Live cattle futures made a run for a record rise in prices in a jump of eight cents per pound in less than eight days. Second-quarter beef production is expected to be down over six percent compared to last year. This year’s cattle inventory has declined because of drought-forced liquidation for the past two years. Female slaughter (cows and heifers) in 2022 was the largest percentage since 1986, further reducing expectations for more calves. June cattle were up for six days in a row by Friday. Eggs, chicken and dairy rose as well.
May feeder cattle (under 1,000 pounds) blasted skyward, closing over $2.05 per pound for the first time since 2016. Although prices of individual cuts of meat at the grocery store don’t always correlate with the wholesale prices of beef cattle on the hoof, your first cookouts might be expensive if steaks and burgers are on the menu.
Crude Climbs on Lower Supplies
Petroleum markets sharply extended their gains all week on news of OPEC reducing production by 70,000 barrels per day. Iraq’s blockage of crude pipeline shipments from Kurdistan to the West also supported prices. Natural gas made new contract lows on Friday morning but turned higher by midday.
Soy Surges on Crop Report
Friday’s USDA crop report showed farmers intend to plant 87.5 million acres of soybeans, which is below expectations. Beans, meal and soybean oil rallied as that data was released. Drought-braking rains in several parched agricultural areas could be in the future, possibly tamping down speculation on most U.S. crops.
OJ Rises on Florida Drought
Ten active forest fires were reported across The Sunshine State, adding to the long list of troubled agricultural conditions ravaged by climate change. Florida has, of course, already suffered from hurricanes, further threatening disease-weakened citrus.
Weekly Winners and Losers
Cattle shot up six cents from last Friday trading at $1.6200 per pound, with cotton also rising six cents per pound. May orange juice gained over 16 cents per pound. May crude oil went up $5 from last week going for $75.40 per barrel, while May silver rallied a dollar per ounce at $24.20. Foreign currencies, cocoa and sugar also saw significant gains from last Friday’s close. April and June lean hogs saw a small loss from last week.