Swine decline, cattle crash while grains rise
After months of rising livestock prices, hogs reversed sharply this week and a two-week decline in cattle accelerated. Heavy weights and overfed animals contributed to bearish factors in both markets with a decline in Chinese demand for pork exacerbating the negative supply/demand formula. For the year 2020, China has been the largest buyer of buyer of U.S. pork but is expected to increase their own production by more than 9%.
Cattle’s steep downtrend tracks recent dressed steer weights of 928 pounds up from 901 a year ago. After the close of trade on Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is slated to release the Cattle on Feed Report which will be scrutinized by ranchers and investors for clues to our next big move in the price of the cattle.
Hogs for December delivery traded at 67 cents per pound as of noon Friday while December live cattle sold at $1.04 per pound.
Corn, Wheat, and Beans Continue Upward Path: Tight supplies in South America and Ukraine helped corn continue higher this week while speculation in wheat was driven mostly by dry weather in Russia and the U.S. plains.
Soybeans continued higher on continued interest from China and fears most world supplies have been declining. China’s purchase of U.S. beans is now expected to exceed the record of 36 million metric tons set back in 2017. November beans pierced $10.85 per bushel on Thursday, establishing a new 4 year high.
Our bean crop is now approximately 83% harvested, faster than the 75% average. The corn crop is about 60% harvested, leaving it exposed to some potential weather concerns. As of noon Friday, November beans brought $10.73 which December corn traded at $4.18.
Farmers Head for the Polls: Farmers must study the weather, soil conditions, fertilizers, equipment, labor, land costs, seeds, weeds, insects, interest rates, and fuel prices.
Neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden can control many of these factors, but foreign trade agreements, climate change, taxes, immigration, and much more are on the ballot this year, with potential impacts for many citizens, especially farmers.
Alex Breitinger is a commodity futures broker with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas.