The Cattle Range Home Page
The Cattle Range Home Page
www.cattlerange.com
.

.
The Cattle Range Weekly Market Summary provides market data for the informed cattleman. Current industry news & commentary as well as a comprehensive comparison of the past week's prices from around the country in comparison to the previous week, month, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, & 5 year average.  The data is compiled from a variety of sources and is organized to provide insight in determining market movement and trends.
.

On-Line Store
.

.

.
---
SAMPLE... Market Summary for the week ending January 9th:
.
  • Bullish: The collapse of oil prices could be a "Trifecta" for the cattle industry: Lower fuel costs, less demand for corn for ethanol, & consumers with more discretionary income.
  • Bearish: Red ink in the feeding sector will put pressure on prices for other classes of cattle.
.

.
The Cattle Range 10-Day Market Trend:
.
An indicator of overall cattle/beef market strength. The angle indicates direction & velocity of the trend.
.
.
The Trendline is based on daily market factors for the last 10 days.
Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 10 major market indicators compared to the previous trading day.
.

.
National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
.
RECEIPTS:          Auctions     Direct    Video/Internet    Total
This Week            195,900       53,100        10,000          259,000
12/19/14-01/01/15   14,300       16,500        16,700            47,500
Last Year              235,900      53,000        17,500           306,400
.
Feeder cattle marketing was brisk for the first full week of 2015 which in many cases the first two weeks of the year post some of the heaviest receipts of the year.  Compared to the last full non-holiday week of sales which was the week ending December 19th, feeder cattle and calves traded mostly 10.00-15.00 higher with spots 20.00 higher.  The market has rebounded nicely; gaining back most of its losses now that the holidays are in our review mirror as Feeder Cattle contracts have surged most of the last three weeks with the idea that the December lows hopefully represented a market bottom.

Extremely cold weather from and Artic blast had sub-zero temperatures throughout the Northern Plains and Midwest this week as this cold front covered the majority of the country.  However feeder cattle prices broke out of that deep freeze to find buyers actively bidding to fill orders.  At the Fort Pierre, SD Livestock Auction on January 2nd, over 250 head of steers averaging 822 lbs trading at an average price of 234.55.  In Green City, MO at the Green City Livestock Auction on Wednesday of this week sold 150 head of 7 weight steers averaging 717 lbs traded at 261.66.  Also on Wednesday at Bassett, NE Livestock Auction on Wednesday sold over 300 head of replacement quality heifers averaging 667 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 281.37, with a top of 301.00.  Then on Thursday in Ogallala, NE Livestock Auction sold over 250 head of fancy steers averaging 608 lbs selling with a weighted average price of 299.48.

On Tuesday of this week short bought packers pulled the trigger early to regain a foothold of the fed cattle inventory as a full out scramble ensued to procure needs on cash cattle trade which was very bullish as live sales were mostly 4.00 higher in Kansas at 170.00.  Dressed sales in Nebraska ranged from 270.00-275.00, with bulk of the trade at 270.00-272.00.  Processors came back from the holidays needing product and tight feedlot numbers still remain a major driver.  Boxed beef prices are advancing, but not as fast to keep up with the fed cattle market, as packer’s margins are again under the gun.  Beef production continues to fall below year ago levels, which will continue through January.

Feeder and Live Cattle futures are all but ignoring the high feedlot trade along with the higher feeder cattle prices paid this week.  Feeder and Live Cattle futures are falling hard with sharp losses in the opposite direction of the cash trade going against bullish fundamentals as feeder cattle prices are well ahead of nearby feeder cattle futures.  Caution seems to be in order with uncertainty and volatility entering back into the cattle futures with funds rebalancing.  The feeder cattle market of 2014 discovered just how high it could reach with the record corn harvest.  The elevation of spring stocker calf and replacement stock price levels is difficult to estimate with current high prices, but could still be north of current levels as demand remains very good for available feeder cattle.  This week’s auction volume included 59 percent over 600 lbs and 38 percent heifers.

.
Stocker Steers:
.
Feeder Steers:
.
.
Five Year Moving Average - Stocker Steers, Feeder Steers, & Slaughter Steers:
.
.
Cattle Futures: Pessimism about beef demand seemed to undercut cattle futures. The cattle and beef supply situation is tight and will probably tighten further on a seasonal basis during the weeks ahead. Thus, it was hard not to blame pessimism about the demand outlook for the late-week breakdown in CME cattle and feeder futures. February live cattle futures plunged 3.00 cents to 160.60 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while the April contract dove 3.00 cents to 159.42. January feeder cattle futures plummeted 3.20 cents to 222.42 cents/pound, and March feeders crashed 4.50 cents to 212.55.
.

.
Selected Auction Reports:
"Click" on individual auction links for complete report
Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
Actual Receipts: 5903     Last Monday: Closed    Year Ago Monday: 8137
Compared to the last sale on Dec. 15th:  Feeder steers 6.00-10.00 higher, with steers over 800 lbs up to 15.00 higher.  Feeder heifers steady to 3.00 lower.  Steer calves 5.00-6.00 higher.  Heifer calves 3.00-10.00 lower, most decline on 5 weights.

El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
Receipts:  4728    Last Week:  Holiday    Year Ago:  6937
Compared to the last sale, December 17, 2014:  Feeder steers sold mostly 8.00 to 12.00 higher.  No trend for feeder heifers and heifer calves due limited comparable sales and offerings.  Steer calves traded sharply higher, instances of 20.00 higher.

Joplin Regional Stockyards Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg - Carthage MO
Receipts:  3400    Last Week:  0    Year Ago:  4351
No recent Value Added sale for a price comparison.

Denison Wtd Avg Feeder Cattle Auction - Denison IA
Receipts:  2499    Tuesday:  2139
Compared to tuesday's sale, Steers 500 to 700 lbs were steady, 700 were 6 lower and 750 to 900 lbs were steady. Heifers 500 to 800 lbs were 3 to 4 lower.

Tri-State Livestock Auction Market - McCook NE
Receipts:  500    Last Week:  1100    Year Ago:  0
Not enough to show a comparison, demand was good on the weights offered.

Huss Platte Valley Auction - Kearney NE
Cattle Receipts:  5340     Last week: 3980     Last year: 5600
First reported sale in the last three weeks, trend not applicable. However, a sharply higher undertone was noted.

Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
Receipts:  875    Last Sale:  348    Year Ago:  1894
Compared to last sale before the holidays:  Feeder steers and heifers sold with a higher undertone on very limited sales from previous auction.

Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
Cattle and Calves: 2051     Three Weeks ago:  792      Year Ago:  2058
Compared to three weeks ago:  No market comparisons due to the extended holiday season, however there was a firm undertone noted.

Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
Receipts:  1377              3 Weeks Ago: 1355            Year Ago: 2117
Compared to last month:  No comparison on Holstein steers due to limited receipts.  Compared to three weeks ago, feeder steers and heifers under 500 lbs 15.00-20.00 higher, over 500 lbs 4.00-8.00 higher.  Slaughter cows and bulls 3.00-4.00 higher, instances 6.00-7.00 higher on high yielding bulls.

Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
Receipts:  1650    Last Week:  N/A    Year Ago:  1500
No trends due to the holidays the last two weeks and market not reported.

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
Receipts:  3933    Last Sale:  2001    Year Ago:  4140
Compared with the last sale Dec 18, 2014: Due to the low receipt count because of ice and snow, there is not a true market test. Steers and Heifers in all classes are showing considerable higher undertone, instances 5.00-15.00 higher.

Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
Receipts:  3088    Two Weeks Ago:  533    Year Ago:  1009
Compared to two weeks ago (Dec 22):  Receipts were very light lastreported sale.  In a narrow comparison, steers sold mostly steady with firm undertones noted.  Heifers steady with few weaker undertones noted on 600-650 lbs.
.
Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
Receipts:  5442    Last Week:  2912    Year Ago:  8508
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers 550-600 lbs steady to 5.00 higher, 600-700 lbs mostly steady, 700-1000 lbs 5.00 to 10.00 higher,1000-1050 lbs mostly steady.  Feeder heifers 500-600 lbs steady to 5.00 higher, 600-700 lbs steady, 700-750 lbs mostly steady to 5.00 higher with instances of 7.00 to 10.00 higher, 750-800 lbs mostly steady in a narrow comparison, over 800 lbs lightly tested last week with higher undertones noted.

Weekly Auction Summaries:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
Kentucky Weekly Livestock Summary
Receipts This Week 18,764, Last Week No Report, Last Year 11,808
No comparison available.  No report was published last week as most stockyards were closed for the holiday season.

Tennessee Weekly Auction Summary
Receipts on 9 TN Auctions 4,965 0 Last Week 0 11 Last Year 5,000
Trends:  According to the Federal-State Market News Service, no trends are available due to the holidays.

Mississippi Weekly Livestock Summary
Cattle Receipts:    4,807       Last Week:       0       Last Year:    4,474
Compared to last week, slaughter cows and bulls no trend.  Feeder steers and heifers no trend.

Alabama Auctions Weekly Summary
Total estimated receipts this week 8,900, last week 0 and 5,831 last year.
Compared to one week ago: No trends available due to most markets being closed for the holidays.

Georgia Cattle Auctions Weekly Review
Cattle receipts at 25 markets 8,531 compared to N/S last week and 8,820 year ago.
No trends available due to markets being closed previous two weeks for the holidays.

Colorado Auction Feeder Cattle Summary
Receipts:  2,238     Last Week:  600     Last Year:  7,178
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers for an adequate market trend.

Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
Confirmed: 3010 
No recent sales to compare to. 

Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  2,238     Last Week:  600     Last Year:  7,178
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers for an adequate market trend. 

Eastern Cornbelt Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Reported sales this week: 226    Last Week: N/A    Last year: 57
Compared to last week: No comparison available for feeder steers and heifers. 

Georgia Direct Cattle Summary (Fri)
Confirmed sales on 1,488 head;

IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon
Receipts:  0    Last Week:  0    Year Ago:  138

Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts:  5320    Last Week:  0000    Year Ago:  4057
Compared with the last report Dec 19, 2014: Feeder steers and heifers had and extremely higher undertone.

Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts:  2,249     Last Week: 0     Year Ago:  690
Compared to last week: No recent comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers for an adequate market trend. 

New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
Receipts:  3300    Last Week:  6500    Year Ago:  1800
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold 5.00 to 6.00 higher on comparable sales. 

Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Receipts:  2623    Last Week:  479    Last Year:  5862
Compared to last week:  No trend available for feeder steers and heifers due to limited offerings. 

Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  3950    Last Week:  N/A    Year Ago:  4500
No trends due to the holidays the last two weeks and market not reported.

South Dakota Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts: 774     Last Week:  0      Last Year:  0
Compared to last week:  No feeder steers or heifers reported.

Texas Weekly Direct Feeder Cattle Summary
Confirmed:  28,600     Last Week: 8,300      Last Year: 23,300
Compared to last week current FOB feeder steers and heifers were 2.00-9.00 higher on a very good test this week but very limited comparable sales from last week. 

WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 1,081       Last Week:  600      Year Ago: 1,775
No comparable sales to from last week to make a market comparison.

.
.

.
Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs:
.
  • El Reno, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 1050-1300 lbs 4-7 months 2000.00-2350.00; 5-10 yrs 900-1350 lbs 4-7 months 1400.00-1900.00. 
  • Oklahoma City, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 1000-1305 lbs 4-6 months 2000.00-2325.00; 4-10 yrs 975-1500 lbs 3-7 months 1400.00-1850.00.
  • Joplin, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 900-1350 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1900.00-2300.00, 1st stage 1060-1330 lbs 1700.00-2150.00; 7 yrs to short solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1150-1335-3rd stage 1675.00-1800.00; broken mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1100-1315 lbs 1300.00-1575.00.  Large 1-2  5-6 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 1390-1550 lbs 1975.00-2250.00.  Medium 1-2  4-7 yrs 3rd stage 1000-1050 lbs 1550.00-1675.00. 
  • Springfield, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  3 yrs to short solid 1050-1325 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1825.00-2125.00, 1st stage 1112-1345 lbs 1405.00-1625.00; short solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1085-1310 lbs 1300.00-1650.00.  Large 1-2  6 yrs to short solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1425-1690lbs 1685.00-1975.00, short solid mouth to aged 2nd stage 1410-1430 lbs 1460.00-1585.00. 
  • West Plains, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 1000-1630 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 2100.00-2600.00; Short-solid mouth 1065-1550 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1800.00-2300.00.  Medium and Large 2  3-6 yrs 970-1420 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1750.00-2000.00; Short-solid to broken mouth 950-1425 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1450.00-1800.00.  Medium 1-2  3 yr to short-solid mouth 855-1280 lbs 1st-3rd stage 1250.00-1750.00.  Medium 2  3-7 yrs 735-925 lbs 1st-2nd stage 750.00-900.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 990-1235 lbs w/150-200 lb calves 2000.00-2600.00; 7 yr old to broken mouth 910-1215 lbs w/250-300 lb calves 1800.00-2250.00.  Short-solid to broken mouth 1150-1308 lbs 1st stage w/250-400 lb calves 2200.00-2500.00.  Medium 1-2  4 yrs to broken-mouth 845-1130 lbs w/75-150 lb calves 1400.00-1650.00.
  • Clovis, NM
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young 865-1150 lbs 3-8 months 1600.00-2700.00; young to middle aged 780-1000 lbs 1-3 months 1000.00-1400.00; middle aged 1030-1475 lbs 3-8 months 1200.00-1900.00; aged 885-1240 lbs 3-8 months 1200.00-1800.00. 
    • First Calf Heifers 740-970 lbs 3-8 months 1210.00-2350.00; 715-835 lbs 1-3 months 1385.00-1425.00.
.

.
Bred Cows & Heifers in 2nd & 3rd Stages of Pregnancy:
.
.
The average prices above are from USDA market reports which seldom reference breed or quality.
.

.
Canadian Cattle:
.
Alberta Beef Producers:  Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with dressed sales anywhere from 5.00-8.00 higher than the previous week. Light volumes of western Canadian fed cattle have traded South with prices at a slight premium over local sales. For the most part showlist volumes have been cleaned up.
.
Additional Canadian market data will be available next week.
.

.
A Toubling Forecast:
.
USDA latest compilation of the size, ownership and productivity of U.S. agricultural operations offers some cautionary data on where the nation’s food productivity is headed in the future. 

According to the report, family farms accounted for 97 percent of U.S. farms in terms of numbers (2011 data). That bears repeating: Only 3 percent of all U.S. farms/ranches are actually corporate-owned and operated. Talk to a couple dozen people on the street about that statistic, and you’d probably elicit guesstimates that reversed those numbers.

Even more compelling: Small family farms— ones that report annual gross farm income of less than $350,000 a year — comprise 90 percent of all farms, according to USDA, and account for 52 percent of the nation’s farmland. Again, I can guarantee that you’d have to search to find a typical urban resident who would answer with those numbers if asked about the relative prevalence of small farmers.

Of course, small farms account for a smaller share of production, about 26 percent, according to the report. Other than broilers, 56 percent of which are grown by small farmers — or maybe they should be more accurately labeled as contractors — small farms produce only about one-quarter of total domestic agricultural production.

Midsize and large-scale family farms combined are responsible for some 60 percent of U.S. agricultural output. In terms of numbers, larger family farms make up only about 8 percent of all U.S. farms, but they account for nearly two-thirds of the value of U.S. agriculture.

Of the corporate-owned agricultural operations, “non-family farms” in USDA parlance, 85 percent of their output was from farms with gross farm income of $1.0 million or more.

Financial straits ahead

Now for the sobering part of the report.

According to USDA data, about three-fourths of U.S. farms are in “the critical zone” for rate of return on assets (a value less than 1 percent), and two-thirds are in the critical zone for operating profit margin (a value less than 10 percent). The smaller the farm operation in terms of revenue, the worse the financial situation. In fact, as anyone connected with agriculture knows all too well, the majority of small-farm households rely on off-farm income to stay afloat.

The USDA report asked the pertinent question: “Given small farms’ poor financial performance, why do so many continue to exist?”

The answer is clear: “Small-farm households typically receive substantial off-farm income and do not rely primarily on their farms for their livelihood [and] they often invest in their farm operations with off-farm income.”

That’s what is concerning. It’s well-known that the median age of farmers in some key producing regions, such as the Midwest, is in the mid-50s. That means in the next decade there will be a changing of the guard — hopefully. But if family members decide not to continue in agriculture, many of those smaller farms are going to be sold, subdivided and retired from production permanently.

The loss of farmland is almost as damaging as the exodus of farmers.

The Family Farm Report demonstrates that we need large-scale, highly productive farms if the nation is to maintain its agricultural productivity. The data don’t lie: The majority of our food and fiber comes from big, well-capitalized farms with an efficiency of scale that is essential to the availability and affordability of the food supply.

But we also need the millions of small farmers and ranchers just as much. Even though their total output is far less than that of bigger operations, in terms of numbers and acreage they’re critical to the long-term future of U.S. farm productivity.

We lose small farmers, and we lose the farmland in which they formerly operated.  We lose that farmland, and we’re never getting it back.

Drovers Cattle Network

.

.
Cattle Futures Plummet as Panic Mounts:
.
The better the cash news this week, and believe it or not there is another round of bullish beef news this morning, the greater the panic selling as CME live cattle futures touch limit down for the second day in a row.

Fund Rebalancing Linked to Sell-off

The reason for this early January meltdown is primarily being linked to fund rebalancing. Caution about fund reweighting occurring between January 8 and 14 was circulating back in November but after the enormous sell-off in the cattle complex in December accompanied by a huge drop in open interest, taking OI to the lowest level since January 2010, many thought some, most or all of the rebalancing had already occurred.

A quick word about commodity funds. The two major commodity indices are S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) and the Bloomberg (BCOM). Although private information, the funds mathematically evaluate commodity performance and exposure and increase long exposure in some markets, like crude and cotton this year, while decreasing long exposure in others.

This year’s annual rebalancing was to include a reduction of live cattle longs held by the funds in upwards of 10k contracts. Until this threat is seen as having passed, bargain hunters will be scarce and fundamental cattle traders will be trounced.

Technicals Bearish

Short term technical indicators are inarguably bearish, monster outside week with a lower close and back below the 100 day moving average. Many traders say the market is rejecting good news, but it is very difficult to tell the forest from the trees with adrenalin pumping.

Where Does the Market Catch?

Picking a bottom in a wash-out like this one is always a matter of when more than where. The low made week before last, $160.32 spot chart and $159.07 in Feb LC may or may not hold. Traders will be watching daily CME open interest to try and gauge when the tsunami of selling will cease. This coupled by the market action itself give critical information as to when another low is certain. 

The extreme disconnect between futures and cash will return as a factor next week at some point. Feb LC is trading $10 under this week’s cash fed cattle average. Boxed beef prices will continue to increase next week supported by grinding beef demand and limited offerings. Packer margins will improve also next week, since futures weakness aid packers in purchasing cattle next week no better than steady and possibly lower.

The Beef

.

.
Photo of the Week:
.
  • Reg. Irish Black Bulls... N. Central NE*
  • .

    .
    Shootin' the Bull:
    .
    In my opinion, the cattle industry is wrangling with evidence of whether or not results will be seen from the change of the liquidation phase to the expansion phase.  My analysis suggests that it has.  With the number of cattle on feed at just a slightly higher level than this time last year, it is anticipated that fat prices will soon be in the mid to low $150's.  Last year, the settle on February on this date was $137.55.  Demand may or may not be better, but supply has increased.  All technical indicators have rolled back south as of Friday's trade.  Also, the February and April contracts have begun overlapping previous highs of this corrective rally.

    On Thursday, I made the recommendation to sell the February and April contracts with a buy stop at $172.77 February and $171.12 April.  ***This was a sales solicitation.***  The options continue to be exceptionally inflated and with the contract high so near at the time the recommendation was made, I perceived the risk/reward ratio to be with the futures rather than options.  I urge all participants, regardless of what sector you are in to reassess the fundamentals.  While there is not anticipated to be any increase in the herd size soon, expansion is perceived running at full capacity, albeit reduced. 

    The pattern on the feeder cattle chart is perceived creating a head and shoulders.  My analysis suggests the left shoulder to be the time frame between late June and first of September.  The neck line from the low in September to contract high, the head from contract high to 11/17 high, and the right neck line from the 11/17 high to the 12/18 low.  Now, the formation of the right shoulder is anticipated.  I anticipate the creation of the right shoulder to be a marking of time until the spring to see what kind of inventory will be available.  I anticipate there to be more feeder cattle class available this spring, and at significantly heavier weights. This is due to the perception that a significant percentage of feeders were diverted from feed yards for further back grounding or preconditioning, that should have been destine for the feed yard.  Although the futures offer a little better breakeven than does the index for feed yards, the spread still remains wide between fats and feeders.  I fully understand that the change in fundamentals may or may not be quite visible just yet.  However, it is perceived changing and the futures markets are believed to be accepting this. 

    In my opinion, I perceive that a great deal of cattle were purchased at the high end of the price range.  I perceive that some of these went into hands that may, or may not be, as financially strong to withstand a sharp price decrease.  As prices fall, it takes selling more cattle to make the same revenue as it did 4 months ago.  Regardless, producers have had to purchase replacement inventory at higher levels up until December 15th when the index topped.   Since October 15th of '14, producers have not been able to forward market those cattle for any better price than $237.80 via the March futures contract.  The high for the index is at $244.99.  Today's price for March feeders is $212.55 as I write this.  This leads me to perceive that a great deal of cattle purchased from September 2nd to present are showing negative returns.  If analysis materializes as anticipated, feeder prices are anticipated to trade into the low $190's by end of spring.

    Corn continues to hold its own.  I am not bullish corn, but do anticipate that after first of year sales are complete, farmers will hold corn attempting to take advantage of the carry in the back months. I recommended this week to add to the existing long December corn position with a sell stop to exit only on all contracts at $4.10.  I anticipate December corn to trade up to $4.77.

    Christopher B. Swift is a commodity broker and consultant with Swift Trading Company in Nashville, TN. Mr. Swift authors the daily commentaries "mid day cattle comment" and "Shootin' the Bull" commentary found on his website @ www.shootinthebull.com

    An investment in futures contracts is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for persons who can assume the risk of loss in excess of their margin deposits.  You should carefully consider whether futures trading is appropriate for you in light of your investment experience, trading objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

    .

    .
    The Saga of Bart -- Trials & Tribulations of a Cattle Buyer
    .
    Even though Bart sacrificed greatly by driving to remote rural locations to look at cattle and spending 3 to 4 nights per week in bars, lounges, and motels, his marriage also suffered.

    After an especially contentious argument, his wife insisted they seek the services of a marriage counselor.

    At their first session, the counselor said "It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes."

    He then addressed Bart, "Can you name your wife's favorite flower?"

    Resentful about the whole situation, Bart confidently and defiantly answered, "That's too easy -- It's Pillsbury."

    .

    .
    Submit a "Bart Joke"  If we use it, you'll receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate to The Cattle Range Mercantile.
    .

    .
    Cattle Weights Fall after 4 Months of Gains:
    .
    The Friday’s Meat Production Board illustrates that the cattle slaughter report sees post-holiday rally with 452,000 head of cattle slaughtered, even though it’s still lower than the 10-week average 528,200.

    Cattle weight had the second-most noticeable drop in data, where the overall weight of the livestock took a -2 lb difference since mid-December.

    Even with the holiday’s, the total number of cattle being slaughtered is seeing some positive gains as 442.5 million pounds of beef were processed rebounding from a bleak previous week where only 371.7 million pounds were slaughtered making up for around a 70 million pound difference.

    .

    .
    Margin between the Choice Boxed Beef Cutout & Feeder Steers:
    .
    5 Year Average: $44.37 -- This Week: $35.79
    .

    .
    Out of Kilter:
    .
    A good way to determine if something is, “going on” in a market is by noticing when market relationships are out of kilter. Cattle and grains typically have a positive correlation. They tend to move in tandem. Moderately increase the price of corn and the cattle will follow suit. The opposite is also true as the cost of feed declines, so does the cost of production. However, when this relationship breaks down, its because one market can't keep pace or pass on the costs of the other. 

    That is what occurred in the spring of 2012 with cattle and corn. The price of feed exceeded the livestock market's ability to pass on the costs.  Over the 2013 summer months, the gap was erased and corn went "Out of Kilter" last fall.  A correction started in January but ran out of steam in view of surging cattle prices and plummeting corn prices.

    Normally, the value of 25 bushels of corn is approximately equal to the price per cwt. for feeder steers.

    .
    5 Year Moving Average:
    .
    .

    .
    Crude/Cattle Correlation:
    .
    The chart below shows a fairly consistent correlation between the price for a barrel of crude oil and the per cwt. price for slaughter cattle.  Since it is unlikely the price of cattle affects the price of oil on the world market, it might be assumed the price of crude oil affects the price of cattle, but that is unlikely as well.  It is more likely that economic factors affecting demand for crude oil have a similar effect on demand for beef.

    Accordingly, in the absence of geo/political events disrupting or distorting oil supply, since price trends occur slightly sooner in the crude oil market, crude oil has been a good indicator of the direction of near term cattle prices. However, with increased supplies of crude oil and decreased supplies of slaughter cattle, an "Out of Kilter" situation between the two commodities has developed.

    .
    5 Year Moving Average:
    .
    .

    .
    EIA Forecasts $68-per-barrel Average Brent Crude Oil in 2015:
    .
    U.S. Energy Information Administration’s December Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), released yesterday, forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $68 per barrel (bbl) in 2015, with prices up to $5/bbl below the annual average early in the year. The forecast for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spot prices averages $63/bbl in 2015. The current values of futures and options contracts show high uncertainty regarding the price outlook. For example, WTI futures contracts for March 2015 delivery traded during the five-day period ending December 4 averaged $67/bbl. Implied volatility averaged 32%, establishing the lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the market's expectations of WTI prices at the expiration of the March 2015 contract at $51/bbl and $89/bbl, respectively. Last year at this time, WTI for March 2014 delivery averaged $96/bbl and implied volatility averaged 19%, with only a $30/bbl spread between the corresponding lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval.

    The OVX (an index that measures WTI implied volatility) increased in November and remains near its highest level since 2012. An elevated OVX value implies that market participants expect further large price movements in the near term. There is not sufficient liquidity in the Brent options market to make a similar statistically sound assessment of Brent price uncertainty. However, as volatility across oil markets is generally correlated, it is likely that the probability of large Brent price movements going forward has similarly increased.

    North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices settled at $68/bbl on December 5, $48 below the 2014 peak reached in late June and the lowest daily price since May 2010. The declining prices reflect the combination of robust world crude oil supply growth and weak global demand, which have caused global oil inventories to rise. Recent events, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision in late November to maintain its current crude oil production target, have raised expectations that oil supply growth will continue contributing to rising inventories through the first half of 2015.

    The lower 2015 price forecast reflects significantly looser global oil market balances over the first half of 2015 compared with last month’s forecast. In the current forecast, EIA expects global liquid fuels supply to average almost 92.8 million bbl/day (bbl/d) in 2015, while global demand is expected to average 92.3 million bbl/d. The increase in inventory growth is more pronounced during the first half of 2015 as a result of lower forecast consumption, based on a reduction in the forecast growth of the global economy, without a drop in forecast supply. EIA expects that global oil inventories will build by almost 0.8 million bbl/d on average during the first half of 2015, up from 0.5 million bbl/d in the previous STEO. In the second half of 2015, production growth slows so inventories build at a lower rate. Overall, the projected global inventory build between 0.4 and 0.5 million bbl/d for the year is relatively unchanged from the previous forecast. This inventory growth comes on top of builds that have averaged 0.5 million bbl/d in 2014. In 2014, inventories have built as global oil consumption growth has fallen well short of expectations, while supply growth has continued apace.

    Continuing inventory builds are expected to put further downward pressure on oil prices. EIA expects Brent prices to fall from current levels to average $63/bbl from March through May. EIA expects that a change in market fundamentals will have to come from the supply side because, in the short-term, global demand is very inelastic to changes in price. The $63/bbl March-May Brent price forecast represents the price expected to slow supply growth enough to balance with weaker expected global consumption. The projected price decline is expected to bring the global oil market into rough balance during the second half of 2015, stemming inventory builds. Over the second half of the year, Brent prices are projected to average $72/bbl based on expectations of slower production growth and a firmer market.

    EIA’s STEO includes a downward revision to forecast supply growth in U.S. tight oil plays. Because many producers have already made investment and drilling plans for the early part of 2015, the U.S. crude oil production forecast through the first half of 2015 is relatively unchanged from the previous STEO, but growth forecasts for the second half of 2015 have been reduced. With high decline rates, which require high levels of drilling to maintain production, the outlook for U.S. tight oil production is more price-responsive than production in areas within and outside the United States where investment horizons are longer and less drilling is required to maintain production.

    With WTI crude oil prices expected to average $58/bbl in the second quarter of 2015, netback prices at the wellhead in certain domestic areas could fall into the low $40/bbl range. EIA expects 2015 drilling activity to decline due to less-attractive economic returns in some areas of both emerging and mature oil production regions. Many companies will redirect investment away from marginal exploration and research drilling and into core areas of major tight oil plays. However, projected oil prices remain high enough to support development drilling activity in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, and Permian Basin, which contribute the majority of U.S. oil production growth. EIA expects U.S. crude oil production to average 9.3 million bbl/d in 2015, up 0.7 million bbl/d from 2014, but down from expected growth of 0.9 million bbl/d in last month’s STEO. However, all of the decrease in forecast production growth comes in the second half of the year. EIA revised production growth downward by 140,000 bbl/d and 270,000 bbl/d in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, compared with the previous forecast. However, this forecast remains particularly sensitive to actual prices available at the wellhead and drilling economics that vary across regions and operators.

    EIA does not expect significant reductions from OPEC producers as, consistent with OPEC’s announcement, Saudi Arabia has indicated its intention to maintain its export market share rather than cut production to keep prices higher. In the past, Saudi Arabia has often temporarily cut its production to accommodate supply growth elsewhere or weaker global demand, or increasing its output level to make up for a supply shortfall. Saudi Arabia's production is still expected to decline in next year compared with its current 9.6 million bbl/d level, but is forecast to be maintained above 9.0 million bbl/d throughout 2015.

    With price volatility high and markets in flux, small changes to fundamentals or perceptions can cause prices to shift rapidly. Several factors could cause oil prices to deviate significantly from current projections. Chief among these is the responsiveness of supply to the lower price environment. Despite OPEC’s recent decision to leave its crude oil production target at 30 million bbl/d, if crude oil prices continue to fall, Saudi Arabia and others could choose to cut production in order to tighten market balances. The level of crude oil production outages could also vary from forecast levels for a wide range of producers, including OPEC members Libya, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, and Venezuela. Additionally, the price and lag time required to cause a reduction in forecast non-OPEC supply growth, particularly U.S. tight oil, could be longer or shorter than expected. The degree to which non-OPEC supply growth is affected by lower oil prices will also affect market balances and prices. Finally, consumption could turn out to be more responsive to lower oil prices than anticipated. How these factors evolve over the next several months will shape the market both in 2015 and beyond.

    Average U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel prices decrease
    The U.S. average price for regular gasoline fell 10 cents from the previous week to $2.68 per gallon as of December 8, 2014, 59 cents lower than the same time last year. This is the lowest U.S. average price since February 22, 2010, and the first time since October 4, 2010 that all five regions of the U.S. have average gasoline prices below $3 per gallon. The Midwest price decreased 13 cents to $2.59 per gallon, and the Rocky Mountain price followed with a decrease of 12 cents to $2.74 per gallon. The Gulf Coast price declined nine cents to $2.44 per gallon. The East Coast and West Coast both decreased eight cents, to $2.74 per gallon and $2.94 per gallon, respectively.

    U.S. average diesel fuel prices declined seven cents this week to $3.54 per gallon, down 34 cents from this time last year. The West Coast price decreased 10 cents to $3.59 per gallon, while the Midwest declined eight cents to $3.62 per gallon. The Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountains were both down seven cents, to $3.43 per gallon and $3.66 per gallon, respectively. The East Coast price decreased five cents to $3.46 per gallon.

    Propane inventories fall
    U.S. propane stocks decreased by 0.3 million barrels last week to 79.2 million barrels as of December 5, 2014, 26.5 million barrels (50.4%) higher than a year ago. East Coast inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels and Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories decreased by 0.1 million barrels. Gulf Coast inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels while Midwest inventories remained unchanged. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 4.0% of total propane inventories.

    .

    .
    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
    .
    Slaughter cows and bulls mostly steady. 

    USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday afternoon was 238.37 -- Up 4.13 from last Friday.

                   %Lean      Weight      Colorado           Oklahoma         Alabama 
    Breakers  75-80%   1100-1600   112.00-116.00   112.00-119.00   115.00-117.00
    Boners     80-85%   1000-1450   111.00-115.00   113.00-120.00   112.00-118.00
    Lean        85-90%   1000-1300   108.00-111.00   105.00-112.00   103.00-107.00
    Bulls        88-92%   1300-2500   137.00-139.00   134.00-141.50   132.00-136.00

                              Confirmed  Week Ago  Year Ago   Week to Date    Week Ago      Year Ago
    NATIONAL            7,380          7,555       6,163          34,636             28,653            34,241
    S CENTRAL          1,976          1,546       1,758            7,929              5,982              9,469
    N CENTRAL            486           1,253         538            2,486               3,960              2,077
    EAST                   2,023           1,822      1,129            8,809               7,073              7,212
    WEST                  1,949           1,495      1,518            9,250               6,614              9,077
    MIDWEST               946           1,439      1,220            6,162               5,024              6,406

    .

    .
    Weekly Hay Reports:"Click" on links for detailed report
    .
    .
    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
    .
    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending January 6, were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was mixed, 31.50 lower to 1.30 higher, mostly 3.70 to 13.00 lower.  Cottonseed Meal was steady to 5.00 lower. Canola Meal was 25.00 lower to 1.30 higher.  Linseed Meal was steady in limited trade.  Sunflower Meal was steady in a limited trade. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was steady.
    • Crude Soybean Oil was mixed 45 points lower to 5 points higher, mostly 20 points lower.  Crude Corn Oil was steady. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mixed, 70.00 lower to 25.00 higher, mostly steady to 25.00 lower.  Ruminant Blood Meal was steady to 20.00 lower, with an instance of 10.00 higher in St. Louis.  Feather Meal was steady to 75.00 lower, mostly 10.00 to 20.00 lower. Menhaden Fishmeal was steady. 
    • Corn Hominy was mixed, 5.00 lower to 5.00 higher. Corn Gluten Feed was steady to 10.00 lower. Corn Gluten Meal was steady to 35.00 higher, mostly steady to 10.00 higher.
    • Distillers Dried Grains were mixed, 15.00 lower to 18.00 higher, mostly 5.00 lower to 10.00 higher. 
    • Wheat Middlings were mixed, 25.00 lower to 30.00 higher, mostly 5.00 to 15.00 lower.

    .
    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
    .
    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, January 10, 2015 was estimated at 910.9 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 13.2 percent higher than a week ago and 0.2 percent higher than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 15.3 percent lower compared to the previous year.
    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus:
    .
    The theory behind the "Bullish/Bearish Consensus" indicator is when the public reaches a consensus, they are usually wrong:
    • They get too bullish after prices have risen, and too bearish after they have already fallen.
    Because of this tendency, there are often extremes in opinion right before major changes in trend:
    • When the public reaches a bullish extreme, i.e., a great majority thinks prices will keep rising, then prices often decline instead. 
    • And when they become too bearish, then prices tend to rise.
    So when Public Opinion moves above the red dotted line in the chart, it means that compared to other readings over the past year, you're seeing excessive optimism.  You also want to look at the absolute level of Opinion, too - if it's at 90%, then there's no question we're seeing an historic level of bullish opinion.  Watch for readings above 80% (or especially 90%) to spot those dangerous times when the public is overly enthusiastic about a commodity.

    Conversely, when Public Opinion moves below the green dotted line, then the public is excessively pessimistic about the commodity's prospects for further gains compared to their opinion over the past year.  Looking for absolute readings under 20% (or especially 10%) often indicates an upturn in the market.

    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Cattle
    Last Updated: January 6th
    .
    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Corn
    Last Updated: January 6th
    .
    .

    .
    Economic News:
    .
    Stocks modestly lower as oil decline trumps jobs data:  Stocks were modestly lower for the week as investors weighed concerns about the impact of falling oil prices on energy sector profits against mixed labor market data. On Monday, the large-cap Standard & Poor's 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered their worst daily declines since last October, but sentiment turned on Tuesday afternoon, and shares rallied strongly over Wednesday and Thursday before losing ground again at the end of the week.

    Oil decline may have broader implications: Investors have kept a nervous eye on oil prices in recent weeks, and stocks fell sharply as the price of crude reached new multiyear lows early in the week-a barrel of West Texas Intermediate fell below $48, less than half of its price as recently as last summer. Although the decline in gasoline prices provides a welcome boost to consumer spending, lower oil and gas revenues also weigh heavily on energy company profits. Energy firms have also been an important source of new hiring in recent years, and reduced exploration and production in the nation's new shale reserves may threaten a slowdown in jobs growth. In addition, reduced capital expenditures by energy companies threaten the earnings of linked industrials firms, such as barge and rail operators. Analysts note that wide price swings in any key commodity or financial instrument-even if ultimately beneficial-can have disruptive effects on markets, as we have recently witnessed in the decline of the Russian ruble and the currencies of other oil producers.

    Oil weighing on energy sector earnings, but may boost profits elsewhere: The upcoming earnings seasons will provide important data about the overall effect of falling oil prices on corporate profits. Already, major retailers have reported sales gains as consumers, particularly lower-income Americans, are able to use savings at the pump to spend on other items. Falling profits for energy firms have also already reduced expectations for overall earnings growth for the S&P 500, however. Data and analytics firm FactSet reports that consensus estimates for S&P 500 earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014 have declined from over 8% a few months ago to under 3% currently. While estimates for all sectors have fallen, a large part of the overall decline is due to reduced profit expectations for the energy sector, which represented 8.44% of the S&P 500 Index as of the end of 2014. Earnings reporting season is due to kick off after the close of trading on January 12, with a report, as usual, from metals giant Alcoa.

    .

    .
    • Federal Reserve officials don't think current low inflation will be an obstacle for raising short-term interest rates, according to the minutes from the December meeting released Wednesday. Because lower energy prices and the stronger dollar will likely keep inflation below the Fed's 2% target for some time, "it was noted that the Federal Open Market Committee might begin normalization at a time when core inflation was near current levels," the minutes said. In that case, Fed officials said they "would want to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back toward 2% over time." In their discussion, Fed officials appeared upbeat about the outlook. They noted that upside risks "nearly balanced" the gloomy international outlook. The U.S. economy may end up showing more momentum than expected, several officials said.
    • The U.S. added 252,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% from 5.8%, but hourly wages declined and more Americans dropped out of the labor force. The labor-force participation rate dropped 0.2 percentage points in December to 62.7%, matching a postrecession low and a level last seen in 1978.
    .

    .
    "Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the last 12 weeks
    .
    .
    .

    .
    Looking Ahead:
    .
    • For the upcoming 5-day period (January 8-12), very cold weather will continue to dominate the central and eastern U.S. During the cold snap, snow showers and squalls will rage downwind of the Great Lakes. In contrast, mild, dry weather will prevail in much of the West. During the weekend, rain will develop in the western Gulf Coast region. As precipitation spreads northeastward early next week, the interaction between moisture and lingering cold air could result in snow, sleet, and freezing rain across parts of the South, East, and lower Midwest.
    • The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 13-17 calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in most areas east of a line from Texas to Wisconsin, while warmer-than-normal weather can be expected across the northern High Plains and the West. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation will be the probable outcome across the northern half of the nation, as well as southern California and environs, but wetter-than-normal conditions will likely prevail in the southern Atlantic States and southern portions of the Rockies and High Plains.
    .

    .
    .

    .
    Making a Call for the 2015 Markets:
    .
    Forecasters were turning in their forecasts for the 2015 price guesses for cattle. This must be a tough business of putting something on paper and knowing you will be wrong. Guesses were by quarter and there were few differences or surprises. Each forecast included an average for the year. The averages for the year were from $158-163. Reading the analysis was frequently a little like trying to read the small print on an online use agreement. Logic and reason often took a back seat to hunches.

    The guesses for the first quarter are already blown. The high guess was $164 for the first quarter. With last week's markets touching $169 and winter weather in place, the markets might surprise some this quarter. The gains in price can't all be at the feedlot level. In order to sustain the live market there will need to be associated and renewed demand at the boxed beef level.

    One observation is apparent from the second and third quarter guesses that range from $158-162 -- these levels will bring a lot of red ink to the feeding industry. Purchases of 800# feeder steers from $220-240 in recent times will require breakevens close to $170 with an open winter.  Increasing supplies of both poultry and pork will challenge beef at the meat counters. A dollar, that reached a 14 year high against the world currencies, will keep the pressure on our exports and encourage imports of beef.

    It seems a little futile to forecast prices when the best forecast available is provided for all to see. Futures prices represent all known knowledge and a proper balance of all guesses at any given point in time. A strange phenomena has developed recently as feeder futures have been leading the charge of price direction for live cattle futures. When feeder futures find sizable directional interest from the buy side or the sell side, it will move the markets a lot. Even a small hedge fund trader can feel macho when he stakes a 100 load bet in the feeder cattle and moves the market 200 points. It is a mistake for the live cattle traders to take their cue from action in the feeder contracts.

    The markets will start the year clean -- meaning inventories of both boxes and live cattle and feeder cattle will all be in short supply.

    Ag Center Cattle Report

    .

    .
    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
    .
    • Typical closeout for steers sold this week & hedged when placed on feed: ($127.68)
    • Typical closeout for un-hedged steers sold this week: $73.55
    • Projected closeout based on the futures & estimated Cost of Gain for steers placed on feed this week: ($161.36)
    .
    .

    .
    Slaughter Cattle:
    .
    Friday negotiated cash trading has been at a standstill in the Southern Plains and Colorado. In Nebraska and the Western Cornbelt negotiated cash trading has been inactive to limited with light demand. Not enough sales in any price range for a full market trend. The last reported market in the Southern Plains was on Tuesday. In the Texas Panhandle live sales sold from 168.00-170.00. In Kansas live sales sold at 170.00 with a few up to 170.50. Wednesday was the last reported market in Nebraska and the Western Cornbelt. In Nebraska live sales sold mostly at 172.00 and dressed sales sold mostly at 270.00. In the Western Cornbelt live sales sold at 170.00 and dressed sales sold at 270.00. Thus far for the week in Colorado a limited number of live sales have sold from 170.00-172.00.
     
    Livestock Slaughter under Federal Inspection:
                                              CATTLE     CALVES  HOGS       SHEEP
    Friday 01/09/2015        (est)    95,000        2,000     372,000      4,000
    Week ago (est)                     108,000       2,000     426,000       8,000
    Year ago (act)                       104,000       3,000     407,000       6,000
    Week to date (est)                 525,000     10,000   2,021,000    36,000
    Same Period Last Week (est) 428,000      8,000   1,669,000     33,000
    Same Period Last Year (act)   557,000    14,000   1,953,000     36,000

    Saturday 01/10/2015      (est)   13,000         0          142,000         0
    Week ago (est)                        24,000        0          329,000         0
    Year ago (act)                         16,000         0          136,000         0
    Week to date (est)                 538,000    10,000    2,163,000    36,000
    Same Period Last Week (est) 452,000      8,000    1,998,000    33,000
    Same Period Last Year* (act)  573,000    14,000    2,089,000    36,000
    2015 Year to Date                  670,000    12,000    2,918,000    44,000
    2014 *Year to Date                 862,000    21,000    3,271,000    52,000
    Percent change                    -22.2%      -43.3%      -10.8%     -15.4%

    Negotiated prices paid for Slaughter Steers and Heifers:

    Live basis:             Steers                              Heifers
    Over 80% Choice           -                                    -
    65 - 80% Choice            -                                    -
    35 - 65% Choice            -                                    -
    0 - 35% Choice              -                                    -
    Total all grades           -                                    -

    Dressed basis
    Over 80% Choice   266.00-266.00 avg 266.00     -
    65 - 80% Choice    265.00-265.00 avg 265.00   265.00-265.00 avg 265.00
    35 - 65% Choice            -                                    -
    0 - 35% Choice             -                                     -
    Total all grades    265.00-266.00 avg 265.25   265.00-265.00 avg 265.00

     

    .

    .
    National Grain Summary:
    .
    Compared to last week, grain and soybean bids were mixed.  Soybeans posted gains on good export demand and forecast for dry conditions in parts of South America.  Corn saw some pressure from increased producer selling and ethanol inventories.  Wheat saw gains early in the week on concerns of winter kill in the Central U.S. as temperatures dropped near or below zero.  However, pressure was noted later on a rising U.S. dollar and weak export trade.  Wheat was mostly 8-28 cents lower.  Corn was 13 cents lower to 19 cents higher.  Sorghum was 5 cents lower.  Soybeans were 24-33 cents higher.

    Corn Futures Summary: News of corn and sorghum sales boosted yellow grain prices. Talk of big South Korean tenders supported corn futures Thursday night and confirmation of a big U.S. sale to that country apparently spurred further gains today. News of a big sorghum sale also seemed to encourage bulls. The prospect of Monday’s major USDA reports may have stifled gains somewhat. March corn futures rallied 6.0 cents to $4.0025/bushel at their Friday settlement, while July added 5.0 to $4.145.

    Soybean Futures Summary: The soy complex ended the week in mixed fashion. The equity markets gave back a major portion of their midweek surge on Friday, with crude and palm oil prices dropping as well. Thus, the soyoil slide wasn’t surprising. Conversely, bean and meal traders seemed to be encouraged by news of strong corn exports despite recent U.S. dollar gains. Still, the looming USDA reports probably limited moves before the weekend. March soybean futures bounced 4.0 cents to $10.5225/bushel late Friday afternoon, while March soyoil dipped 0.08 to 33.68 cents/pound, and March meal inched up $1.9 to $349.1/ton.

    Wheat Futures Summary: Wheat futures remained relatively weak Friday. Little wheat news emerged before the weekend, so traders in those markets were probably adjusting their holdings ahead of Monday’s USDA reports. Thursday’s drop seemingly marked the start of fresh downward price leg, so persistent technical selling probably played a significant role in the late-week slide. March CBOT wheat closed 3.25 cents lower at $5.6375/bushel Friday, while March KC wheat slumped 7.25 cents to $6.005/bushel, and March MWE wheat slid 5.25 to $6.0325.

    .

    .
    .
    .
    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat
    .
    .
    .

    .
    Your Suggestions:
    .
    Our goal is for the Weekly Market Summary to provide a condensed, yet comprehensive, overview of the week's cattle market.  If you have a suggestion that would enhance the summary, use the link below to submit your suggestion. If we implement it, we'll send you a Cattle Range Knife as a token of our appreciation.
     
  • Submit Your Suggestion

  • .
    Although the information contained in this Market Summary is from sources believed to be accurate and timely, THE CATTLE RANGE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY OF ANY OF THE CONTENT PROVIDED, OR AS TO THE FITNESS OF THE INFORMATION FOR ANY PURPOSE.
    .
    Copyright © TM - The Cattle Range - All Rights Reserved
    .