The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report showed an increase in many things. Beef production and availability was up. Soybean acres increased. Ending stocks of corn went up… again.
The cash fed cattle market developed reasonably early contrary to expectation. The majority of the purchasing occurred on Wednesday with clean-up trade on Thursday. The prices were mostly in line with expectations, at least at the beginning.
Most all of Oklahoma received considerable rain from late May into early July. This resulted in much needed forage growth in all regions, including some of the worst drought areas. However, the heat of summer has arrived in July and forage growth has slowed abruptly.
The cash fed trade was slow to develop last week and that was certainly to the benefit of packers. A hard break in the live futures, larger show lists, along with longanticipated rumors of declining production to meet the incoming reduced beef demand...
U.S. beef and pork exports maintained their strong momentum in May, with export volumes for both products exceeding last year’s totals and value increasing by double digits, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
The beef industry is experiencing a wide range of emotions at the current time. The level of excitement is obvious as cattle and beef prices have pushed even beyond record levels of earlier this year. Cattle prices are at values unimaginable just a few years ago.
“‘Out of sight’ is a good term for the prices,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension Specialist in Livestock and Food Products Marketing. “And it doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about retail prices to consumers, the wholesale beef market or at sale barns for calves and feeder steers.
Cash fed trade developed early last week in a start and stop sort of fashion. About 1,500 head were confirmed sold on Monday at $152- 153 live in Kansas, then by Wednesday afternoon, over 3,500 head were sold in addition at prices ranging from $155-158 live and $245-246 dressed.
According to the latest Rabobank report, Beef Quarterly Q2 2014, the global beef market will regain its positive momentum in Q3, once the current, temporarily high supply has worked through the system. This will likely support further strengthening of prices, as supply of competing animal proteins tighten.
Asking prices started the week slightly elevated from the prior week’s sales of $148-150 live and $234-238 dressed. However, after a strong rally—again—in the futures markets, asking prices jumped up a few more dollars. By Thursday morning, cattle feeders were asking $153-154 live and $240-242 dressed.
Senior-level buyers from some of the top red meat importers in China and Hong Kong toured the heartland of America with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) last month, getting a top-tobottom education on U.S. agriculture and the red meat industry..
The most recent Cold Storage report was released last week. It showed that stores of beef in all warehouses across the country are down considerably from the same time last year. As of May 31, there were 378.9 million pounds of beef in cold storage, representing 38.
Cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 head or greater capacity as of June 1 stood at 10.59 million, down 1.7 percent compared to June 1 of last year. As has been the case for the past several months, all of the major cattle-feeding states, save Nebraska, saw declines in their on-feed populations.
The markets were alive last week! Cash feeders were still shooting for the stars, feeder futures were bouncing off the walls, and—despite analysts’ predictions—the bulk of the cash fed trade was accomplished ahead of last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released last Wednesday. Though much of the grain-trading world was awaiting its release, the Crop Progress report had more interesting data than did WASDE. Projections of meat and poultry production show the effect of decreased supplies in beef, however.
Relative to the action in the feeder markets, describing the cash fed trade of last week as in low gear would be generous. That said, trade—once it happened—was decent. By Thursday afternoon, 18,083 head of cattle had been confirmed sold, almost all of them on Thursday, at $148 live in the Southern Plains and $233-235 dressed in the Corn Belt.
U.S. beef and pork exports continued their positive growth trend in April, increasing by double digits in volume and by an even healthier margin in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (US- MEF).
Instead, a paradigm shift swept through the U.S. feeding industry: those last days on feed are not so inefficient because cattle are growing carcass weight to sell on value-based grids. Supporting factors included the growing use of beta-agonists and the shrinking supply of feeder cattle that made replacements more costly.
Traditionally, cattle feeders have estimated external fat thickness over the12th rib as one measure of finish, and although some research and carcass contests still ship cattle to the packer as soon as 0.3 inches, the norm has reached nearly twice that.
Feeder cattle markets continue to move higher with a major record high set last week. October feeder cattle futures broke $2 in overnight trade last Wednesday. Good rains have come over the past couple weeks in areas of the Southwest, causing a case of grass fever which has encouraged cattlemen to bid on light calves.