Fed Summarizes Ag Conditions

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book last week said total direct payments to farmers was expected to increase this year. Subsequent to the Beige Book’s release, the Bank released a summary of agricultural conditions by district.  This is a version of that release, edited for length and style.   SIXTH DISTRICT – ATLANTA   Much of … Read More

Cash Cattle At A Bottom? Maybe

A Beef magazine article Tuesday wondered if the cash fed cattle market hadn’t hit a seasonal bottom, stemming the flow of cash from feedlot pockets.  The answer from a historical perspective is a strong maybe. The Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver, CO, keeps tabs on weekly slaughter steer prices in the Southern Plains.  According … Read More

K-State Economists See Wider Mid-October Cattle Basis

The Kansas State University mid-month slaughter steer basis forecast for western Kansas predicts a widening basis into October from mid-month September to slightly more than $2 per cwt, followed by a decline into November to just above zero. K-State agricultural economists graphed their latest predictions of western Kansas slaughter cattle basis through February of 2021 … Read More

Funds Boost Net Short Cattle Position

Managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment firms, increased their collective net short live cattle positions in the week ended Tuesday after four straight weeks of cutting their net long position. The data comes from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report on Friday. As of Tuesday, managed money was net … Read More

WASDE Report Lowers Red Meat Production Forecast

Agriculture market analysts said grain and soybean futures were bulled by Thursday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, but they could have added live cattle to the list as well since all contracts closed higher. The USDA report lowered its forecast for 2019 total red meat and poultry production to 104.603 billion pounds from … Read More

Kansas Feedlot Closeouts Up; Follow Seasonal Trend

Kansas feedlot closeouts in July declined from what may be the second-largest such monthly move of the year in June and followed the seasonal trend, although at a higher level. The information came from monthly survey of selected Kansas feedlots by the Kansas State University Extension Service.  The data then was compiled by the Livestock … Read More

Understanding Futures Market Margin, Margin Calls

One of the most challenging aspects to understand around futures markets is the mechanics of margin and/or margin calls.  It’s also something that has hit many hedgers in the pocketbook, but it doesn’t have to catch them off guard. This is an edited version of an article by private market advisor Nevil Speer that he … Read More