Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jul 12, 2013

Cash Cattle:

The five-area cash price ended the week mixed with live cattle trading at $121.24/cwt on a live basis, up $1.66, while dressed sales came in at $191.73, down $0.86. In the Southern Plains, live cattle sold at $119/cwt. In the Western Cornbelt, live and dressed cattle were respectively at $121/cwt and $191-$193/cwt.

In Oklahoma City, feeder steers were $3-$5/cwt higher (with 900 pound calves upwards at $10/cwt higher), while heifers sold steady to $2/cwt higher. Calves were called firm. In Mississippi auction markets, feeder steers were $1-$5/cwt higher and heifers traded $2-$4/cwt higher. Slaughter cows were steady while bulls were $1-$3/cwt higher.


Live cattle futures slid lower this week for nearby contracts, with the lone exception being a strong rally on Tuesday. Deferred contracts were mildly higher and have been strong since mid-June. The current glut of cattle and lackluster sales have current market prices depressed, while the notion of even tighter supplies in the face of a stronger economy have been encouraging for contracts further out. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index closed at it’s highest level on Friday (15,464.30), which should provide some positive support for cattle and beef prices moving forward. Similar trends were seen this week in the feeder cattle markets with nearby contracts falling, while deferred contracts were steady to slightly higher.

Corn futures finished the week 18 to 20 cents higher. From the supply/demand report on Thursday, old crop corn ending stocks were lowered to 729 million bushels (mbu), but higher than expected. New crop ending stocks were raised to 1.959 billion bushels as minor downward revisions for production were more than offset by decreases to use (feed use was lowered 50 mbu to 5.15 billion bushels). 


Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower this week. Choice carcasses finished the week $3.65/cwt lower at $193.30 and have slid $17.17 since the high’s set in late May. Select finished at $185.08/cwt, down $2.07.

Supply and Demand Estimates:

The USDA released their monthly supply and demand estimates Thursday (July 11). Beef production in 2013 was forecast lower than last month at 25.337 billion pounds, a reduction 0f 100 million pounds. Second quarter production was lowered by 180 million due to less slaughter than initially projected. Third and fourth quarter slaughter was raised by 80 million pounds in anticipation that some of the unseen second quarter numbers will eventually work its way through the pipeline.


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