Our latest report from Sterling Beef Profit Tracker shows a big improvement in feedlot margins, although they're still in the red, fed and feeder steers holding price levels fairly well, and packer margins still pretty well in black ink.
Choice boxed beef prices continued to drop on Tuesday, falling $1.30 to hit $246.66. The 27-day average price now rests at $250.65. Select boxed beef prices dropped further from $245.26 on Monday to $241.68 on Tuesday. This $3.58 drop brougth the 27-day average price to $244.46.
The grain markets traded mixed Monday as the slightly improved weather outlook and nervousness on Greece seemed to largely keep a lid on futures. Weekly export inspections for corn were 839,824 tonnes, according to the USDA, compared to 1.041 million tonnes last week. The 6 to 10 weather outlook is calling for below average rainfall and above average temps for much of the Midwest, though parts of Indiana and Ohio appear to have more rain in their forecast. Corn crop ratings, due out this afternoon, are expected to be 1-2% lower the 68% rating last week.
It is a truism in the commodity markets that “rain makes grain.” This month, that old adage is bumping up against another equally-valid axiom that “too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” Persistent rains across the Midwest have had the combined effect of degrading the condition of the corn crop and also preventing the planting of the last of soybean crop. Both of these factors are supportive of prices across the entire grain/oilseed complex.
Higher numbers of hogs, cattle and broiler chickens are gobbling up animal feed, eating into supplies that were expected to grow due to the loss of 48 million chickens and turkeys in the worst-ever outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history.