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Weekly US Cattle Outlook: Feed Number Down

27 April 2009
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 24th April 2009 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.

The USDA Cattle on Feed April 1 came in exactly at the trade estimates. The number on feed was down 4.4 percent, placed on feed during March was up 3.8 percent and fed marketings during March were down 0.8 percent from 12 months earlier.

The futures market for live cattle responded by being down $0.85 per cwt on average for the first two trading days of the week.

The weight of cattle placed on feed during March was some heavier then a year earlier. The number placed during March weighing less than 600 pounds was down 10.4 percent, the number placed weighing 600-699 pounds was up three percent, the number placed weighing 700-799 pounds was up 5.5 percent and the number placed weighing over 800 pounds was up 11.8 percent from 12 months earlier.

Total beef in cold storage on March 31 was down one percent from a year earlier. Pork cold storage stocks were down 10 percent and total chicken stock March 31 was down 17 percent from the same date in 2008. Some good news along with the not so good news for prices of meats.

The price of Choice beef at retail during March was down 1.6 percent from February but up 2.2 percent from March of 2008. For January-March, Choice beef prices at retail were up 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

Beef marketers did better in January-March of 2009 than a year earlier. The processor-retailer margin was up 13.2 percent and the packer margin was up 3.9 percent from 12 months earlier. However, the results for cattle feeders was dismal, down 9.5 percent from a year earlier for January-March of 2009 compared to 2008 which resulted in big time red ink.

Feeder cattle and calves were $1-3 per cwt higher with instances of $4 per cwt higher than last week at Oklahoma City.

The prices by weight groups for medium and large frame Number One steers were: 400-500 pounds $123-131.50 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $110.75-124 per cwt, 600-700 pounds at $104-111.25 per cwt, 700-800 pounds at $100.25-110.25 per cwt and 800-1,000 pounds at $87-100 per cwt.

Live fed cattle prices were pushed lower this week with the weighted average price for the five-market area at $87.92 per cwt was down $0.99 per cwt from last week through Thursday. Weighted average negotiated carcass prices for the five-market area at $142.41 per cwt was up $0.20 per cwt from a week earlier.

Wholesale beef prices showed Choice beef Friday morning at $152.03 per cwt was up $2.74 per cwt from last Friday. Select beef at $150.06 per cwt was up $2.56 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 640 thousand head down 8.8 percent from 12 months earlier.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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