Weekly US Cattle Outlook - 2006 beef exports up

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 16th February 2007 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 17 February 2007
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain
Beef exports for December of 2006 were up 40.6% from a year earlier. For all of 2006 beef exports were up 65.3% from 2005. However, beef exports for 2006 were still over 54% below the year of 2003.

Beef exports to Canada were up 125% for 2006 compared to a year earlier, up 44% to Mexico, up 59.7% to Caribbean, up 200.8% to Taiwan and up 39.6% to other countries from 12 months earlier.

Beef imports for 2006 were down 14.3% from 2005. Our imports for 2006 were down 1.4% from Australia, down 6.6% from New Zealand, down 22.7% from Canada, down 22.3% from Argentina, down 11% from Central America and down 45.2% from Uruguay from a year earlier.

The U.S. net beef imports as a percent of production declined from 11.76% in 2005 to 7.41% in 2006. This is the major reason why demand at the live cattle level was up 2.9% from 2006, while beef demand at the consumer level was down in 2006 by 4.4% compared to 12 months earlier based on preliminary data.

Feeder cattle imports from Mexico were basically the same in 2006 as 2005. However, live cattle imports from Canada were up 84.5% last year from a year earlier. Remember, the border to live cattle from Canada did not open until July because of BSE. Total live cattle imports in 2006 were up 26% from 12 months earlier.

At Oklahoma City this week feeder steers were steady to firm in prices and heifers were steady to $1 lower with decline on weights over 750 pounds. Steer and heifer calves were steady to $2.00 higher compared to last week.

The prices for medium and large frame number one steers by weight groups were: 400-500 pounds $121-130 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $112-122 per cwt, 600-700 pounds $97-114.25 per cwt, 700-800 pounds $94.50-102.75 per cwt and 800-1,000 pounds $91.10-97.35 per cwt.

Replacement cows for the breeding herd at Oklahoma City are showing some seasonal strength. All cows were pre-tested for Bangs, pregnancy and age. Some heifers weighing 1,150-1,275 pounds, bred 7-8 months high-quality Black Angus were priced $1,210-1,235 per head. Heifers weighing 1,100-1,425 pounds bred 7-8 months, high-quality Red Angus sold for $1,125-1,210 per head. Some 3-4 year old cows weighing 1,275-1,375 pounds, bred 8 months, high-quality black were $950-975 per head. Some 2-5 year old cows weighing 1,100-1,250 pounds, bred 5-7 months, average-quality were $810-875 per head.

The weighted average live fed cattle price in the negotiated trade this week through Thursday at $91.15 per cwt was up $1.11 per cwt from a week earlier for the five-market area. The weighted average carcass price through Thursday in negotiated trade for the five-market area was up $1.95 per cwt at $146.50 per cwt through Thursday from 7 days earlier.

Wholesale Choice beef prices this Friday morning at $154.72 per cwt was up $9.87 per cwt and Select beef was up $8.17 per cwt at $147.17 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 624 thousand head, up 14.5% from 12 months earlier.

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