While the cash trade last week seemed indecisive—at first sending signals that the market would be steady to lower, then later suggesting it would be steady to higher—the big questions focused on what packers would be doing.
While producers seem to be supporting a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be finalized, media outlets across the U.S. seem to be skipping the topic. It is far from an apparent “hot topic” in most areas, and skeptics are questioning the chances of it going anywhere with the discourse in the White House.
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report held few surprises. The biggest movers, however, were the increased export estimates for corn and the increased production of beef being offset by decreases in pork.
Cash priced continue to settle lower, making the second week this year where the cash fed cattle market did not set a new high record. Compared to the prior week which saw live prices at $144-146 and dressed prices at $230-232, the meager number of sales which had been recorded by last Thursday had declined to $139-141 live and $225 dressed.
The now-annual Cattle Inventory report was released on the last day of January. The verdict is a slightly bullish, hopeful one. Beef replacement heifers were up, and even if they weren’t up as high as had been hoped, there are several details that inspire optimism for the future.
Do you remember when you were in grade school and the science project was to watch and record the process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly? One day, the funny looking bug was hanging from a twig, the next it was encased in a cocoon, and then suddenly a butterfly was fluttering around the plastic box.
steady pace throughout the last few decades. As of the most recent WASDE report, export of commodity crops around the world was 15.2 percent of total global production. In 1984, that number was 14.8 percent, in 1994 it was 14.2 percent, and in 2004 it was 14.
It’s been a hard year for the West in terms of drought, and the far western states especially. While much of the western U.S. has seen a lessening of drought incidence and intensity, states like California and Nevada are bearing the brunt of the western drought with swaths of red taking up residence in their territories.
“It sounds and feels like the hysteria of ‘get me some beef bought, I don’t care the cost’ and ‘go get some cattle lined up for next week’s kill, just pay them what they want’ that we have seen the last six weeks has subsided for at least the near term,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage last Thursday.
The most recent Cattle on Feed report came with a few surprises compared to prereport estimates. While the actual on-feed numbers came in almost dead on prereport expectations, the average industry estimate put placements almost three percentage...
It appears that the phenomenal January run of wholesale beef prices may be over. Choice and Select boxed beef prices peaked on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at $240.05/cwt (Choice) and $237.44/cwt. (Select). Choice boxed beef dropped back nearly $3/cwt by Friday with Select dropping just over $1/cwt.
An early start to winter has caused many farms in the upper Midwest to reconsider whether they will have enough hay and other feeds to get their animals to spring. The summer of 2013 allowed many farms to replenish exhausted forage supplies that were caused by the drought the previous year.
The cash fed cattle trade continued its upward momentum with a vengeance last week as Wednesday saw over 20,000 head sell on that day alone, and at prices $5-6 higher live and $11-13 higher dressed than the prior week’s cash prices. Which, at $141-144 live and $126-129 dressed, were nothing to sneeze at to be sure.
Corn Belt—$1-2 higher live and fully $4-7 higher dressed than the prior week—by close of trade Thursday those prices had advanced to as high as $144.50 live (all grade steer average of $143.74) and dressed prices as high as $230 (all grade steer average of $228.
Both the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and the annual Crop Production report were released Friday, Jan. 10. The number people were waiting for was the final word on corn production for the 2013 year.
“This is a good thing for both sides,” said Glynn Tonsor, Livestock Marketing Specialist with K-State Research and Extension, noting that while the prices may be construed as impeding some beef purchases at grocery store meat counters, some consumers are willing and able to buy at these prices.
Hay production in 2013 reflected the improvement in drought conditions in the last half of the year. In the recently released USDA Crop Production 2013 Summary, all hay production was up 13.4 percent over record low production totals in 2012.
Times have been tough in the heart of classic cowboy country these past few years. The Southwest has seen some of the worst drought it’s experienced in ages in 2011-2013. Drought and its accompanying friend, fire, has taken a toll on ag real estate and pasture values.
Last week the cash fed market continued to ride the rising tide of record prices. Though the bulk of sales were pushed off until Friday, the scattered small volume sells to regional packers were nothing if not a reprisal of the prior week’s tune, though at a slightly higher pitch.