Weekly US Cattle Outlook - Feeder cattle prices rally

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 9th March 2007 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 10 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain
Feeder cattle prices have rallied some in the last three weeks with the higher fed cattle prices for futures and some lower corn prices in the last couple of weeks.

Feeder steers and heifers were mostly $1-3 per cwt higher and steer and heifer calves were steady to $2 per cwt higher at Oklahoma City this week compared to 7 days earlier.

The range in prices for medium and large frame number one steers by weight groups were: 400-500 pounds $125-136 per cwt, thin $140 per cwt; 500-600 pounds $112-130 per cwt; 600-700 pound yearlings $104-116.75 per cwt, 700-800 pounds $98.85-109.25 per cwt and 800-1,000 pounds $93-102.50 per cwt.

Replacement cows continue to show a relatively good price premium to slaughter cows. At Oklahoma City this week, cows pre-tested for bangs, pregnancy and age showed heifers weighing 1,000-1,100 pounds, bred five to eight months, high-quality black $950-1,030 per head. Four to six year-olds at 975-1,375 pounds, bred five to eight months, average- to high-quality black were $785-835 per head. Five to seven year-old 1,000-1,200 pound cows, bred three to six months, average quality were $625-682 per head.

Cow slaughter continues to run well above a year ago. For the year through the week ending February 17, total sow slaughter was 11.6% above 12 months earlier, dairy cow slaughter for this period was up 10.8%, and beef cow slaughter was up 12.3% from a year earlier.

The limited supply of hay, which is costing big bucks brought about by the drought of last year and in some areas dry for the last two years, is the major reason for the reduced cow herd size that is occurring.

When the dust finally settled last week, the prices for fed cattle on Friday were up substantially from Thursday. The five-market area for fed cattle through Thursday showed an average weighted price for live cattle at $90.89 per cwt. For the full week, the weighted average live price for the five-market area was $93.60, up $2.71 per cwt for the week through Thursday.

The weighted average carcass price for the week through Friday for the five-market area at $149.28 was up $2.32 for the week through Thursday and up $4.38 from last week.

The weighted average live price for this week through Thursday at $97.85 per cwt was up $6.96 per cwt from a week earlier. The weighted average carcass price for the five-market area through Thursday was up $8.10 per cwt at $155.06 per cwt.

Wholesale beef prices this Friday morning showed Choice beef up $10.98 per cwt at $159.63 per cwt. Select beef Friday morning at $150.70 per cwt was up $8.62 per cwt.

Slaughter under Federal Inspection was estimated at 632 thousand head, up 5.7% from a year earlier.

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