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Cattle and Beef Markets

by DTN
2014 February 7
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.
2014 February 3
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.
2014 January 31
“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.
by WLJ
2014 January 31
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.
by WLJ
2014 January 31
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.
2014 January 27
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.
by WLJ
2014 January 17
“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.
2014 January 13
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.
by WLJ
2014 January 10
There are a multitude of factors impacting the shipping market. Major factors include strong growth for several of the major commodity segments, with the growth in Bakken oil and crop shipments being the most notable. There is a persistently strong demand for containers in other logistical market segments.
by WLJ
2014 January 10
“While corn prices at South Dakota ethanol plants have dropped $1.50 per bushel since Aug. 2, dried distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) prices have actually increased by $1.05 per ton,” said Darrell Mark, Adjunct Professor of Economics at South Dakota State University.
2014 January 4
Cash fed trade last week was riding the strong price tailwind from the prior week. On Friday, Dec. 27, cash cattle prices increased sharply with cattle selling $3-4 higher for live at $133-136 and $3-6 higher with $210-215—mostly $212-214—for dressed.
2013 December 30
The cash fed trade was choppy last week, given the Christmas holiday being smack dab in the middle of the trading week. Analysts expected cattle to sell steady to $1-2 higher than the prior week’s $129-130 live and $205-209 dressed in late-week trade.

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