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Cattle Outlook: FTA's To Add $2.31 Billion To Exports

11 October 2011
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - This week, the President finally sent the free trade agreements (FTA) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea to Congress for approval. The Colombian agreement was signed in November 2006. The agreement with Panama was signed in June 2007. USDA estimates that once approved, increased trade with these three countries will add $2.31 billion to US agricultural exports, writes Ron Plain, University of Missouri.

The US Meat Export Federation predicts the South Korean agreement will push the value of US beef shipments to Korea over $1 billion once the 15 year phase-in period is completed.

Last year, the US shipped 277.103 million pounds of beef to South Korea, 2.024 million pounds to Panama, and 0.714 million pounds to Colombia. Combined, these three countries accounted for 12 per cent of US beef exports.

Friday morning the choice boxed beef carcase cutout value was $184.92/cwt, up $2.51 from last week. The select carcass cutout was up 41 cents from the previous Friday to $169.51 per hundred pounds of carcase weight. The choice-select spread, $14.96, remains unusually large.

The five-area average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $120.97/cwt, up $4.74 from last week, and only the fourth week ever above $120/cwt (all have been this year).

Steers sold on a dressed weight basis averaged $189.90/cwt, $4.90 higher than the week before. Packer margins have been tight in recent days. This week last year live steer prices averaged $94.84/cwt and dressed steers averaged $150.37/cwt.

This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 666,000 head, down 1.6 per cent from the week before and up 0.2 per cent compared to the same week last year. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending 24 September was 855 pounds, up two pounds from the week before and up three pounds from a year ago.

Cash bids for feeder cattle around the country this week were mostly steady to $5 higher with a few locations up even more.

Prices this week at Oklahoma City were steady to $7 higher with price ranges for medium and large frame number one steers: 400-450# $144.50-$157, 450-500# $141.50-$153, 500-550# $137-$146, 550-600# $135-$148.25, 600-650# $125-$147.75, 650-700# $128-$145.50, 700-750# $138-$143, 750-800# $129-$141.50, 800-900# $127-$138 and there were no cattle over at 900-1000#.

The October fed cattle futures contract ended the week at $121.97/cwt, down 18 cents from last week’s close. December cattle lost 80 cents to end the week at $122.65/cwt. February live cattle settled at $123.20/cwt, down 95 cents from last Friday.

The October feeder cattle contract lost 90 cents this week to settle at $139.62/cwt. November lost 57 cents to end the week at $142.35.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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