Cattle Market Notes Week Ending February 24, 2017

Cattle Quick Thoughts

The Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council Meeting was held in Raymond on February 22nd. This meeting was designed to give producers across all commodities the opportunity to discuss issues important to their operations and that they would like MSU to look into. One piece of feedback I received in the beef room is that this Cattle Market Notes Newsletter should include prices for feedstuffs and for more weight classes of cattle in Mississippi auctions than just the 450-500 and 750-800 ranges listed below. This is a good comment! While I only include a few weight classes in the text of this newsletter to conserve space, prices for the full set of weight classes for MS steers and heifers (along with prices from other states, feedstuffs, cull prices, and historical trends) are available in a Google spreadsheet online by clicking HERE . This document is updated each week and a link is included in each newsletter after the cash cattle section.

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle rallied this week up $5.41 to an average of $124.38 for live sales compared to $118.97 last week. Dressed steers were up even higher to an average of $195.92 this week, an increase of $8.48 over last week. Trade volume was just over 119,000 head which was up significantly from last week’s total of 14,159 head.

Mississippi feeder steers weighing 450-500 pounds held steady at $143.50 while 750-800 pound steers were up $3 to $118.50 compared to $115.50 last week. Feeder prices in Oklahoma City for 500-550 pound steers were down 86 cents to $160.70 and OKC 750-800 pound steers averaged $128.95 which was up a nickel over last week.

[ … For more in depth Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE …  ]

Futures:

The Cattle on Feed report was released on Friday afternoon and had an impact on end of the week futures prices (I’ll post in-depth cattle on feed comments on the Ag Econ blog early next week).  April live cattle were up 32 cents over last week to $115.10 while June live cattle were down 22 cents to $104.95. March feeder cattle were down $1.82 from last Friday at $122.15 while April futures were down $2.22 on the week at $121.95. Corn futures prices were down slightly this week with March and May corn futures each down 4 cents at $3.64 and $3.71, respectively.

Beef:                                                                                          

Wholesale boxed beef prices were up this week with Choice boxes averaging $194.48, up $5.55 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $191.87, an increase of $4.19 from last week. The choice-select spread increased to $2.61.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel unless stated otherwise.

Cattle Market Notes Week Ending February 17, 2017

Cattle Quick Thoughts

U.S. cattle cycles have flattened over time as the difference between the lowest and highest beef cow inventory levels within a cycle has decreased. This was discussed in depth in a recent fact sheet published by Kansas State University Ag Economics Professor Dr. Glynn Tonsor and Ph.D. student James Mitchell (available HERE).  One of the primary reasons that inventory variability within a cycle has decreased is that we have consistently been able to produce more beef per animal through increased slaughter weights. Thus, when the herd shrinks, higher slaughter weights can help offset some of the loss in pounds caused by fewer animals. What remains to be seen is whether slaughter weights will decrease by much in 2017 in response to more cattle. For each month between May and December 2016, slaughter weights were slightly lower than in the same month in 2015. However, 2016 weights were still significantly higher than the 2010-2014 average. We will get our first glimpse of 2017 weights next week when the next Livestock Slaughter report is released.

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle were down 78 cents to an average of $118.97 for live sales compared to $119.75 last week. Dressed steers were down to an average of $187.44 this week, a decrease of $2.62 since last week. Trade volume was low at just 14,000 head, down significantly from last week’s total of 81,360 head.

Mississippi feeder steers weighing 450-500 pounds were up $2.50 at $143.50 while 750-800 pound steers were up $2 to $115 compared to $113 last week. Feeder prices in Oklahoma City for 500-550 pound steers were up $2.34 to $161.56 and OKC 750-800 pound steers averaged $128.90 which was up $1.06 from last week.

[ … For more in depth Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE …]

Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures rebounded this week. February live cattle were up $1.60 at $118, while April live cattle were up $1.63 over last week to $114.78. March feeder cattle were up $1.90 from last Friday at $123.98 while April futures were up $1.72 on the week at $124.18. Corn futures prices dipped this week with March and May corn futures down 5 and 6 cents at $3.68 and $3.75, respectively.

Beef:                                                                                          

Wholesale boxed beef prices were mostly unchanged this week with choice boxes averaging $188.93, down 46 cents from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $187.68, an increase of 40 cents from last week. The choice-select spread is at just $1.25.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel unless stated otherwise.

Cattle Market Notes Week Ending February 10, 2017

Cattle Quick Thoughts

Recent reports show that beef exports volumes were up 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared to Q4 of 2015. This is encouraging news as we will need to continue to find buyers for the increasing production of U.S. beef. Beef production in 2016 Q4 was up 8 percent over a year earlier. Exports to South Korea have played a key role in the export gains as shipments in December 2016 were up 90 percent over December 2015.

The Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association held their annual convention on Saturday, February 11th. Dr. Brian Williams and I shared a brief cattle outlook with a primary focus on cattle inventory. You can access our PowerPoint presentation HERE .

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle were up 99 cents to an average of $119.75 for live sales compared to $118.76 last week. Dressed steers were up 28 cents to an average of $190.06 this week. Trade volume was up about 5,000 head over last week to 81,360 head.

Mississippi feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were up $4.50 at $143.50 while 750-800 pound steers decreased $3.50 to $113 compared to $116.50 last week. Feeder prices in Oklahoma City for 500-550 pound steers were up $1.26 to $159.22 and OKC 750-800 pound steers averaged $127.84 which was up $1.62 from last week.

[ … For more in depth Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE …]

Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures dipped even further this week. February live cattle were down 70 cents at $116.40, while April live cattle were down $2.57 over last week to $113.15. March feeder cattle were down $1.70 from last Friday at $122.08 while April futures were down $1.20 on the week at $122.45. Corn futures prices bumped up slightly this week with March and May corn futures each up 9 and 10 cents at $3.73 and $3.81, respectively.

Beef:                                                                                          

Wholesale boxed beef prices fell this week with choice boxes averaging $189.39, down $3.49 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $187.28, a decrease of $2.57 from last week. The choice-select spread shrunk to $2.11.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel unless stated otherwise.

Cattle Market Notes Week Ending February 3, 2017

Cattle Quick Thoughts

The January 2017 cattle inventory report released this week showed total U.S. cattle inventory was up 1.8 percent compared to January 2016. Buried beneath this overall number are a 3.5 percent increase in beef cows and a 1.2 percent increase in replacements. Both of these numbers can be surprising given the lower prices throughout 2016 that many hoped would discourage further expansion. The drought in Mississippi left the state with fewer beef cows than last year (down 5 percent). However, the MS decline was vastly outweighed by increases in other states. More beef cows and replacement heifers not only mean more cattle now but also a larger calf crop to come. Prices are driven by two primary factors: supply and demand. The high prices we saw in 2014/15 were driven by historically low supply. The current increased number of cattle puts downward pressure on prices. Any positive support for prices in the near future will likely have to come from finding ways to grow demand for U.S. beef.

Cash Cattle:

The combination of the higher than expected placements in the cattle on feed report and the continued expansion mentioned above drove prices down significantly this week. Cash traded fed cattle were down $2.64 to an average of $118.76 for live sales compared to $121.40 last week. Dressed steers averaged $189.75 this week, down $3.80 last week. Trade volume was essentially the same as last week at 76,286 head.

Mississippi feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $4.50 at $139 while heavier 750-800 pound steers decreased $2 to $116.50 compared to $118.50 last week. Feeder prices in Oklahoma City for 500-550 pound steers were down $5.56 to $157.96 and OKC 750-800 pound steers averaged $126.22 which was down $6.57 from last week.

[… For more in depth Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE …]

Futures:

Live cattle futures and feeder futures continued to slide. February live cattle were down 95 cents at $117.10, while April live cattle were down $1.28 over last week to $115.73. March feeder cattle were down $3.40 from last Friday at $123.78 while April futures were down $2.88 on the week at $123.65. Corn futures prices bumped up slightly this week with March and May corn futures each up a penny at $3.64 and $3.71, respectively.

Beef:                                                                                          

Wholesale boxed beef prices were up this week with choice boxes averaging $192.88, up 79 cents from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $189.85, an increase of $1.28 from last week. The choice-select spread decreased to just $3.03.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel unless stated otherwise.