Highlights with Brad Kluver, CFS Swine Livestock Production Specialist

May 17, 2023

Highlights as of 5/16:
Planting and weather conditions are the name of the game currently. With planting progress looking very favorable and the weather forecast showing above normal temps and below normal precipitation for much of the corn belt all signs point to very good planting conditions. With that, we gave up yesterday’s gains on old crop and put in some new lows on December corn. July corn was down 11-1/4 to 5.81-1/4, and December was down 9-3/4 to 5.05-1/4 but did push as low as 5.01 on the day. The one piece that could give corn some upside in the near term here until we get a little further into the growing season is how poor the wheat crop turns out to be and if it’s as low as the USDA estimated in some areas like Kansas. On those August basis bids we are seeing a few switch over to bidding off the September here, so keep an eye on those.
The soy complex as a whole today took a beating, but meal held together better than soybeans and soy oil did. Meal was likely softer slightly due to a lack of fresh sales on the day and the need to keep pushing the export demand. Meal basis continues to remain weak on lack of demand. Beginning to hear some clock basis positions in the country, with numbers coming in low to mid 20 under. With incoming crush plants like Shell Rock that are already operational, it’s not a huge surprise to see continued advantageous basis pricing moving forward. July meal was down 4 to 426.90, October was down 3.90 to 395 and December was down 4.20 to 391. With the inverse processors remain reluctant to roll meal basis bids to August or September markets.
The big eye-catcher on the day was looking at cash. Yesterday there wasn’t enough to report really, but Friday’s cash came in down 2.95 to 74.36. Today we had some hefty volume at 18,285 head negotiated and we pushed that weight average up to 82.79. That’s over $8, which should pay dividends as we look to push the index higher. Speaking of which, the index was higher again today and continues its steady march higher. It picked up 0.59 to 76.50. Cutout was the weak horse today. After having several days of nominal gains, retail cutout values lost 0.63 to 83.75 on stronger volume at 362 loads. Which way bellies go seems to drive this market currently, as they lost nearly $8 on the day and dipped below $80 once again. June futures picked up some, gaining 1.05 to 87.20, July was up 0.625 to 88.125, October actually lost 0.05 to 79.05 and December lost 0.625 to 75.25. The big question I have as we look at these retail values on pork is what happens now with Prop 12. From my conversations in the country, currently, any Prop 12 pork that gets sold outside of the formula price would fall under specialty pork and thus does not show up in the PK 602 or the weekly 610. Now that it’s been upheld in the Supreme Court, it seems logical in my eyes that it should no longer be classified as a specialty product. But it does beg the question is there enough pork and is it valued high enough in this category to swing the pendulum very far on cutout values?

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I am proud to be a part of the cattle industry. Heart, dedication, and hard work are the words that come to mind when I think of the cattle industry. I am proud of our cattle producers as they put a lot of time and effort into raising, caring for, and providing a healthy, nutritious protein source to sustain our society.

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During the Closing General Session on March 23, NGFA Chairman Greg Beck presented the NGFA Distinguished Service Award to Dennis Inman, the vice president of grain at Central Farm Service.