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Cattle and Beef Markets

by WLJ
2014 May 16
In the first quarter of 2014, Nebraska steers sold at an average price of $147 per live hundredweight; more than $20 higher than the previous first-quarter record price. Nationally, finished cattle prices were up 17 percent during the first quarter. With production only down 4 percent, the hike has been somewhat unexplained.
by DTN
2014 May 9
The nightmare of the 2013 tax return preparation season was the new 3.8 percent net investment income (NII) tax. The good news is this tax only applies to the extent income on page 1 of the Form 1040 exceeds $200,000 single or $250,000 joint.
2014 May 9
Walmart executives used the event to talk about how to “rewire the system” in ways that would have a significant impact on improving the environment. That entailed touting various collaborative efforts to improve efficiency and reduce waste throughout the supply chain for Walmart stores.
by WLJ
2014 May 9
The pace of U.S. beef and pork exports increased sharply in March, driven by double-digit increases to leading markets Mexico, the China/Hong Kong region and South Korea, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (US- MEF).
2014 May 5
Cash trade was slow to develop again last week, but when a little trade happened on Thursday, the numbers were a surprise. With a little over 7,000 head sold by Thursday afternoon, prices were steady to up $5 compared to the prior week with steers selling live at $148-150.
2014 May 2
The futures markets reacted favorably to what was a decidedly bullish surprise from the most recent Cattle on Feed report. Following the report’s release, feeder futures and live futures to a lesser extent surged on word that there will be fewer cattle than expected in the coming months.
2014 April 28
“Packers are trying to lay in the weeds and say they have enough inventory around them and that domestic beef business has yet to pick up seasonally,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “This may be true to a certain extent but they do have first of May beef orders to fill and export orders have been robust lately.
2014 April 21
The cash fed trade developed in a slow trickle throughout the week last week. By Thursday afternoon, over 59,000 head had been confirmed sold for the week at a weighted average of $146.79 live and $233.33 dressed. That was decidedly lower compared to the prior week’s $147-148 live and $240-241 dressed prices.
by DTN
2014 April 18
On the positive side, exports to Asia increased 5 percent for a total of $1.2 billion while exports to Canada increased 6 percent for total of $4.3 billion. The increase in Asia was aided by China having government polices still supportive of agriculture focusing on productivity and increasing farm income, he said.
2014 April 14
Packers are bleeding out red ink again, and last week looked like the cash fed cattle market was going to wring a bit more red out of them. By close of trade Thursday afternoon, barely 5,000 head had been confirmed sold for the whole week, and then only at $150 live and average $240.
2014 April 11
Last Wednesday saw the release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The report was called bullish for corn given the increases made to corn export to reflect the quick pace of corn trade in recent months, and not all that surprising for meat.
2014 April 7
The cash fed cattle trade decided to play an opposite day prank for the week of April Fools. Compared to the prior week, where the bulk of a very large weekly cash fed trade took place early in the week for surprisingly higher money, last week was sluggish, inactive, and what few trades did occur prior to publishing were depressed.
by WLJ
2014 April 4
Live-weight steers reached $130 per hundredweight for the first time last October. January brought $140 per hundredweight and in February prices cleared $150 for the first time. Those prices were enough to interest cattlemen in expanding their herds..
by WLJ
2014 April 4
A myriad of factors are at work in cattle and beef markets now. Spring has arrived, according to the calendar, but it isn’t obvious yet in many parts of the country. Cold weather continues to delay grass greenup in many regions in a fashion that is reminiscent of last year.
2014 April 4
Every year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects surveys from a large number of American farmers and ranchers asking what they plan to plant. This information is collected into the Prospective Plantings report, and the information is invaluable to the markets and subsequent reports.
by WLJ
2014 April 4
Although challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country continued to impact customer traffic in February, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained above 100 for the 12th consecutive month. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.
2014 March 31
It is such an alien thing to report these days, but cash fed cattle trade was wrapping up Wednesday last week, with the prices paid surprising even bullish analysts. Live cattle went for $150-154, with most volume in the $152-154 area—up $4 in the Southern Plains and steady to up $1 in the Corn Belt—and $242-245 dressed.

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