Cattle Outlook

US - USDA has revised upward their forecast of meat production in both 2010 and 2011. They are now estimating 2010 red meat and poultry production at 91.6 billion pounds, says Ron Plain from the University of Missouri.
calendar icon 13 December 2010
clock icon 2 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

That is up 0.8 per cent from 2009 and up 0.6 per cent from their November estimate. 2010 beef production is expected to be up 0.9 per cent and broiler production up 3.4 per cent compared to last year. But, pork production is expected to be down 2.9 per cent this year and turkey production down 0.9 per cent.

For 2011, USDA is forecasting beef production to decline by 2.5 per cent and turkey production to drop 0.9 per cent. Pork production is forecast to increase by 1.1 per cent and broiler production up 1.3 per cent next year. Total red meat and poultry in 2011 is forecast to equal this year's level.

The record for an annual average steer price is $92.27/cwt in 2008. USDA is forecasting the average live weight price for slaughter steers to be close to $95.20/cwt this year and around $100/cwt in 2011.

The boxed beef cutout value held steady this week. On Friday morning the choice boxed beef carcass cutout value was $1.6349/pound, down 0.53 cents for the week. The select cutout was up 0.08 cents from the previous Friday to $1.5309 per pound.

Fed cattle prices were lower this week. The 5-area daily weighted average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $100.84/cwt, down $1.78 from a week earlier. Steers sold on a dressed weight basis this week averaged $160.85/cwt, $3.44 lower than the week before. This was the third consecutive week with live fed cattle prices above $100/cwt. This week last year slaughter steer prices averaged $79.17/cwt live and $127.51/cwt dressed.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 674,000 head, down 0.7 per cent from the week before but up 9.2 per cent compared to the same week last year. This was the 22nd consecutive week with cattle slaughter above the year-earlier level.

Steer carcass weights averaged 856 pounds during the week ending November 20. That was up 5 pounds from the week before and 4 pounds heavier than a year ago.

Cash bids for feeder cattle around the country this week were mostly steady to $2 higher with instances of $5 higher. Oklahoma City prices were steady to $2 higher with price ranges for medium and large frame #1 steers were: 400-450# $146-$155.50, 450-500# $138-$145, 500-550# $135-$144.50, 550-600# $126-$134, 600-650# $119-$127, 650-700# $117-$124, 700-750# $115.25-$121.85, 750-800# 113.50-$118, and 800-1000# $110.50-$117.50/cwt.

The December fed cattle futures contract ended the week at $100.95/cwt, down $2.22 from a week ago. The February contracted closed out the week at $103.95/cwt and April settled at $107.30/cwt. All live cattle contracts are above $100/cwt.

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