Cattle Market Notes Week Ending April 7, 2017

Cattle Quick Thoughts

The February meat exports report was released this week by USDA. Overall, the trend of strong export numbers continued. Total beef exports in February 2017 were 9 percent higher than February 2016. The value of U.S. beef exports totaled about $505 million, 16 percent higher than the same period last year. The U.S. Meat Export Federation estimated that the value of exports per head of fed cattle to be $278, up 16 percent from last year. Year to date 2017, beef exports are 13 percent higher in volume and 17 percent higher in volume than a year ago. February exports accounted for about 13 percent of total beef production, similar to a year ago.

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle were down $6.17 to an average of $121.71 for live sales. Dressed steers were down $7.97 to an average of $197.37. Fed cattle trade volume was just over 17,000 head.

Mississippi feeder steers weighing 450-500 pounds were down $4 this week to average $150.50 while 750-800 pound steers were down $3 at $119.50. Average feeder prices in Oklahoma City for 500-550 pound steers were up $5.56 to $165.56 while OKC 750-800 pound steers were down $1.58 from last week to $135.38.

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Futures:

Cattle futures prices were mostly steady to slightly higher this week. April live cattle were up 8 cents to $120 while June live cattle were up 90 cents to $111.78. April feeder cattle were down 10 cents to $133.65 while May feeder futures were up $1.40 on the week to $132.80. Corn futures prices were down this week with May and July futures each down a nickel to $3.59 and $3.67, respectively.

Beef:                                                                                          

Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower this week. Choice boxes averaged $209.99, down $7.16 from a week ago. Select boxes ended the week at an average of $200, down $9.79 from last week. The choice-select spread was $9.99, up $2.63 from last week.

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

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