The shutdown continues and publicly available prices remain limited. Luckily, there are some entities that continue to make their information available.
Dressed fed cattle were reported around $198-$200 on Friday in Nebraska. Beef Magazine’s Wes Ishmael provides further highlights of the market this week (link).
In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were called $2-$3 higher. Steer and heifer calves called $6-$8 higher. Southeast Mississippi Livestock Auction’s report sheet has 400-500 pound steers from $160 to $195, heifers from $142 to $165; heavier 600-700 pound steers from $138-$147 and heifers from $135 to $143.
Live cattle futures ended the week mostly steady (outside of the nearby October and December contracts). Prices dipped mid-week on reports of request by contract holders to deliver cattle, which typically does not happen. The lack of market news is a likely reason. Also, on Wednesday, South Korea suspended some beef shipments after detecting zilpaterol (the primary ingredient of the beta agonist feed additive Zilmax). Reports of discussions happening to end the government shutdown and to come to terms on the looming debt ceiling issue helped pull markets up as the week closed. Feeder futures continued to march higher as corn fell again this week.
Corn continued to drift lower. Harvest is progressing (it’s speed and progress is unknown to me since USDA reports are not published) and, according to private reports, yields are better than expected (our very own Dr. Brian Williams echoed these notions based on his recent trip home to Nebraska). USDA did not release it’s monthly supply and demand report scheduled for Friday. The expectations leading into the report were for both corn and soybean production to be on par with the September report, but ending stocks to grow based on last week’s Grain Stocks report (released just before the shutdown began) that indicated more corn and beans in storage than previously expected as of September 1, 2013 (but still 17% below year ago levels).
According to Brugler Marketing & Management commentary, the Urner Barry yellow sheet beef prices ended the week at $192.14 for Choice and $177.44 for Select. This would put the Choice-Select spread at $14.70 as we head into the fall and right on pace with normal conditions this time of year.
Note: Unless noted otherwise, cattle and beef prices are in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices in dollars per bushel.
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|Month||Live Cattle||Change*||Feeder Cattle||Change*||Corn||Change*||Soybeans||Change*|
|Source: CME Group|
|Note: Cattle prices in $/cwt; Corn & Soybean prices in $/bu|
|*Change from last Friday’s close.|