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Cattle and Beef Markets

by WLJ
2013 July 12
At this point in 2013, fed cattle prices have generally been disappointing compared to 2012 forecasts which called for prices in the low $130s for much of the first half of 2013. Instead, slaughter cattle prices averaged $125.12 per cwt for the first six months of the year, explained Darrell R.
by WLJ
2013 July 12
Exports of U.S. beef moved 3 percent higher in volume in May, and a healthy 9 percent in value, while pork exports dipped 3 percent in volume and 3.6 percent in value, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
2013 July 5
Last week’s short trade week saw surprisingly sluggish buying behavior from packers. Because of the July 4 holiday, markets—cash and futures alike—closed early on Wednesday and were closed Thursday, leaving only Monday through Wednesday and some of Friday for trading cattle.
by WLJ
2013 July 5
With the first half of the year behind us, it is useful to take a look at what has happened and the prospects for the second half of 2013. Beef demand has been and remains a crucial question, perhaps even more so in the second half of the year. Currently, Choice boxed beef prices are roughly $127/cwt.
by WLJ
2013 July 5
“It is a rare occurrence that all sectors within the cattle industry are profitable at the same,” says report author and Rabobank FAR group analyst Don Close. “However, before the U.S. cattle industry can begin to fully rebuild after several years of contraction, it is necessary for equity recovery to take place in the cattle feeding sector.
2013 June 24
Light cash trade developed sporadically throughout last week with Iowa and Nebraska selling several hundred head on Tuesday and Wednesday at $120-122 live and $190-192 dressed with a few at $194 dressed going to a regional packer in Nebraska.
by WLJ
2013 June 21
Mexico has long been a major beef industry trading partner with the U.S. in roles that have continually evolved into deeper and more integrated relationships. For many years, Mexico has been the major source of imported feeder cattle. U.S.
2013 June 17
Last week saw donut-like activity in the cash fed market. Light trade occurred on Monday and Tuesday in Iowa at $193.50-195 dressed and $122-124 live. This was called clean-up trade from the previous week by Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage.
2013 June 14
Beef production estimates were increased by 330 million pounds (mp) to 25.52 billion pounds (bp) for 2013. Continued poor range conditions in key cattle states pushing relatively large placements of cattle into feedlots and continued high cow slaughter were credited by USDA as the motivation behind the estimate increase.
by WLJ
2013 June 10
The cash trade was put off until later last week as packers again tried to hold onto their positive margins in the face of steadily declining product values. Bids only surfaced on Wednesday at $121 live in the South Plains, which would be $3-4 lower than the cash prices of the prior week.
2013 June 3
The cash markets were sluggish as packers are trying to hold onto their positive profit margins as cutout values have begun to move lower. By midweek, the asking prices were $126-128 live and $202-204 dressed, but packers were only bidding $122 live in the South Plains and $197 in Nebraska by Thursday morning.
2013 May 27
Cash trade on live cattle kept analysts guessing throughout the week. At first, expectations were for a midweek startup, then after the futures’ bust on Wednesday, analysts were calling for a lateweek trade. All the while, the cash market failed to show the repeatedly record-setting cutout values.
by WLJ
2013 May 24
Choice boxed beef finished last week at a record weekly average of $207.49/cwt., up $4/cwt. from last week and up $17/cwt. from the recent lows last month. Though this market may be near a peak, the strength and duration of the recent run has been impressive and sets the stage for a stronger summer beef market.
2013 May 20
By Thursday afternoon, about 15,000 head had been confirmed sold, adding to the 8,000 head sold throughout the week. With the exception of Texas—where live cattle sold at $125, a dollar lower than the prior week’s live price—nothing in trendsetting numbers.
2013 May 17
Friday, May 10 saw the release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. Though the report contained very few surprises compared to prereport industry expectations, this was the first WASDE report of the year to include domestic projections for the 2013/2014 marketing year and 2013 world production estimates.
2013 May 13
The Australian beef industry is experiencing a perfect storm of economic disaster. Drought, oversupply from closed markets, and ag policy gone awry have left Aussie producers scrambling to find an alternative to simply shooting the hundreds of thousands of excess animals which cost more to feed and ship than they’re worth at market.
2013 May 13
The cash fed trade developed as a slow but steady trickle last week with reportable sales starting as early as Tuesday. Cattle sold for $126-127 live and $202-204 dressed, decreases of as much as $5-6 for both depending upon what part of cattle country one looked at.
by WLJ
2013 May 10
March exports of U.S. beef were down in volume from a year ago but edged slightly higher in value, while pork exports slumped on lower results in several mainstay markets. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S.

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