Weekly US Cattle Outlook - Live Cattle Price Down

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 2nd November 2007 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 5 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The stand off between cattle feeders and packers last week ended on Friday with feeder giving up a little price, but less than $1.00 per cwt, from a week earlier. For the total week live cattle price averaged about $92.50 per cwt for the five-market area, down about $0.70 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Cattle slaughter weights continue to run some above a year earlier as well as slaughter numbers. The average weight of all cattle slaughtering the week ending October 13 was up seven pounds, steers were up twelve pounds and heifers were up thirteen pounds from the same week last year. Even though the number of cattle placed on feed last summer was down substantially from twelve months earlier the cattle placed on feed had heavier weights that require a shorter feeding period.

There are several observers who believe marketing will tail off from a year ago in coming weeks but the probabilities do not appear to be as high for this to happen as was expected a few weeks ago.

Retail Choice beef price was up 1.6 percent in September from a month earlier and up 7.7 percent from a year earlier. The average retail beef price for the first nine months of 2007 at $4.165 was up 4.7 percent from 12 months earlier.

Everyone but the packers in the beef industry benefited from the higher retail price. The processing retail margin for the first nine months of 2007 was up 8.9 percent and the price for fed cattle was up 8.2 percent from 12 months earlier but the packer margin was down 17.2 percent.

Feeder cattle at Oklahoma City were $1-2 lower at the end of the sale following a steady to $2 per cwt higher trend in early part of sale. Steer calves $1-4 higher and heifer calves steady to $2 per cwt higher. All comparisons are with a week earlier.

The prices for medium and large frame Number one steers this week by weight groups at Oklahoma City were: 400-500 pounds $121-130.25 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $111.50-127 per cwt, 600-700-pound calves $104.50-115 per cwt, 700-800-pound calves $103-108.50 per cwt, 600-700-pound yearlings $110.50-117.50 per cwt, 700-800-pound yearlings $108-114 per cwt and 800-1000 pounds $104.75-110.50 per cwt.

The weighted average price for live fed cattle for the five-market area through Thursday this week at $89.90 per cwt down $0.20 per cwt from a week earlier. The weighted average carcass price for the five-market area was down $1.00 per cwt at $141.73 per cwt compared to a week earlier.

Wholesale beef prices Friday morning showed Choice beef at $138.38 per cwt down $4.06 per cwt from seven days earlier. Select beef price was down $2.36 per cwt at $127.06 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 671 thousand head, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier.

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