Weekly US Cattle Outlook - Live Price For Fed Cattle Up

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 30th November 2007 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 3 December 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

A good rally in the Thanksgiving holiday shortened week for fed cattle prices. The weighted average live price for fed cattle for the five-market area was $95.10 per cwt, up $2.40 per cwt from a week earlier.

The news continues to be good for the demand for beef and live fed cattle. For January-October, the midpoint estimate of our demand index shows a growth of 0.9 percent in consumer demand from 12 months earlier. The news is even better for fed cattle demand with a robust growth of 3.7 percent from the same months of 2006.

Total cattle slaughter finally dropped below a year earlier for the week ending November 10 and a nice price response development in the period from Thursday, November 8 when prices for that week through Thursday averaged $89.65 live for fed cattle for the five-market area. Last week's price was $5.45 per cwt gain in a little over two weeks.

With the number of cattle on feed November 1 down 1.7 percent from a year earlier, November is the fifth consecutive month for the number on feed below a year earlier.

The weights of cattle placed on feed during October were mostly heavy cattle. The total number placed on feed was up 11.8 percent with the number placed weighting less than 600 pounds up 1.8 percent. However, the number placed weighing between 600-699 pounds was up 14.6 percent, the number placed weighing 700-799 pounds up 14.6 percent and the number placed weighing 800 pounds plus was up 23.1 percent.

We should have at least a few more months with fed cattle marketings below a year earlier. With continued growth in beef exports, the demand for live fed cattle is expected to end the year stronger than a year earlier. This combination should result in fed cattle prices live in the mid to upper 90s into mid winter.

Cold storage stock of beef at the end of October was nearly 1.5 percent above the ending of September 2007 and October 2006.

For the week ending November 24, feeder steers and heifers were limited tested and a similar story this week at Oklahoma City. Steer and heifer calves were $2-4 per cwt higher than a week earlier for the week ending November 24. This week steer and heifer calves were also up $2-4 per cwt compared to seven days earlier at Oklahoma City.

The prices by weight groups for this week for medium and large frame Number One steers were: 400-500 pounds $124-144 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $115-129 per cwt, 600-700-pound calves $104-116.50, 600-700-pound yearlings $110.75-117.30 per cwt, 700-800 pounds $109-115.75 per cwt and 800-875 pounds $106-111 per cwt.

The weighted average price for live fed cattle for the five-market area through Thursday at $95.15 per cwt up $0.05 per cwt from a week earlier. The weighted average carcass price through Thursday was up $0.05 per cwt at $149.90per cwt.

Wholesale beef prices Friday morning showed Choice beef at $150.65 per cwt up $2.05 per cwt from seven days earlier. Select beef was down $0.97 per cwt from a week earlier at $133.85 per cwt.

Cattle slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 677 thousand head, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier.

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