Compared to last week, there was some early fireworks show on this holiday shortened week with a volatile ride in the cattle futures and major moves in the grain trade. Several auctions held special yearling sales this week, on Monday yearling feeders were mostly steady to 3.00 lower at two of the major auctions at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City with 6,660 head and Joplin Regional Stockyards offering 5,395 on a yearling special. On Tuesday feeder contracts traded limit to near limit lower and auctions responded with caution flags waving with several auctions 5.00-10.00 lower.
Cattle futures posted a strong rally on Wednesday after “Gloom and Doom” on Tuesday with Live Cattle contracts limit higher and Feeder Cattle contracts getting back most their limit losses from the day before as order buyers received a green light to do business. Fed cattle prices on Wednesday were 2.00 higher trading at 150.00 on live sales in the South with live sales in Nebraska ranging from 150.00-153.50, 1.00-4.00 higher and dressed sales in the North traded steady to 3.00 higher at 240.00. Order buyers started doing business on very good demand at the Green City Livestock Auction in Green City, MO offering near 4500 head of yearlings with over 300 head of 600-650 lb steers averaging 623 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 283.75 and over 300 head of their bigger brothers averaging 817 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 225.29. Farther west in Kearney, NE at the Huss Platte Valley Livestock Auction sold over 250 head of 850-900 lbs steers averaging 875 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 221.46 and over 550 head of steers averaging 921 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 216.30.
Feeder calves traded very uneven on a light test. The spark that got the fireworks started was USDA’s Grain Stocks Report on Tuesday with all grains trading sharply higher with September corn trading 30 cents higher, August soybeans 55 cents higher and wheat ranging from 28-32 cents higher.
Corn stocks came in under average estimates of 4.555 bb fell to 4.465 bb with estimated corn acres at 88.9 million acres, about 2 percent lower than last year’s planted acres. This would be the lowest planted corn acres since 2010 and the thought that a “big crop could get smaller” shook the confidence of the bear. Corn stocks are not in a tight situation but the market is becoming somewhat nervous due to the wet weather problems across the Midwest.
This summer has seen some of the highest rainfall totals on record in key growing states potentially drowning out production. One of the key numbers in the grain report was soybean stocks for June 1, at 625 million bushels which was 45 million bushels lower than average trade estimates. Soybean acres were estimated at 85.139 million acres which was 32,000 acres lower than the average trade guess. Auction volume included 60 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 36 percent heifers. All of us here at the Federal/State Market News Service wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July.