Dollar Index Climbs Post Scotland Vote

The US Dollar Index declined overnight, and European stock prices were sharply higher after Scottish voters rejected independence from the UK by a 55.3% to 44.7%.  Dow Jones Industrial Average futures also rose overnight.

The weaker US Dollar will help with US exports, although the overnight gains do not erase the overall 6.39% gains seen since setting early August lows, and any help to US exports may be hard to see.

The vote against independence means all of the questions about the Pound Sterling, UK stocks, the UK’s relationship with the European Union can be put to rest as being moot.

The Pound Sterling spiked on the news.  The currency had slipped to fresh nearby lows a few weeks ago as pre-vote polls showed the independence vote taking a lead.  However, more recent polls showed the anti-independence vote closing the gap, and the Pound Sterling had recovered some of its losses prior to Thursday’s vote.  Sources now think further gains, especially against the US Dollar, may be tougher to accomplish and keep.

Voter turnout was exceptionally high with reports that more than 84% of registered voters cast ballots on the issue.




Meanwhile, cattle traders are awaiting the release of the USDA’s monthly feedlot data showing the total number of cattle in the nation’s larger feedlots.  The report is due for release today at 3:00 PM EDT.

Pre-release estimates by market analysts show an average expectation of 9.767 million head populating those feedlots on Sep. 1, 1.1% fewer than a year earlier.

To get that, the analysts jointly expected the number of new additions, or placements, in August to be 1.692 million head, 4.5% fewer than a year earlier.

The analysts also expected the report to show sales to packing plants, or marketings, of 1.697 million head, a reduction of 9.3% from a year ago.  More cattle owners are keeping the cattle on feed longer to gain more weight before slaughter since the price of feed has fallen with prospects for a record corn crop and replacement feeder cattle prices bump against record highs because of tight supplies.




Consumers are spending more on beef and chicken products in September but only because they are spending it on food eaten away from home, according to Oklahoma State University’s monthly Food Demand Survey.

September retail expenditures were down 0.28% from August, while the amount consumers spent on food away from home was up 2.86% from August, the survey said.

However, purchase expectations were down.  Consumers expected chicken purchases to remain on an uptrend, but remain below last month and last year.  Beef buying expectations declined.

Pork purchases usually go up in the fall and peak in December as holiday ham sales hit their zenith, but the Oklahoma State survey showed declines in the amount of money consumers were willing to pay for pork chops and deli ham.  The survey showed an increase in the amount they were willing to pay for steak, chicken breasts and hamburgers.




Cash cattle trade this week remains inactive with packer bids from $244 to $245 per cwt on a dressed basis and asking prices of $250 and up and fids of $155 to $156 on a live basis against asking prices of $160 to $164.  Cattle traded last week at $161 to $162 per cwt live and $248 to $251 dressed.

Sinking wholesale beef prices against tightening fed cattle supplies are making packer buyers tough negotiators as plant margins decline, and sharp losses in live cattle futures make it less likely that cash prices this week will be any higher than last week.