(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

March 20


This Week Last Week Last Year

85,700 222,100 375,200

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold 5.00 to 10.00 lower with some auctions being 12.00 to 15.00 lower. Auction receipts this week are the lightest non-holiday week for this report since the current format was instituted in 2002. The second largest non-holiday auction receipt week was week ending Aug. 23, 2019, a couple weeks after a fire that shuttered one fed cattle slaughter plant.

Livestock and grain markets continued to drop, following the financial markets lower at the start of the week. The Dow Jones set the tone for the week posting the largest single day point loss that the index has ever seen, losing more than 2,000 points during Monday’s trading session.

Market volatility spiked and the VIX value (measures market volatility) was over 80 for the first time since October of 2008.

Gasoline futures hit an all-time low this week (they started trading in 2005). The record low in the Gas markets are due to a combination of oil markets in a free fall from the price war between large oil producing countries and demand was abated from several countries, including the U.S.

Many countries were essentially forced to shut down domestic and international travel for a period of time. Gasoline futures were trading more than 35 cents below ethanol futures earlier this week, diminishing the demand for ethanol blending in the near future.

The cattle markets have been hit even harder. The equity that has been flushed from the country balance sheets in the last month would be hard to estimate at this point.

Ranchers continue to go about their business continuing their day to day duties as that’s what they know. Those that have to keep a balance sheet up for their lender are astonished at the difference between current and last quarter.

Some Farmers and ranchers are at the door of their lender this week after the Fed dropped interest rates to virtually nothing.

This week’s fed cattle trade occurred Monday through Wednesday this week with Southern Plains live trade from 110.00 to 113.00 and dressed trade in Nebraska at 170.00 to 175.00.

Dressed Steer weights for the week ending March 7 reported at 903 lbs, 28 lbs heavier than a year ago and 24 lbs heavier than the previous five-year average.

Cattle on Feed Report released today had On Feed at 100 percent; Placements at 92 percent and Marketings at 105 percent.

As businesses and schools continue to close along with restaurants, consumers that are being urged to stay home have swarmed the meat cases to stockpile protein items. Reports of empty meat cases started last week all over the country. The magnitude of the buying has caught retailers by surprise and as this consumer driven market rages on, it appears that the cut-out will be volatile in the short term. This rally in the cut-out is the fastest increase recorded for the cut-out. On the week, Choice cutout closed 47.74 higher at 253.75, while Select was 42.29 higher at 240.17; widening the Choice-Select spread to 13.58.

One item of interest in the coming months will be the amount of frozen boxed beef products that have come out of cold storage to meet the domestic protein demand. Auction volume this week included 44 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 43 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

March 20


This Week Last Week Last Year

0 0 3,260

Compared to March 13: Feeder steers and heifers not established again this week. Sharp declines in the commodity futures has limited both buyer and seller interest. Cattle futures sharply higher March 20 but still along way from where they were two weeks ago. Beef demand remains very good and this is slowly trickling down. Supply consisted of 0 percent over 600 lbs. and 0 percent heifers. Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weighting points with 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 4-12 cent slide on yearlings from base weights. Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.

Feeder Steers: No Test

Feeder Heifers: No Test

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