Weekly US Cattle Outlook

US - Regular cattle report from Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain for week ending 12th January 2007.
calendar icon 15 January 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Compared to the week ending December 23, feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City were steady to $2.00 per cwt lower. Steer and heifer calf prices under 450 pounds were steady and over 450 pounds were steady to $2.00 per cwt lower.

The prices for medium and large number one steers by weight groups were: 400-450 pounds $128.00-139.75 per cwt, value added $141.00-141.50 per cwt; 450-500 pounds $118.00-121.50 per cwt; 500-550 pounds $114-122 per cwt, value added $116.00-119.50 per cwt; 550-600 pounds $107.25-115.50 per cwt; 600-650 pound calves $98.00-104.50 per cwt; 650-700 pound calves $94.00-100.50 per cwt; 600-650 pound yearlings $103-109 per cwt; 650-700 pound yearlings $98.50-103.00 per cwt; 700-750 pounds $98.00-103.85 per cwt; 750-800 pounds $97.50-101.50 per cwt; 800-850 pounds $95.00-100.50 per cwt; 850-900 pounds $94.25-99.75 per cwt; and 900-950 pounds $92.75-97.10 per cwt.

Replacement cow prices are holding a fairly good premium to slaughter cows. The prices for replacement cows this week at Oklahoma City showed cows pre-tested for bangs, pregnancy and age: 1-4 years old weighing 850-1,250 pounds bred 4-7 months, high quality $780-875 per head; average quality $630-720 per head; 7-8 years old, bred 4-7 months, high quality $825 per head; average quality $610-710 per head, low quality $500-600 per head; 9-10 years old weighing 975-1,300 pounds, bred 4-7 months, average quality $560-655 per head; low quality $475-550 per head.

Fed cattle trade for negotiated cattle started early this week but only 30,137 head changed ownership through Thursday. The weighted average price for the five-market area for live cattle at $87.50 per cwt was down $0.54 per cwt from a week earlier. The weighted average carcass price for negotiated cattle was down $1.15 per cwt at $140.06 per cwt compared to 7 days earlier.

Cattle slaughter in early week was down substantially from a year earlier and wholesale beef prices responded with strength. Wholesale choice beef prices Friday morning at $154.80 per cwt were up $7.17 per cwt from a week earlier. Select beef prices were up $6.61 per cwt at $140.06 per cwt compared to last week.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 594 thousand head, down 2.0% from a year earlier.

Beef exports for January - November 2006 were up 68.2% from a year earlier, but still down 55.4% from the first 11 months of 2003 (before the cow with BSE was found in Washington State).

Beef imports for January - November were down 13.9% from 12 months earlier. Net imports of beef as a percent of production declined from 11.8% in the first 11 months of 2005 to 7.4% in the same months of 2006. This is the major reason why the demand for fed cattle was so strong in these months of 2006 compared to consumer demand for beef. Most of the decline in imports for January - November was from Canada, Argentina and Uruguay.

Live feeder cattle imports from Mexico in January - November were up 4.7% from a year earlier. Total live cattle imports from Canada and Mexico were up 34%. Remember, live cattle imports were banned until July of 2005 because of BSE.

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