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Weekly Market Summary
For the week ending September 15, 2017
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The Cattle Range Market Trendlines:
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The only gains of note in the cattle/beef complex this week were made by feeder & stocker cattle.  The 60 day trendline illustrates that the complex has been trapped in a narrow trading range for the past 30+ days with the market fundamentals providing an advantage to neither the "demand bulls" nor the "supply bears."

Next Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed Report, followed by the start of the fall run of feeder cattle and stocker calves, should provide clues whether this equilibrium will continue, and if not, the market's new direction.

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10 Day Market Trendline
Change from Previous Day: +1.00%
  Change from 10 Days Ago: +3.96%
  Change from 60 Days Ago: -9.70%
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60 Day Market Trendline
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The Trendlines are indicators of overall cattle/beef market strength and are based on daily market factors.  Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 12 market indicators compared to the previous trading day. 
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  • View previous Summaries in the..WMS Archives

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  • For daily market news, check Cattle Industry News or Market Reports
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    Regular Contents: 
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  • Weekly Market Overview.
  • National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary.
  • Stocker & Feeder Steers.
  • Stocker & Feeder Cattle Weekly Receipts.
  • 5 Year Moving Avg. - Stocker, Feeder, & Slaughter Steers.
  • Mexican Feeder Cattle Weekly Import Summary.
  • Selected Auction Reports.
  • Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle.
  • Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs.
  • Canadian Cattle.
  • USDA National Retail Beef Report.
  • Photo of the Week.
  • Shootin' the Bull Weekly Analysis.
  • U.S. Dollar - 6 Month Chart.
  • Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers.
  • Feeder Steers/Corn Correlation.
  • Slaughter Cows & Bulls.
  • Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection.
  • Weekly Hay Reports.
  • Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review.
  • Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Cattle & Corn.
  • Stock Markets & Economic News.
  • Weather Outlook.
  • Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss).
  • Slaughter Cattle.
  • Corn Crop Condition.
  • National Grain Summary.
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    Of Possible Interest:  The views expressed in the content below are included in the WMS because we found them to be of interest but do not necessarily reflect the views of The Cattle Range.
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    Weekly Market Overview:
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    On-Line Store
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    National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
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    RECEIPTS: Auctions   Direct  Video/Internet    Total
    This Week     193,100     58,100        20,800         272,000
    Last Week     126,500     40,200        11,600         178,300
    Last Year       153,300     36,000        88,500         277,800

    Compared to last week, steers and heifers traded mostly steady to 6.00 higher. Demand was moderate to very good, with active trade. Demand has remained good for the past several weeks, as grain is readily available and at relatively cheap prices. On Wednesday at the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, South Dakota, buyers had the opportunity to choose from a large supply of quality cattle. There were some noteworthy sales, with nearly three and a half loads of steers weighing an average of 942 pounds selling at 157.10.

    CME live and feeder cattle futures traded mixed throughout the week. Compared to last Friday, October live cattle futures closed 43 points higher at 107.75 and December was 112.82, 3 points lower. Feeder cattle futures held triple digit gains from the week. Compared to last Friday, September futures closed 2.35 higher at 147.87 and October was 148.42, up 2.23. On Thursday, cash trade in Nebraska was limited on moderate demand with a few dressed sales from 167.00-168.00. However, there were not enough for a market trend. Last week in Nebraska live sales were at 105.00, with dressed sales from 165.00-168.00 on a light test. So far the for the week, trading has been at a standstill in the Southern Plains. Last week in the Southern Plains, live trades were 105.00 with a light test noted in Kansas.

    Harvest is officially in full swing, with corn harvest reported as 60 percent complete in Texas, 10 percent in Kansas and 12 percent in Missouri. NASS’s Crop Production Report was released on Tuesday. Corn production is projected at 14.2 billion bushels, with an expected average yield of 169.9 bushels per acre. Soybean production is estimated at 4.43 billion bushels, with an expected average yield of 49.9 bushels per acre. Both corn and soybean yields are slightly higher than August, but lower than last year.

    Throughout Montana, snow is falling with many mountain passes anticipating 8 inches of snow by Saturday and 12 to 18 inches expected above pass level. This is welcomed moisture, as the state has been engulfed in wildfires due to drought. Hopefully the snow can provide relief to the area, as there is currently 22 fires burning in the state, impacting over 580,000 acres.

    USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report was released on Tuesday. U.S. beef production for 2017 saw a decrease of 140 million pounds, with production now at 26.559 billion pounds. Production also declined for 2018, now at 27.275 billion pounds, down 85 million pounds.  One of the driving factors to this is reduced slaughter weights. Although total slaughter headcounts have been at or above last year’s numbers, slaughter weights have been declining. The increase in headcount is not enough to offset the lower slaughter weights, leading to a decline in production. On Tuesday, the Choice-Select spread was negative 7 cents, with Choice boxed-beef at 190.79 and Select boxed-beef at 190.86. This was short-lived, as today’s Choice-Select spread closed at 5.57. Compared to last Friday, Choice boxed-beef closed at 191.42, dn .46 and Select boxed-beef was dn 4.12 at 185.85. Auction volume this week included 58 percent weight over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.

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    Stocker Steers:
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    Feeder Steers:
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    Stocker & Feeder Cattle Weekly Receipts:
    Weekly sales of Stocker Calves & Feeder Cattle sold via auctions, direct country sales, and video/Internet sales as reported by the UDSA Market News
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    Five Year Moving Average - Stocker, Feeder, & Slaughter Steers:
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    Cattle Futures Summary: Live cattle futures saw gains of 27.5 cents to $1.05 on Friday. Feeder cattle futures were up 92.5 cents to $1.425, as Sep was 1.59% higher than the end of last week. The CME feeder cattle index was up 27 cents from the previous day at $149.73 on September 14.Wholesale beef prices were mixed again in the Friday afternoon report, with the Ch/Se spread widening to $5.57. It had been in negative territory early in the week. Choice was up 42 cents at $191.42, as select boxes were 87 cents lower at $185.85. FI cattle slaughter is estimated at 642,000 head including Saturday, which is 31,000 head larger than the same week in 2016. Cash trade in the North was reported at $105-$108 live and $166-$168 across the North today. Spec funds were shown to reverse trend and increase their net long by 4,400 contracts in live futures and options contracts, to a net position of 82,257 contracts.

    Futures Positions:




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    Mexican Feeder Cattle Weekly Import Summary
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    Receipts EST: 7,500      Week ago Act: 5,254      Year ago Act: 4,960

    Compared to last week steer calves and yearlings 5.00-6.00 higher. Heifers 5.00-11.00 higher. Trade active, demand good. Supply consisted of steers and spayed heifers weighing 300-600 lbs. 

    Feeder steers: Medium and large 1&2, 300-400 lbs 172.00-183.00 400-500 lbs 162.00-173.00; 500-600 lbs 152.00-163.00; Medium and large 2&3, 300-400 lbs 162.00-172.00; 400-500 lbs 152.00-162.00; 500-600
    lbs 142.00-152.00.

    Feeder heifers: Medium and large 1&2, 300-400 lbs 152.00-168.00; 400-500 lbs 142.00-158.00; 500-600 lbs 132.00-148.00. 

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    Selected Auction Reports:
    "Click" on individual.auction links.for complete report
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    Green Forest Livestock Auction - Green Forest AR
    Receipts:  398  Last Week:  688  Year Ago:  1094
    Compared to one week earlier slaughter cows and slaughter bulls steady, all feeder classes steady. Slaughter cows 12 percent; slaughter bulls 4 percent; and feeders 84 percent. In the feeder supply, steers made up approximately 6 percent of the run; heifers 40 percent;

    El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
                                    Receipts            Week Ago             Year Ago
    Total Receipts:        10,257                 4,505                     7,218
    Feeder Cattle:   10,257(100%)      4,505(100%)      7,218(100%)
    *** Final report *** Compared to last Week:  Feeder steers sold 3.00-5.00 higher, feeder heifers traded mostly steady to firm.  Steer and heifer calves traded 2.00-3.00 higher with exception of reputation ranch calves trading sharply higher.

    Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
    Receipts:  2420    Last Week:  1311    Year Ago:  1091
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold firm to 5.00 higher.  Trade was active on good demand.  Summer-like temperatures returned to the Panhandle.

    Cullman Stockyard - Cullman AL
    Receipts:  774    Last Week:  846    Year Ago:  1325
    Compared to last week: Slaughter cows sold steady, slaughter bulls sold steady. Feeder bulls and steers sold 4.00 to 4.00 higher. Feeder heifers sold 2.00 to 3.00 higher. Replacement cows and pairs sold mostly steady.

    Pratt Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction - Pratt, KS
    Receipts:  4887     Last Week:  2877    Year Ago:  2753
    Compared to last week: Feeder steers 650-850 lbs steady, with instances weak. Feeder heifers 650-700 lbs 9.00 higher; 700-1000 lbs steady to 3.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves steady to higher undertone noted on a light supply.

    Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
    Receipts:  2752            Week Ago: 2254           Year Ago: 1831
    Compared to a week ago:  Feeder steers under 600 lbs 3.00-5.00 higher; over 600 lbs steady to 6.00 higher.  Heifers 1.00-3.00 higher, instances 7.00 higher on 500-600 lb offerings.  Slaughter cows and bulls mostly 2.00-3.00 lower. Trade active, demand good.

    Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
    Receipts:  3682    Last Week:  1840    Year Ago:  2063
    Compared to last week: Steers 600-1050 lbs steady to 5.00 higher; 600 lbs and under higher undertone noted. Heifers 750-1000 lbs steady to 3.00 higher; 750 lbs and under higher undertone noted.

    Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
    Receipts:  1692    Last Week:  3593    Year Ago:  1513
    Compared to last week:  Much lighter receipts than seen last week. Very limited comparable sales for both steers and heifers with mostly steady undertones noted.

    Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
    Receipts:  1800    Last Week:  2000    Year Ago:  1500
    Compared to last Thursday at the same sale, stocker and feeder cattle 3.00-4.00 lower in a light test. Trade slow with moderate to good demand. Slaughter cows and bulls 4.00-6.00 lower as supply exceeds demand.

    Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
    Cattle and Calves: 2123      Week ago: 1824      Year Ago:  1648
    Compared to last week:  Steer and heifer calves 350-650 lbs firm, instances steers under 450 lbs 2.00-3.00 higher.  Feeder steers and heifers over 600 lbs firm to 2.00 higher.

    Denison Wtd Avg Feeder Cattle Auction - Denison IA
    Receipts:  2230
    No comparison due to no recent sale. Offering of feeder cattle over 600 pounds was 37.9 percent with 63.1 percent steers and 36.9 percent heifers.

    Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
                                     Receipts        Last Reported   Year Ago         (8/28/2017)
    Total Receipts:          8,775                4,911               6,073
    Feeder Cattle:     8,775(100%)    4,911(100%)   6,073(100%)
    *** Add-Close Updating with Actual Receipts*** Compared to two weeks ago:  Feeder steers and heifers trading mostly 2.00-6.00 higher.  Steer and heifer calves lightly tested  but a much higher undertone is noted as evidenced by instances of 7.00 higher on heavier calves.

    Joplin Regional Stockyards Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg - Carthage MO
                                   Receipts        Last Reported          Year Ago      (8/28/2017)
    Total Receipts:        8,311                 4,226                    5,737
    Feeder Cattle:    8,311(100%)    4,226(100%)       5,737(100%)
    ***CLOSE***   No sale last week due to the Labor Day Holiday, compared to two weeks ago, steer calves over 450 lbs steady to 4.00 higher, heifer calves over 450 lbs 3.00 to 6.00 higher, steer and heifer calves under 450 lbs 5.00 to 10.00 higher,

    Blue Grass South Livestock Market - Stanford KY
    Receipts:  344    Last Week:  0    Year Ago:  724
    Compared to last Monday:No comparison due to Labor Day Holiday last week. Feeders-269,Slaughter-62,Replacements-13 Supply included 32 percent over 600 lbs and 34 percent heifers.

    Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
    Receipts: 3996    Two Weeks Ago:  1408    Year Ago:  2653
    Compared to two weeks ago:   Much large receipts than two weeks ago with limited comparisons able to be made, however higher undertones evident for both steers and heifers.  Demand was good to very good, with good buyer attendence as there were several long strings of both backgrounded cattle and those off grass.

    Tri-State Livestock Auction Market - McCook NE
    Receipts:  3570    Last Week:  0    Year Ago:  2750
    Today was Special Calf & Yearling Sale BBQ Sale. No comparison To last week, due to no feeder sale. Demand was good on all weights Of cattle offered. Steers accounted for 56 percent and heifers 44 Percent of the offering today. Weights over 600 lbs 25 percent of
    The offering. The rest was made up of weigh cows and bulls.

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    Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:
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    WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
    Receipts: 540      Week Ago: 542       Year Ago: 2,457
    Not enough comparable sales from last week for a market trend. Demand was moderate but availability of non-committed direct yearlings’ feeder cattle appear to be in short supply. 

    AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
    Confirmed: 5175 
    Compared to last week, 325 lb Holstein calves for Jan delivery traded 3.00-5.00 higher.  Trade active, demand good.  Bulk of supply consisted of Holstein steers weighing 300-325 lbs for Nov/Jan delivery. 
    Cattle weighing over 600 lbs totaled 4 percent.

    IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
    Receipts:  55    Last Week:  0     Last Year:  542
    Compared to the last week:  Feeder steers not well tested.  Feeder heifers not tested.  Demand good for light available numbers.  Prices based on net weights FOB after a 3 percent shrink or equivalent and 5-10 cent slide on calves and 4-6 cent slide on yearlings from base weights.

    Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
    Receipts: 2,830        Last Week 3,470        Last Year 2,906 
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers had limited  comparable trades on a Current FOB basis but a much higher undertone was noted.  Demand moderate to good.  Supply consisted of 92 percent over 600 lbs; 24 percent heifers.

    Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
    Receipts:  7001    Last Week:  4425    Year Ago:  3627
    Compared with last week: Steers 6.00-7.00 higher on current FOB, heifers in a limited test, 2.00-3.00 higher. Demand very good for feeders, corn harvest getting a good start state wide.

    Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
    Receipts: 347          Last Week 0          Last Year: 0 
    Compared to last week:  No comparable recepts for feeder steers and heifers.   Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weigh point with a 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 8-12 cent slide on calves and 4-8 cent slide on yearlings from base weights.

    New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
    Receipts:  1400    Last Week:  3800    Year Ago:  1300
    Compared to last week:  Not enough comparable sales of Current FOB steers or heifers for a market trend.  Trade activity was moderate on good demand. Supply consisted of 90 percent steers and 10 percent heifers.

    Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
    Receipts:  3850    Last Week:  1600    Year Ago:  N/A
    Compared to last week, feeder cattle steady to 3.00 higher, as yearlings are in short supply this time of year. Trade slow to moderate. Demand remains very good. The feeder supply included 59 percent steers and 41 percent heifers.

    Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
    Receipts: 4,235        Last Week 3,948        Last Year 3,505 
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers had limited comparable trades but a much higher undertone was noted. Current FOB Basis last week. Weather remains much cooler than normal.  Receipts this week consisted of 95 percent over 600 lbs and 53 percent heifers.

    Texas Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
    Receipts:  31,100    Last Week:  17,900    Year Ago:  20,400
    Compared to last week:  Current FOB sales of steers and heifers sold mostly 2.00 to 6.00 higher.  Trade was active on good demand.  Receipts increased at auctions and on directs as sellers heard of higher prices this week.
     

  • Extensive U.S. & Canadian Auction Results are available on The Cattle Range
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    Representative Sales of Cows & Pairs:
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    Reported by.USDA Market News for the week ending September 15th
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    • El Reno, OK: 
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yr old 900-1275 lb cow 3-7 months bred 1000.00-1200.00; 3-6 yr old 975-1425 lb black cow 3-7 months bred 1260.00-1385.00; 7-10 yr old 1150-1450 lb cow 5-8 months bred 1000.00-1175.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-3 yr old 950-1200 lb black cow w/125-300 lb calf 1425.00-150.00; 3-5 yr old 1175-1325 lb cow some bred back w/125-200 lb calf 1450.00-1650.00; 1-8 yr old 875-1200 lb cow w/75-125 lb calf 1175.00-1300.00 per head. 
    • McAlester, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-8 yr old 1125-1350 lb cow 4-8 months bred 1025.00-1300.00; 1-6 yr old 900-1075 lb cows 4-8 months bred 880.00-975.00; 9-10 yr old 1000-1400 lb cows 4-8 months bred 900.00-1160.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-10 yr old 925-1400 lb cow w/125-275 lb calf 960.00-1400.00 per pair. 
    • Oklahoma City, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-6 yr old 775-1400 lb cows 3-7 months bred 825.00-1250.00; 3-6 yr old 1150-1300 lb cows some black 3-7 months bred 1260.00-1400.00; 7-10 yr old 1175-1500 lb cows 6-7 months bred 835.00-1035.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  5-6 yr old 1300-1325 lb cows some black w/50-100 lb calf 1125.00-1525.00 per pair. 
    • Woodard, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  5-6 yr old 1100-1300 lb black cows 2-4 months bred 925.00-1125.00’ 6-9 yr old 1050-1400 lb black cows 4-7 months bred 975.00-935.00. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-9 yr old 1025-1175 lb cow some black w/250-300 lb calf 1275.00-1350.00 per head. 
    • Clovis, NM:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young to long solid mouth 1060-1490 lb cows 1-8 months bred 825.00-1225.00, per head; middle aged 1000-1645 lb short solid mouth cows, 1-6 months bred 700.00-940.00, per head; aged 1000-1255 lb cows 1-6 months bred 625.00-800.00, per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2: Young to long solid mouth 900-1200 lb cows w/125-275 lb calves 1150.00-1350.00, per pair; aged indiv 1000 lb cow w/200 lb calf 1050.00, per pair. 
    • Burwell, NE:
      • Spring Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young 1152-1235 lbs 1235.00; Solid Mouth 1318 lbs 1100.00; Short Solid 1345 lbs 850.00; Broken Mouth 1370 lbs 850.00. 
      • Fall Pair Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young 1443 lb cows w/90 lb calves 1535.00.  Summer Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young 1285 lb cow w/125 lb calve 1285.00. 
    • Joplin, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  1 1/2 yrs 2nd stage couple pkgs. 885-900 lbs 1350.00-1400.00; 2-7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 1090-1360 lbs 1075.00-1450.00, 1st stage 975-1275 lbs 1000.00-1150.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1095-1365 lbs 720.00-1035.00. Large 1-2  4-6 yrs 2ndand 3rd stage 1450-1525 lbs 1200.00-1500.00; short and solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1475-1655 lbs 810.00-1010.00. Medium and Large 2  2-6 yrs 2nd stage 790-1285 lbs 800.00-885.00. Medium 1-2  2-6 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 875-1050 lbs 800.00-1075.00, 1st stage 1000-1020 lbs 800.00-910.00; aged 2nd stage 1000 lb indiv. 600.00 per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-6 yrs 1050-1250 lb cows w/babies to 260 lb calves 1575.00-1750.00; short and solid mouth 1220-1365 lb cows w/babies to 200 lb calves 1200.00-1350.00; broken mouth to aged 1100-1350 lb cows w/babies to 190 lb calves 1000.00-1150.00. Medium and Large 2  5 yr 1175 lb cow w/baby calf 1175.00. Medium 1-2  4 yr 970 lb cow w/baby calf 1100.00 per pair. 
    • Springfield, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short and solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 970-1305 lbs 1075.00-1300.00, 1st stage 900-1280 lbs 975.00-1100.00; short and solid mouth to aged most 2nd few 3rd stage 1095-1340 lbs 720.00-950.00. Large 1-2  short and solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1380-1515 lbs 935.00-1025.00. Medium and Large 2  5-6 yrs 2nd stage 865-1155 lbs 760.00-860.00, 1st stage 1040 lb indiv. 850.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd stage 1025-1080 lbs 595.00-650.00. Medium 1-2  2-6 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 710-935 lbs 850.00-1025.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1010-1025 lbs 610.00-850.00 per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  4 yrs to short and solid mouth 1150-1315 lb cows w/babies to 200 lb calves 1335.00-1385.00; short and solid mouth to aged 1125-1240 lb cows w/babies to 320 lb calves and a few rebred 1100.00-1210.00. Large 1-2  short and solid mouth 1395-1455 lb cows w/babies to 225 lb calves 1125.00-1285.00. Medium and Large 2  2-3 yrs 755-955 lb cows w/babies to 245 lb calves 1000.00-1150.00. Medium 1-2  2-6 yrs 725-905 lb cows w/babies to 395 lb calves and a few rebred 1235.00-1475.00; short and solid mouth 1005 lb cow w/150 lb calf 1125.00 per pair. 
    • West Plains, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yr old 975-1435 lb cows in the 2nd to 3rd stage 1000.00-1350.00 per head; Short-solid mouth 1231-1490 lb cows in the 2nd to 3rd stage 950.00-1075.00 per head. Medium and Large 2  2-6 yr old 790-1265 lb cows in the 1st-3rd stage 700.00-1000.00 per head; 7 yrs to Short-solid mouth 1000-1360 lb cows in the 2nd to 3rd stage 700.00-925.00 per head. 
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yr to short-solid mouth 828-1310 lb cows with 150-300 lb calves 1250.00-1300.00 per pair.  Medium and Large 2 2-7 yr old 680-1150 lb cows with 125-200 lb calves 850.00-1150.00 per pair. 
    • Arkansas:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 year old 850-1250 second & third stage 91.00-101.00/925.00-1025.00, first stage open 75.00-85.00, 7-10 year old second & third stage 66.00-76.00/725.00-825.00 per head. 
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 yr old 800-1200 lb cow w/100-200 lb calf 1100.00-1200.00, few to 1350.00, 7-10 yr old cow w/100-200 lb calf 925.00-1025.00 per pair. 
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    Canadian Cattle:
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    Alberta Beef Producers: Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with bids strengthening from Wednesday to Thursday. Dressed sales have been reported from 222.00-227.00 delivered. Buyers were indicating cattle that they bought this week would be lifted in 2-3 weeks. Cash to futures basis levels did weaken this week but remain stronger than the five-year historical average.

    Cattle market information below is from Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. More market information, analysis and statistics are available by becoming a Canfax subscriber by calling 403-275-5110 or at www.canfax.ca.

    Fed cattle lower

    The Canfax weighted fed steer average was $133.58 per hundredweight, down about $4. Heifers averaged $132.74.

    Dressed sales were $224-$225 delivered, generally $7-$8.50 per cwt. lower than the previous week.

    All three federally inspected Alberta packers procured cattle and were scheduling for two to three week delivery.

    Canadian steer carcasses for the week ending Sept. 2 fell one pound to 906 lb. They were 15 lb. lighter than last year.

    Feedlot inventories were generally current, and dressing percentages are reported around the standard steer benchmarks of 60 percent and heifers at 59.5 percent.

    Weekly western Canadian fed slaughter to Sept. 2 fell four percent to 41,141 head.

    Weekly exports to Aug. 26 rebounded 40 percent to 5,939 head. For the year they are up eight percent at 205,346 head.

    Alberta weekly fed prices have been tracking the 2016 and five-year price trend for the past 10 weeks. Annual lows usually occur between mid-September and mid-October. Large feeder placements in the first half of this year will maintain an adequate market-ready supply, so annual lows this year could occur in mid to late October.

    In the United States, a week-long standoff broke late in the week with a few dressed sales in the north steady to $3 higher at US$168 delivered. Limited live trade in the north and south was at $105, up about 50 cents.

    Cows down

    Volumes seasonally increased, but were relatively modest even with dry conditions.

    D1, D2 cows ranged $82-$98 to average $89.62 per cwt., down $5.88. D3 cows ranged $78-$87 to average $82. Rail grade cows ranged $178-$183.

    Slaughter bulls averaged $108.54, down $4.91.

    Large fed cattle supplies and the continued premium that Canadian cows have over the U.S. market have reduced demand for non-fed animals.

    The stronger Canadian dollar is also adding pressure to the markets for cows and ground beef.

    Supplies will increase soon as cow-calf producers cull herds to match winter feed supplies.

    Feeders mixed

    Steers weakened while heifers were steady with light heifers in good demand.

    Yearling price averages were under pressure on limited numbers and quality at auction.

    Most yearlings are now trading on electronic sales or sold privately.

    Overall, auction volumes were steady but larger than a year ago.

    Forward-sold calf prices are well supported, and the large lots are often fetching premiums over the cash market.

    Steers 500 lb. for fall delivery were mostly at $205-$220 per cwt.

    The feeder cash-to-futures basis weakened a couple of dollars but is historically strong.

    The 750 lb. basis was $18.15 while 850 lb. was $6.43. It was the fifth consecutive week that they have been positive.

    September tends to be the strongest basis month of the year.

    Chicago cattle futures showed good strength last week, but the Canadian dollar rose to US82.5 cents, the strongest in more than two years.

    Yearling prices should remain well supported on modest offerings and solid feedlot demand.

    Calf volumes will likely start to pick up as producers complete harvest and as pastures dry up. Calf prices could start to see seasonal price pressure.

    US beef flat

    Choice rose 22 cents to US$192.13 per cwt. and Select was down $1.18 at $190.16.

    The Choice-Select spread widened to $1.97 per cwt., but re-mained narrower than last year’s $6.51.

    Lower production in the holiday-shortened week provided some price support. Also, the recent decline in cut-out value combined with grilling demand for the Labour Day holiday encouraged beef features at the retail sector.

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    Canadian Cattle Prices:
    Prices have been converted to U.S. $/CWT. Grades changed to approximate U.S. equivalents
    Exchange Rate: Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.8211 U.S. dollars
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    Prices for the week ending September 8th:
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    The "Nord Fork"

    Replaces Flankers at Branding
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    Changing Marketing Plans - The Contra Effect
    Ag Center Cattle Report
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    It should be no surprise to most traders that futures prices directly impact the marketing plans of those with cattle on feed. Two important aspects of futures prices directly influence how many cattle are sold each week and at what price. These influences have a material bearing on both the short term prices and the longer term prices. In each case the futures price level tends to create a contra impact on the cash markets.

    The first impact is simply a result of the price level of futures. If futures prices in the out months are higher then people tend to delay marketing plans to capture the anticipated premiums futures are forecasting. Alternatively, if futures are forecasting lower prices cattle owners tend to push marketing plans forward to capture higher cash prices now. These actions and changes in marketing plans are independent of risk protections and influence the weekly decisions by all owners on when to sell their cattle. The feeding industry has benefited all year from the heavy discounts in futures prices that caused owners to market cattle early and the result created less tonnage and higher prices than futures predicted.

    The second impact is the basis level. This primarly influences the hedged sellers of cattle. A poor basis is one when cattle owners sell cash cattle at a discount to the spot futures month. The live cattle contract trades every other month so if the basis is poor, sellers tend to hold cattle until closer to the contract expiration in order to hope for convergence of cash to futures. Of recent, hedged feeders have been spoiled into the belief that cash to futures basis would always be positive and some forecast breakevens based on that premise.

    The current futures market, building premiums into futures prices, will change many marketing plans. Cattle in the feedlot are losing money and people are seeking a pathway for improving their positions. Cattle sold at $105 this past week will cause hedged operations to cover futures prices at $107+. This will encourage more hedged cattle owners to delay marketing cattle into October when cash and futures are expected to converge. Likewise, unhedged cattle owners will look at the October board and decide to delay marketing plans to capture a higher price. And even those anticipating sales in October will start changing plans to hold on to the cattle until December and capture another $5 for their cattle.

    These changes in marketing plans and selling prices also impact packers. You won't find many weak sellers when the futures contracts are selling premium to cash. It is easy to turn down a $103 bid when futures for the next month are $107. The weak sellers come along when packers bid $103 and October futures prices are $98.

    Reluctant sellers hold cattle and holding cattle past normal marketing intentions translates into heavier marketing weights. Heavier marketing weights means more beef tonnage. Combining more tonnage with more numbers and a limited slaughter capacity and you create an unhealthy environment for beef prices. These conditions also benefit packer leverage in the weekly face off with cattle owners.  There is some theshold when holding cattle ceases to benefit the cattle owner. Holding cattle to a point when heavy carcass penalties exceed improved pricing is one point. Moreover, the last 100# of gain is often misunderstood by many cattle owners. The last 100 lbs. is the least efficient weight placed on the animals and often exceeds the selling price.

    Many commentators and analysts constantly warn cattle feeders to stay current and don't let cattle build up. They speak to the good of the industry and the importance of increasing tonnage on the market from over fed cattle. Unfortunately, those warnings will fall on deaf ears and each operation will be motivated by self interest and the contra effect will prove valid one more time.

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    Buy Live Cattle & Sell Feeders Says French Bank
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    France's third largest bank, Societe Generale, recommended a split bet on the cattle complex – with a short bet on feeder animals spread against a long position in fattened stock – seeing a reversal of the recent price trend.

    Futures in live cattle, animals ready for slaughter, have "underperformed", dropping late last month to a nine-month low of 104.05 cents a pound in Chicago, hit by a dent to demand from the high beef prices which reigned until mid-summer, the bank said.

    "Record high beef prices have negatively impacted [US] beef demand since July," said SocGen analyst Rajesh Singla.

    However, this dynamic is now poised to reverse, with the bank forecasting that "lower beef prices should facilitate a recovery in beef demand", seen growing on both domestic and export markets.

    'Consumption to grow'

    In the US itself, the US Department of Agriculture on Tuesday forecast per capita demand for beef growing by 3.6% this year, to 57.6 pounds, while growing by a further 1.6% in 2018.

    "After remaining on a downtrend during 2007-15, per capita beef consumption in the US is expected to grow for a third consecutive year in 2018," Mr Singla said, noting support from factors such as a low unemployment and growing disposable incomes.

    US beef exports, meanwhile, "should also recover as beef prices have become attractive and remain strong amid quality issues in Brazil, causing a reopening of the Chinese market for US beef".

    Meanwhile, beef supplies will be constrained by average slaughter weights which the bank forecast remaining below 2016 levels this year, a factor "supportive for live cattle prices".

    'Supportive scenarios'

    Either beef supplies may fall short or, if they are to meet USDA expectations, will require higher slaughter rates, the bank said.

    "Both the scenarios would be supportive" for live cattle futures.

    "In the first scenario, lower beef supply and seasonally strong demand should support beef prices which in turn would be supportive for live cattle prices.

    "In the second scenario, the increase in demand for live cattle for slaughtering by meat packers for beef production should be supportive of live cattle prices."

    While cutting its forecasts for live cattle prices by up to 9 cents a pound, forecasts of values averaging, for instance, 113 cents a pound in a year's time were a little above levels that Chicago futures were trading at on Thursday.

    "Our six-month and 12-month forecasts for live cattle are bullish," Mr Singla said.

    'Feedlots running at a loss'

    However, for feeder cattle - trading on Thursday at 144.90 cents a pound for March 2018 and 148.50 cents a pound for the August contract – the bank foresaw price falls ahead, to 130 cents a pound on both time horizons.

    Futures have not stood this low since April.

    The forecast reflected expectations of feedlots, still feeling the impact of the summer fallback in beef and live cattle prices, holding back on purchases of feeder cattle – animals which have yet to undergo the fattening process, which typically takes some six months.

    Fuelled by the underperformance of live cattle futures, compared with feeder ones, "feedlot margins have fallen below breakeven levels," Mr Singla said.

    With feeder cattle needing to fall to 135-140 cents a pound to enable breakeven, "feed yards should reduce demand for feeder cattle" at current values.

    "The sharp decline in feed-yard margins should result in weak demand for feeder cattle in the coming months and hence the bearish price outlook for feeder cattle as compared to live cattle."

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    Perspective On The Cull Cow Market
    Livestock Marketing Information Center
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    The bulk of U.S. beef cattle operations wean calves in the fall months, and that is also when they select cows for culling and begin to sell them. Many cow-calf operations in the drought impacted northern High Plains states have already pregnancy checked their cows, which is earlier than normal. Most of those cows already have or will soon be sent to market.

    Over a cattle inventory cycle (typically 10 to 11 years), seasonally cull cow prices typically are lowest in the fourth (fall) quarter of the calendar year (usually November and sometimes October or December). The long-term average decline in cull cow price is about 10% between September and November -- last year’s drop in the Southern Plains was 19% (about $13.25 per cwt.). (Note that in 2016, December posted the lowest cull cow price.) Then prices rise into the new calendar year, often rather dramatically. But in some years, the new calendar year does not bring much, if any, price increase. Holding cull cows did not pay from the fourth quarter of both 2014 and 2015 into the next year. Last year (between November 2016 and the first several months of 2017), the normal seasonal price increase returned.  In 2016, per cwt. price increases were $5.25 between November and January; $12.00 November-February; and $20.50 November-March. 

    Several factors underpin the seasonal pattern in cull cow prices. First, as already mentioned, the supply of cull beef cows is largest in the fall which dampens prices and after those large supplies are marketed prices increase. Second, fed cattle prices are typically highest in the winter and early spring months (i.e., February through May) which supports slaughter cow prices. Other factors that can significantly influence cull cow prices are the level of dairy cow slaughter and the amount of beef imported from Australia and New Zealand (that beef competes mostly in the “cow-beef” market and not as much with meats from fed steers and heifers).

    Cull cow prices this fall are expected to decline compared to recent levels by average percentages. Forecasts are that fed cattle prices into the first few months of 2018 will strengthen, but remain below 2017’s levels. Levels of beef imports and national dairy cow slaughter may be slightly higher year-over-year (due to lower milk prices received by producers) but are not forecast to be enough to take all the seasonal increase in cull cow price away. Cull prices into early 2018 are forecast to increase, but not reach the levels of early 2017. Cow-calf producers that are set-up to economically add some weight to cull cows and then sell in the first few months of 2018 instead of this fall at the seasonal price low, might want to put a pencil to that soon.

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    USDA National Retail Beef Report:
    Advertised Prices for Beef at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets
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    This week in the National Beef Retail Report Feature Rate was 1.9% higher at 86.1%. However, Special Rate was sharply lower by 5.3%lower at 7.8% and Activity Index was 960 lower at 99,040 when compared to the previous week. This week Boneless NY Strip Steak, Tip Roast, Chuck cuts, Brisket, Stew Meat and 80-90% Ground Beef had more ad space than last week. In the 4 Week Activity Index Chuck and Brisket were higher when compared to the prior week. Friday afternoon USDA National Weekly Boxed Beef Cutout -Negotiated Sales, when compared to the previous week, showed Choice 1.32 lower at 191.03 and Select 1.82 lower at 188.50.
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    Looking Ahead At Calf Prices
    Livestock Marketing Information Center
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    The LMIC is forecasting that calf (500-to 600-pound steer) prices in the Southern Plains will average above 2016’s depressed quarterly average this fall (October-December). Does that mean calf prices in 2018 and 2019 will continue to post year-over-year increases? The answer is no, at least producers should not be basing their financial plans on such.

    Both supply and demand dimensions will determine prices. The fundamentals of the cattle and beef supply for the next two years will be the size of the U.S. calf crops. As reported by USDA-NASS, the size U.S. calf crops have increased each of the last three years and in 2017 looks to be the largest since 2008. Based on the cowherd, both the 2018 and 2019 calf crops are expected to be even bigger, all else equal that is a challenging environment to keep raising prices.

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    Photo of the Week:
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  • Angus Bred Heifers... Central KY*-PI-N
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    "Shootin' the Bull" Weekly Analysis:
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    In my opinion, this week continued with the attempt to right the boat.  Although little confirmation was created from technical indicators or price movement, the slight bit of optimism created by producers resisting lower bids helped considerably.  As I write this, I've still not seen a cash trade, so this may all sound foolish or really smart by the time you read it Saturday morning.  Nonetheless, the division of time appears to be the most noticeable.  Weak still in the front end, firmer in the back and feeder cattle moving higher.  A trade higher in cash will be anticipated to turn the tide for some time to come.  Potentially it won't make for a rally of significance in the October, but would be anticipated to continue the back months higher.  Next Friday's on feed report should help to clarify some changes in the trend of placements.  With June a peak at 16% over and July only 2% over, there is no telling what August will be. 

    I continue to believe that the hard pull on inventory all year long has changed the dynamics considerably.  It will take time to visualize this changes as they are slow in coming.  However, by December I would anticipate statistician's to have a good handle on the changes and what it means for the year of '18.  The futures market is current suggesting there will be fewer cattle to choose from.  A great deal of psychological warfare has been played out this week.  It is perceived that whomever tipped their hand first was the weaker of the sides and price would be determined upon that.  This determination would be viewed as the resuming of the down trend, or a staunch reversal of. 

    Feeder cattle remain the clean cut and dry market.  The breaking out of the triangle last week, congestion this week and close at the top of the congestion, leads me to anticipate further upside movement.  January feeders are well within striking distance of contract high. The oscillator is back above the zero line on the daily and I have begun tracking the January movement on the hourly to help depict the unfolding of the wave count.  At present, we have an initial move up from where I perceive the wave 2 terminated. With oscillator readings positive, this market should continue higher without coming back and breaking downside support.  At this time, I believe the termination of the January major wave 2 is at $140.45 made on 9/6. I do not want to see this low exceeded.  From $140.45, traders pushed January up to $147.35 for what is believed to be a minor wave 1.  Minor wave 2 went back and forth until confirmed complete on Friday when January traded above $147.35.  The oscillator on the hourly chart has mimicked the move higher and lower. 

    The interesting part is that on the lower end of trading, the oscillator did not move back below the zero line.  Therefore, were the oscillator to push to a new level, with the price at a new level, it would suggest a minor wave 3 was in progress and to anticipate an upside target to approximately $157.00.  The cash market is what continues to impress the most.  The feeder cattle index broke above a previous low last week and is less than $2.50 from the b wave high at $151.99.  Were the index to merely climb back to its previous high of $154.91, it makes the target on the January contract to be not that big of a stretch. I remain incorrect on my grain analysis.

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    Christopher B. Swift is a commodity broker and consultant with Swift Trading Company in Nashville, TN. Mr. Swift authors the daily commentaries "mid day cattle comment" and "Shootin' the Bull" commentary found on his website @ www.shootinthebull.com

    An investment in futures contracts is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for persons who can assume the risk of loss in excess of their margin deposits.  You should carefully consider whether futures trading is appropriate for you in light of your investment experience, trading objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. 
    PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

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    Another Free-Trade Agreement is Under Fire. But Does It Matter?
    Dr. Anton Bekkerman -- Montana State University
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    On a slow news day -- September 2, 2017, the Saturday of the extended Labor Day weekend -- I started seeing a trickle of stories that the Trump administration is preparing withdrawing from the South Korea–U.S. free-trade agreement (KORUS). While these reports were primarily focused on the geopolitical and military implications of this announcement, my first thought was (naturally): Is this another potential economic blow to the U.S. agricultural industry?

    As my colleagues and I have discussed in previous posts, maintaining a strong presence on the global trade market is economically critical for the U.S. (and particularly the northern Great Plains) agricultural sector. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service infographic below provides a summary of the economic contributions of trade.

    What is particularly important to note in the infographic is that four of the six largest U.S. agricultural product importers have or have the potential to be affected by the Trump administration’s international policy. Recall that on January 23, 2017, the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have significantly decreased beef and grain product tariffs in Japan. The average agricultural tariff in Japan is 14%, which is nearly three times higher than the average tariff that U.S. agricultural products face, and placed a 38.5–50% tariff on frozen beef. Additionally, there is continued uncertainty about how (or whether) the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be renegotiated. While the results of research about the economic impacts of NAFTA have varied, there is a general consensus that the U.S. agricultural sector has benefited.

    It’s also important to note that withdrawing from the TPP, NAFTA, and/or KORUS would certainly not eliminate trade among the United States and countries that are represented by those free-trade agreements. Instead, countries would simply need to comply by the rules set by the World Trade Organization. However, countries that are not operating under free-trade agreements would be able to set significantly trade restrictions. This could result in adverse impacts on the value that U.S. agricultural producers obtained from trade with Canada, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea -- partners in NAFTA, KORUS, and the TPP. In 2017, these four partners represent 42% of the value of U.S. agricultural trade, so any barriers to continuing or expanding free trade with these countries is likely to trickle down to U.S. food producers.

    And how important are exports to the northern Great Plains region? In 2015, (the latest year for which the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service provides data), livestock products accounted for 10.3% of all international agricultural export value for Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming; wheat and other grain byproducts accounted for 32.4% of all export value, soybeans and soybean meal accounted for 21.7%, and corn accounted for 5.4%. In total, these four agricultural products represent nearly 70% of international export value for these five northern Great Plains states.

    While the geopolitical and agribusiness relationships established during the NAFTA and KORUS periods will certainly remain at least to some extent, the implementation of some trade restrictions will occur upon withdrawal and there will be increased uncertainty about future possible trade barriers. These are likely to reduce export market availability for U.S. producers and place downward pressure on farm-level profitability.

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    U.S. Dollar - 6 Month Chart:
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    Over the last 5 years, an average of around 10% of U.S. beef production has been exported, making exports an extremely important factor affecting beef and cattle prices.  A strong dollar depresses export demand.
  • U.S. Dollar Index
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    Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers:
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    Boxed beef cutout values firm on Choice and lower on Select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice rib, round, and loin cuts steady while Select steady to weak. Choice chuck cuts firm while Select weak.  Beef trimmings sharply higher on good demand and moderate offerings.

    The average value of hide and offal for the five days ending Fri, Sep 15, 2017   was estimated at 10.62 per cwt., up 0.01 from last week and down 0.65 from last year.

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    Brazilian Police Arrest JBS CEO Wesley Batista
    MeatingPlace.com
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    Brazil's Federal Police this morning arrested JBS S.A. CEO Wesley Batista in São Paulo for allegedly using insider trading to profit while negotiating a plea bargain deal with prosecutors in April and May, the police said.

    The arrest, ordered by a federal court, stems from the investigation dubbed “Achilles Tendon” into the sale of JBS stock by FB Participações, a company owned by the Batistas. JBS purchased the stock, “manipulating the market and causing its shareholders to absorb part of the loss due to the fall in the stock’s value,” the police said in a statement.

    The probe is also investigating purchases of foreign exchange futures contracts between late April and mid-May, just before news of the bribery scheme involving JBS’ controllers and Brazilian politicians broke. At the time, the dollar reached its highest appreciation against the Brazilian currency in a single day.

    Brazil securities regulator CVM worked with the Federal Police in the investigation, which has also implicated JBS' former chairman, Joesley Batista, in the potential crimes. Joesley was arrested over the weekend for allegedly omitting wrongdoings during his plea bargain testimony to prosecutors in April.

    The Batista brothers may face one to five years of imprisonment, plus fines, if they are proven guilty, according to the police.
    JBS confirmed in a statement that Wesley Batista was arrested Wednesday morning, without giving further details.

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    Livestock Groups Petition DOT for ELD Waiver
    NCBA
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    The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) today joined other livestock groups in hand delivering to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao a petition for a waiver followed by a limited exemption from compliance with the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) rule. The petition also asks the Department of Transportation (DOT) to address livestock industry concerns that the current Hours of Service (HOS) rules are not compatible with the realities of the livestock industry. Under current regulations, ELD's must be implemented starting on December 18, 2017.

    "U.S. beef producers and livestock haulers are focused on protecting public safety and ensuring the health and well-being of cattle transported around the country," said NCBA President Craig Uden, a fourth-generation beef producer from Elwood, Nebraska. "A limited exemption from ELDs will allow for our haulers to continue to safely transport livestock while providing the livestock industry time to continue working with DOT to find workable solutions within the HOS rules that take into account the unique needs of livestock haulers."

    Livestock haulers have a challenging task of ensuring motorist safety while also maximizing the health and welfare of transported animals. To meet these demands, a large number of livestock haulers participate in specialized training programs covering safe animal handling and transportation methods. Unfortunately, the upcoming ELD rule would decrease driver safety, jeopardize the well-being of hauled animals, and force small business owners out of the marketplace.

    More time is needed to address livestock industry concerns and educate all stakeholders to avoid disruption in an industry that already has concerns with driver shortages. NCBA will continue to work with the DOT to find a workable solution that allows our drivers, our cattle, and others on the road to move safely around the country and get where they need to go.

    Background: Specific Asks of NCBA and Livestock Industry Partners on ELD and HOS

    NCBA is actively engaging with the Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and Congress on the ELD and HOS rules. Echoing previous requests in meetings with FMCSA officials, and language currently found in the House Appropriations FY 18 Bill, NCBA continues to request:

    • Delayed ELD Enforcement: The current ELD enforcement deadline should be delayed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for no less than one year. Additional time will allow industry concerns to be addressed and provide training/educational opportunities for impacted stakeholders.
    • Increased Flexibility within HOS: Hours of Service (HOS) rules applying to livestock haulers must be made more flexible so that drivers can safely do their jobs while preserving the welfare of the animals.
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    Feeder Steers/Corn Correlation:
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    Historically, the value of 25 bushels of corn has been approximately equal to the price per cwt. for feeder steers.
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    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
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    Slaughter cows and bulls sold 1.00-5.00 lower with exception to the Southeast trading steady to 2.00 higher this week with lighter receipts due  to Hurricane Irma. 

    Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Friday was 177.45 -- Down 3.87 from last Friday. 

                      Weight        Montana        Oklahoma       Alabama 
    Breakers 1100-1600  61.00-66.00  64.00-67.00  60.00-64.00
    Boners     1000-1450  60.00-64.00  63.00-67.00  61.00-64.00
    Lean         1000-1300  55.00-59.50  62.00-66.00       N/A
    Bulls          1300-2500  79.00-84.00  84.00-88.00       N/A

                    Confirmed  Week Ago  Year Ago   YTD     Year Ago
    National      7,953         9,213         8,422     41,525     41,448
    S Central    2,353         2,217         1,830     12,555     10,383
    N Central       325            619          1,025       2,403       4,022
    East            2,014         2,474          2,593    10,945     11,343
    West           1,538         1,461          1,179      6,579       7,517
    Midwest      1,723         2,442          1,795      9,043       8,183


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    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
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    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, September 16, 2017 was estimated at 1035.6 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 14.2 percent higher than a week ago and 2.5 percent higher than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 3.2 percent higher compared to the previous year.
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    Weekly Hay Reports: "Click" on links for detailed report
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    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
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    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending September 12, 2017 were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was mostly mixed, 12.10 lower to 10.00 higher. Cottonseed Meal was steady to 20.00 higher.  Canola Meal was 8.10 to 45.00 lower. Linseed Meal was steady to 10.00 lower. Sunflower Meal was steady. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was mixed, 5.00 lower to 5.00 higher.
    • Crude Soybean Oil was 0.17 to 0.26 points lower. Crude Corn Oil was steady. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mostly steady to 30.00 lower. Ruminant Blood Meal was mostly steady to 25.00 lower. Feather Meal was mixed, 10.00 lower to 25.00 higher, mostly steady. Menhaden Fishmeal had limited trade. 
    • Corn Hominy was steady. Corn Gluten Feed was steady to 10.00 higher. Corn Gluten Meal was steady. 
    • Distillers Dried Grain was mixed, 15.00 lower to 15.00 higher, mostly steady. 
    • Wheat Middlings were steady to 25.00 higher. Wheat millrun was steady.
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    5 Year Bullish/Bearish Consensus Charts:
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    The theory behind the "Bullish/Bearish Consensus" indicator is when the public reaches a consensus, they are usually wrong:
    • They get too bullish after prices have risen and too bearish after they have already fallen.
    Because of this tendency, there are often extremes in opinion right before major changes in trend:
    • When the public reaches a bullish extreme, i.e., a great majority thinks prices will keep rising, then prices often decline instead. 
    • And when they become too bearish, then prices tend to rise.
    So when Public Opinion moves above the red dotted linein the chart, it means that compared to other readings over the past year, you're seeing excessive optimism. You also want to look at the absolute level of Opinion, too - if it's at 90%, then there's no question we're seeing an historic level of bullish opinion.  Watch for readings above 80% (or especially 90%) to spot those dangerous times when the public is overly enthusiastic about a commodity.

    Conversely, when Public Opinion moves below the green dotted line, then the public is excessively pessimistic about the commodity's prospects for further gains compared to their opinion over the past year.  Looking for absolute readings under 20% (or especially 10%) often indicates an upturn in the market.

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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Cattle
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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Corn
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    Stock Markets & Economic News:
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    A particularly strong performance on Monday, characterized as something of a relief rally, led to a positive week for U.S. stocks as many major benchmark indexes reached record highs. Monday’s burst of optimism came after the initial reports of damage from Hurricane Irma were not as severe as some pre-U.S. landfall estimates had projected. Also, North Korea did not test another missile during the previous weekend, as many observers had expected. However, the country did launch a missile over Japan near the end of the week, which markets shrugged off. Stocks across the range of market capitalizations enjoyed similarly strong performance for the week.

    Technology bellwether Apple announced the 10th anniversary version of the iPhone on Tuesday. Apple’s press event had little impact on the broader technology sector, and the company’s stock declined modestly on the day of the introduction before recovering to finish the week little changed. Apple shares had gained almost 40% in 2017 through the beginning of the week.

    On Thursday, the Department of Commerce reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% in August, breaking a recent string of lower-than-expected monthly inflation readings. August’s solid CPI number supports the Federal Reserve’s view that the recent inflation soft patch was transitory. The Fed is likely to raise interest rates at its December policy meeting.

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    U.S. Stocks:
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    Montana Remains In Flames
    US Farm Report
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    Fires continue to rage in the Northwest portion of the country. New numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the cost of fighting wildfires topped $2 billion in 2017, a new record. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is using the new figure to stress the need to reevaluate the budget of U.S. Forest Service, which falls under USDA’s umbrella.

    “Forest Service spending on fire suppression in recent years has gone from 15 percent of the budget to 55 percent -- or maybe even more -- which means we have to keep borrowing from funds that are  intended for forest management,” Perdue said in a statement this week.

    Charred acres and more wildfire fears are fresh in the minds of farmers and ranchers in Montana, who’ve been battling flames for months. Just this week, the Blacktail fire, which flared up east of Livingston, Mont., grew to 5,000 acres by mid-week.

    Rachel Spangelo, is a cattle rancher in Two Dot, Mont., and saw the fierce flames firsthand, with family and friends working to save McFarland White Ranch and Martin Mooris Ranch this week.

    “The fire burned over 6,000 acres, and it’s still not 100 percent contained,” Spangelo said. “There are more than 100 firefighters camped out in our small town.”

    Ranchers met to map out how to save as many acres as they could, as helicopters dropped water on burning land. Rains did finally arrive late in the week, but damage already done resulted in thousands of charred acres. Spangelo says she’s thankful they were able to move their livestock to ground out of the fire’s way, sparing them from any major livestock losses.


    Photo from Jerome Stenberg of J Bar Stenberg Ranch in St. Ignatius, MT

    In St. Ignatius, Mt., Jerome Stenberg, owner of J-Bar Stenberg Ranch says the fires burned home, farms and ranches this year, forcing mass evacuations in Missoula. He says it’s a disaster that’s being largely overlooked.

    “Without the west’s cattle industry, where would your corn markets go?” said Stenberg. “Earlier this month, there were three-quarters of a million acres in uncontrolled fire.”

    The wildfires consuming farmers’ and ranchers’ lives this year. He says even this summer while enjoying the county fair, families were notified to go home and prepare to evacuate. 

    “Please keep Montana in your thoughts,” he said. “We need rain and snow for the mountains. That is the only way to end this 2017 fire season.”

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    "Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the last 12 weeks
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    Looking Ahead:
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    Beneficial precipitation is expected during September 14 – 18, 2017 across much of the drought-afflicted areas in the northern Plains and Rockies. Between 1.5 and 3.5 inches are expected across all but the western and northern tiers of Montana, and central and southwestern sections of North Dakota. Moderate rains (0.5 to locally 1.5 inches) is expected in the Upper Midwest and the central Plains, as well as the far Pacific Northwest west of the Cascades. Light precipitation at best is anticipated in other areas of dryness and drought.

    The ensuing 5 days (September 19 – 23, 2017) look to bring a reversal in the temperature pattern recently observed across the 48 states, with odds favoring cooler than normal weather from the northern High Plains and southern Rockies to the Pacific Coast, and warmer than normal conditions expected in the central and eastern parts of the country. There are enhanced chances for above-normal precipitation from central and northern sections of the High Plains westward to the Pacific Coast, most of the Great Plains north of Texas, and the middle and upper Mississippi Valley. Odds also favor above-normal precipitation in the Copper Basin of Alaska. Meanwhile, subnormal precipitation is favored in the East, Southeast, most of Texas, and the southern Rockies.

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    Helicopters Drop Hay To Cattle In Southeast Texas
    Southwest FarmPress
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    Hay drop to save cattle underway in Southeast Texas

    The drama still continues two weeks after the storm, cattle still lost or stranded, ranchers unable to reach remote areas where flood waters remain standing in fields and roads are still closed and impassable.

    Hurricane Harvey rescuers have moved from saving people from drowning in their homes to saving cattle from starving to death in flooded fields.

    At the time of landfall on Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey was the strongest tropical system to reach the U.S. coast line in over a dozen years. The powerful storm packed sustained winds of 135 mph with gusts well over 155 mph, a category 4  major storm that devastated communities on the mid-Texas coast.

    The devastation in its wake is enormous, especially in communities like Rockport, a popular fishing and retirement community on the Texas coast, and Port Aransas, located on a barrier island just offshore from Corpus Christi. At one point more than 30,000 were harbored in public shelters, many still sheltered there, their homes destroyed and their family belongings lost forever.

    In rural areas stretching from Corpus Christi and over 300 miles up the coast to the Louisiana border, farms and ranches and small communities dot the rural countryside. This is cotton and grain country, and also home to over a million beef cattle and other livestock. The losses have been staggering, up to $200 million to agricultural interests alone.

    And the drama still continues over two weeks after the storm, cattle still lost or stranded, ranchers unable to reach remote areas where flood waters remain standing in fields and roads are still closed and impassable.

    Air drops only way

    Federal, state and civilian help has been pouring into the area since the storm ravaged the state, including National Guard units from 11 states. State parks and wildlife biologists and rescue workers, animal health rangers and civilian volunteers from across Texas and beyond responding to the livestock drama unfolding across the hardest hit areas.

    Many cows and steers have been located, but with no way to reach the animals, they remain stressed, in poor health, many are starving for lack of food. Some are stuck in mud, or sheltered on small patches of dry land surrounded by flood water.

    Fortunately, aviation units from the Texas National Guard, from Alabama, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi and other states are responding, loading bales of hay and  launching what promises to be the largest air drop of hay in history, an attempt to provide rescue food for livestock until waters finally recede and herds can be collected, treated, and moved to safety.

    Many ranchers have already reported huge losses, some losing well over 50-percent of their herd to flood waters, many more still missing.

    Danny Phend of Phend's  feed and livestock store in Winnie, located mid way between Houston and Beaumont, reported to NPR Radio that the numbers of lost cattle will be devastating when all is said and done.

    Still searching for animals

    “Most of our customers are not even able to find the majority of their stock, only about 20 percent of their herds for some,” Phend reported. “Around here cattle and rice are a big deal.”

    The losses to both have been high.

    Officials estimate every lost cow represents a $1,000-$2,000 loss for ranchers, and the numbers of lost or dead animals keep rising. As military helicopters fly above flooded fields, they are reporting “dead animals everywhere.” No one seems ready to guess how many animals may have perished, but most agree, the total will be devastating.

    Texas Army National Guard pilot Randolph Robinson flies a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter, a large, dual rotary-blade chopper designed to carry heavy loads of military equipment and personnel. In recent days it has been filled with bales of hay donated by farmers and ranchers across areas of Texas and other states outside the zone of storm destruction. Flying missions from dusk till dawn, Robinson and other National Guard pilots have been air dropping those bales when they spot cattle stranded and hungry.

    "Roads are still underwater, areas where folks' homes are located are still underwater," said Robinson. “But our focus right now is on saving the cattle. We had a group of ranchers asking for help [because] cows had been stranded since the storm came ashore, and they are not in good shape. No one can reach them in these remote areas, and they are hungry.”

    Flying non-stop to help

    Choppers have been flying non-stop as state animal biologists and state animal health veterinarians with the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) attempt to identify where small groups of animals are stuck in mud or stranded in water from aerial photographs, from satellite photos and by using UAV (drone) fly-overs.

    Pilots and flight crews say the choppers are flying the same way they do in combat missions. Once they drop their loads of hay, they return to a landing area and never power down as ground crews load more bales of hay inside the aircraft for continuous runs back and forth across affected areas to stranded cattle.

    In recent days, the skies over Southeast Texas have become crowded with helicopters. More Chinooks are arriving from National Guard units from as far away as Utah and Ohio, offering machines and extra hands to handle the cattle emergency.

    “We found a tremendous number of cattle stranded in areas that were inaccessible and wouldn’t be accessible for quite some time in Jefferson and nearby counties,” said Lt. Tony Viator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. “We began dropping hay, but we quickly realized we wouldn’t be able to support that mission over such a broad region. So we contacted the Guard and they sent Zach. We couldn’t have done this without his help.”

    Chief Warrant Officer Zach Koehn from the 149th Aviation Regiment of the Texas National Guard explained that the hay-drop operation was a state-mandated effort to restore a $25 million livestock industry investment and protect Texan livelihood.

    More than ranches at stake

    “It’s not just the ranchers, it’s the truckers that carry the cattle and feed, its the veterinarians that take care of the cattle’s medical needs. Nationally this is where a lot of meat comes from and it has the potential to raise the price of beef nationwide,” Koehn said.

    Many local ranchers came to pitch in moving bales of hay onto the trailers and into the helicopters.

    “These guys aren’t getting paid to be here,” said Koehn. “They’re here because they know it needs doing for their community, and we’re thankful for all of their help.”

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    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
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    Declining Beef Prices
    CME Group
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    Beef prices declined in August and, judging by the current trend in cattle/cutout, we would expect retail beef prices to ease further in the next three months. The average price of all fresh beef at retail in August was $5.79/lb., 0.4% lower than the previous month and just 0.1% higher than a year ago. By comparison the average price of all pork at retail in August was 3.6% higher than last year while the average composite price for broiler meat was down 1.3% y/y. 

    Last year retail beef prices declined 5% between August and December. This was the largest such decline for this period in more than 30 years. Are we going to see a similar pull back in retail beef prices this year? That’s going to be something worth paying attention to. Certainly lower prices for ground beef raw materials, with 50CL trim now back to the low 40s, should provide an incentive for retailers to maintain ground beef promotions. 

    The retail survey currently is showing the average price for all ground beef at $4.21/lb, 1% under last year. Similarly, the average steak price at $7.48/lb. is down 2% from July and down 1% from a year ago.

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    Slaughter Cattle:
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    Slaughter Cattle: Friday in Nebraska and Western Cornbelt trading has been limited on moderate demand. In Nebraska few dressed trades were at 166.00. In the Western Cornbelt a few live trades were from 105.00-108.00. However, not enough trades for a full market trend in either region. In the Southern Plains and Colorado trading has been at a standstill. Last week in the Southern Plains live trades were at 105.00 with a light trade test noted in Kansas. In the Northern Plains last week live trades were at 105.00 and dressed, in Nebraska, were from 165.00-168.00 with light test noted in both regions. For the prior week in the Western Cornbelt live trades were from 103.00-105.00 and dressed were from 165.00-168.00 with a light test noted.

    Negotiated Sales: Confirmed: 14,452    Week Ago: 11,123    Year Ago: 64,400

    Formula Purchases: Net - Dressed
    Head count priced today: 12,600
    Weighted avg weight:            868
    Weighted avg net price:   166.14

    The FCE On-Line Auction offered 1,063 head total on Wednesday with 128 head sold

    Live Weight Offering:
    1-9 Day Delivery: 772 head total, 128 head sold, weighted average price $ 104.75
    1-17 Day Delivery: 174 head total, no sales

    Dressed Weight Offering:
    1-17 Day Delivery: 117 head total, no sales

    Livestock Slaughter under Federal Inspection: 
                                   CATTLE   CALVES  HOGS         SHEEP
    Friday (est)             115,000     2,000        447,000        6,000
    Week ago (est)      117,000     2,000        448,000         7,000
    Year ago (act)        110,000     3,000        402,000         6,000
    Week to date (est) 583,000   10,000    2,253,000       36,000
    Last Week (est)     469,000     8,000     1,784,000       29,000
    Last Year (act)       557,000   11,000     2,155,000       39,000

    Saturday  (est)          59,000        0             179,000         0
    Week ago (est)        86,000        0              386,000         0
    Year ago (act)          54,000        0              213,000         0
    Week to date (est) 642,000   10,000     2,432,000       36,000
    Last Week (est)     555,000      8,000     2,170,000       29,000
    Last Year* (act)      611,000    10,000    2,368,000        39,000
    2017 YTD            22,377,00  351,000  83,606,000  1,354,000
    2016 *YTD           21,152,00  317,000  81,383,000  1,419,000
    Percent change        5.8%       10.7%         2.7%           -4.6%

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    USDA World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates
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    September Report...

    LIVESTOCK & POULTRY: The forecast for total meat production in 2017 is reduced from last month as decreases in commercial beef and broiler production more than offset increases in pork and turkey production. Second-half beef production forecasts are reduced, reflecting a slower expected marketing pace for fed cattle although cow slaughter is higher. The third and fourth quarter broiler production forecasts are reduced on hatchery data and the current pace of slaughter. The 2017 pork production forecast is raised on higher expected carcass weights. USDA will release the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on September 28, providing an indication of producer farrowing intentions into early 2018. Third-quarter turkey production forecast is raised slightly, but no changes are made to the outlying quarter. For 2018, the beef production forecast is lowered from the previous month as a slower rate of placements during the second-half of 2017 is expected to result in reduced steer and heifer slaughter in the first half of 2018. Annual pork production is reduced slightly from the previous month while the poultry forecast for 2018 is unchanged.

    Cattle prices are reduced from last month for the remainder of 2017 and into early 2018 on current price weakness. The hog price forecast for 2017 is lowered, but the 2018 price forecast remains unchanged. The annual broiler price forecasts for 2017 and 2018 are unchanged. The turkey price forecast is reduced for 2017 as slightly higher third-quarter turkey prices are more than offset by expected declines in the fourth quarter; the 2018 forecast is unchanged. 

    COARSE GRAINS: This month’s 2017/18 U.S. corn outlook is for increased production, greater feed and residual use, higher ending stocks, and lower prices. Corn production is forecast at 14.184 billion bushels, up 32 million from last month. Corn supplies are up from last month, as a larger crop more than offsets a small decline in beginning stocks due to updated use estimates for 2016/17. Feed and residual use for 2017/18 is raised 25 million bushels with a larger crop and lower expected prices. Corn used for ethanol for 2017/18 is projected down 25 million bushels at 5.475 billion, based on observed usage during 2016/17 and expectations of lower exports. Other industrial use is lowered 50 million bushels. With supply increasing and use falling, corn ending stocks are up 62 million bushels from last month. The projected range for the season-average corn price received by producers is lowered 10 cents on both ends to a range of $2.80 to $3.60 per bushel.

    Global coarse grain production for 2017/18 is forecast up 2.4 million tons to 1,316.5 million. The 2017/18 foreign coarse grain outlook is for greater production, slightly lower consumption, reduced trade, and larger stocks relative to last month. Foreign corn production is forecast to decline relative to last month with reductions for Serbia, Ukraine, the EU, and Russia more than offsetting increases for Argentina and Mexico. The projected corn yield for Ukraine is reduced based on heat and dryness during the month of August. In Argentina, corn area is raised from last month and is now forecast to be record high. Barley production is raised for Russia and Canada, but lowered for Argentina and the EU.

    Corn exports are lowered for Serbia and Russia, but increased for Ukraine. Despite a smaller crop, Ukraine’s relatively large exportable supplies and logistical advantages are expected to fill demand for imported corn in the EU. Brazil’s 2016/17 exports are raised for the local marketing year beginning March 2017. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2017/18 are virtually unchanged from last month, with declines for Brazil, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia offset by increases for Argentina and Mexico. Global corn stocks, at 202.5 million tons, are up 1.6 million from last month.

    WHEAT: The U.S. 2017/18 wheat supply and demand estimates are unchanged from last month. The season-average farm price is lowered $0.20 per bushel at the midpoint to a range of $4.30 to $4.90. The reduction is due to NASS prices to date and expectations of future cash prices.

    Global wheat supplies for 2017/18 are lowered as a 1.7-million-ton production increase is offset by a 2.7-million-ton decrease in beginning stocks. The primary production increase is for Russia, which is raised 3.5 million tons to a record 81.0 million tons; this change is based on excellent growing conditions and updated harvest results. Australia production for 2017/18 is lowered 1.0 million tons on dry conditions, and the EU is lowered 0.7 million tons. In addition, historical production changes for Australia led to lower global ending stocks. The 2015/16 Australia production change is on updated Australia Bureau of Statistics data which lowered harvested area 1.5 million hectares. Australia’s 2016/17 harvested area is lowered 0.5 million hectares. Global trade for 2017/18 is essentially unchanged. However, exports are increased 1.0 million tons for Russia on the larger crop, 0.5 million tons for Ukraine, and 0.3 million tons for Turkey. These are partially offset by a 1.0-million-ton reduction for EU exports and a 0.5-million-ton reduction for Australia. Total global use is up 0.5 million tons. With total supplies declining and use increasing, global ending stocks are lowered 1.6 million tons.

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    Weekly Corn Crop Condition Report:
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    National Grain Summary:
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    Compared to last week, wheat and soybeans were mostly higher, while corn and sorghum were mostly lower.  December corn remains in a short-term uptrend on the daily and weekly charts.  A long-term trend for the corn markets’ major remains sideways-to-down.  Wave 5 of November soybeans, of a 5-wave minor uptrend, could result in a test of $10.00.  However, they could be limited by continued commercial selling.  This is indicated by a stronger carry in the November-to-January futures spread. December Chicago wheat remains in a short-term uptrend.  Wheat’s long-term forward curve remains to reflect a bearish supply and demand situation.  Weekly export sales and shipments for wheat showed a total of 11.6 million bushels and 16.1 million bushels respectively for the 2017-2018 marketing year. These numbers could be viewed as neutral for wheat.  Export sales of corn showed a total of 41.2 million bushels for the 2017-2018 marketing year with shipments of 28.1 million bushels.  These numbers can be viewed as neutral for corn.  Weekly export sales of soybeans showed a total of 59.3 million bushels for the 2017-2018 marketing year, while it had shipments of 42.3 million bushels.  These numbers can be viewed as neutral for soybeans.  Weekly export sales of grain sorghum showed a total of 8.8 million bushels with shipments of 2 million bushels.  These numbers can be seen as neutral for milo. Wheat was mixed, mostly 15 to 30 cents higher.  Corn was mixed, mostly 1 to 4 cents lower.  Sorghum was mixed, mostly 1 to 2 cents lower.  Soybeans were mixed, mostly 1 to 7 cents higher.

    Corn futures closed the week with most contracts fractionally to a penny in the green. If the warmer and wetter late September weather forecasts for the Corn Belt hold, maturity will advance but harvest progress will be sluggish. The Friday afternoon Commitments of Traders report indicated money managers adding 9,689 contracts to their corn futures and options net short position. They had a net position of -119,412 contracts as of Tuesday. Informa estimates 2018 US corn planted acreage at 91.88 million acres, which would be 1.08% larger than 2017. They also updated their 2017 production numbers to 14.115 bbu, with a national yield of 169.7 bpa. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates the Argentine corn harvest is 98.1% complete. It is the equivalent of the northern hemisphere March down there!

    Wheat futures settled the Friday session with most KC and CBT contracts 3 3/4 to 6 cents higher, as Dec CBT gained 2.57% on the week. MPLS was 7 to 11 cents lower, with Dec showing losses of 3.90% since last Friday. Analysts with Informa project 2018 all wheat acres at 45.875 million acres, slightly above the current 2017 acreage numbers. All wheat production for 2017 is estimated at 1.66 bbu, down from the USDA’s 1.739 bbu. Spec traders of CBT wheat futures and options backed off their net short position by 2,825 contracts to a net position of -83,745 contracts. In KC wheat futures and options, they lowered their net long position to 13,031 contracts. That is their smallest net long position since the first week of 2017. The Russian Ag Ministry estimates that 72.7 MMT of wheat has been harvested so far this year.

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    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat:
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