Markets — April 29, 2016
Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers continued mostly 5.00-10.00 lower throughout the week. The only bright spot was Wednesday when things looked to be turning around with a couple Wednesday auctions showing some strength, despite the CME board closing slightly lower after trending higher Monday and Tuesday. The mid-week weakness in the futures was a the spark that ignited the fire, confirming that early week gains would be short lived, as Thursday the board open lower and finish sharply lower. Last Friday’s afternoon Cattle on Feed Report had April 1 inventory 0.5 percent higher than last year at 10.85 million head; placements at 104.6 percent and marketing’s at 107.1 percent. Inventory was slightly lower than expected, with placements lighter than expected and marketing were higher than expectations. The report was more bullish than expected, but was not enough for the bearish outlook. A combination of decreased imports and the fed cattle futures decline appeared to play a role in placement during the month of March, as profit outlooks for late summer and fall looks bleak. USDA’s Cold Storage report showed total beef in storage down from last year and just slightly under the 5 year average, whic an be viewed as a positive moving into grilling season. However, even the few supportive signs than can be gleamed from those two reports are certainly not enough to change the current market’s bearish position. Protein sources are plentiful and beef demand is modest at best.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.