed report.

 

Thu 5/21/2020 4:58 PM

 

Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were lower on Choice and sharply lower on Select, USDA said.

 

Choice fell $2.23 to $401.81/cwt.

Select went down $8.65 to $382.53.

 

In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 1,726 head sold dressed at $175-190, with 687 head sold live at $115-117. In Iowa/Minnesota, 190 head were sold live at $120, and 2,240 head were sold dressed at $174-190.

 

Beef export sales came in at 4,018 tonnes, the lowest so far this year, The Hightower Report noted. The pace has slipped behind the last two years in recent weeks, but is still well ahead of the five-year average.

 

“Slaughter this week is running 11% ahead of last week, but is still nearly 17.5% behind the same week last year,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Cash trade this week so far has been seen as high as 120.00 which could continue to improve through the end of the week.”

 

Hogs withstand tough export sales

 

“Disappointing” export sales news pressured the market early today for lean hogs, The Hightower Report said. But that wasn’t enough to keep prices lower as July hogs hold a large discount to the cash market, they said. The July contract closed just below its highs on the day.

 

June Cattle saw its highest close since March 10 today, as it deals with its own discount to the cash market. “The fact that cash cattle continues to trade firm has helped support the June contract,” The Hightower Report said.

 

Tensions making for uncertain markets

 

Markets are reacting to “heightened” tensions between the U.S. and Chinese, making corn and soybeans trade lower on the day, Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said. Beneficial rains also stopped the rally in the wheat market, which saw mixed trade today.

 

That tension is raising concern about the Phase 1 agreement between the U.S. and China, as the Chinese have been slow buyers of new crop thus far, ADM Investor Services said.

 

Corn

 

Corn saw a narrow range today as the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches. Favorable planting weather put pressure on prices and weekly export sales “were disappointing,” Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said.

 

“There may be some prevent acres in the Dakotas, but we don’t believe enough presently to suggest a significant supportive factor for price,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Funds are holding a large net short position heading into the summer which could help fuel a bounce, but so far even recovering energy prices cannot spark much in the way of short covering.”

 

Soybeans

 

Chinese buying is going to be the key to price direction, ADM Investor Services said. “Heavy rains in parts of the central and east may have slowed plantings there,” they said. “Funds were net sellers of futures reducing their net long.”

 

“There are some who are beginning to doubt whether the phase one agreement will be intact by the end of the year,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Recent weather is also viewed as somewhat negative as planting has gone very quickly so far this spring.”

 

Wheat

 

The wheat market failed to hold the slightly higher opens this morning, Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said. “Chicago drew strength from ongoing dryness in EU and the Black Sea Region,” she said. “Rain events are expected to move across the Northern Plains over the weekend.”

 

“Wheat futures managed moderate gains on talk of dryness across parts of Europe and Russia,” ADM Investor Services said. “Rains in east Europe and Ukraine limited gains. Rains also across parts of US south plains could help crops there. Wheat future have rallied due to higher French wheat prices and higher new crop Russia prices.”

 

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