Cattle Outlook: Beef Values Up

The World Trade Organization has determined that the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rules (COOL) are "inconsistent with the United States' WTO obligations" in part because they afford less favorable treatment to imported Canadian cattle and hogs. Ron Plain, University of Missouri says that he assumes this means the COOL regulations will change, eventually.
calendar icon 21 November 2011
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

During September, US beef exports were up 27 per cent compared to a year earlier with every major foreign buyer purchasing more US beef than in September 2010. Shipments to the top four destinations, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, were up eight per cent, 13 per cent, 16 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively. September beef exports equaled 10.6 per cent of US beef production during the month.

Beef imports during September were up five per cent from a year earlier. The top three foreign suppliers, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, respectively shipped 13 per cent less, 34 per cent more, and the same amount of beef to the US compared to September 2010. September beef imports were equal to 7.4 per cent of US beef production.

During the first three quarters of 2011 beef exports are up 27 per cent and beef imports are down 14 per cent compared to January-September 2010. Through September, 2011 beef exports have exceeded beef imports by more than 500 million pounds.

Friday morning the choice boxed beef carcase cutout value was $195.55/cwt, up $4.54 from last week and a new record high. The select carcase cutout was up $6.55 from the previous Friday to $178.74 per hundred pounds of carcase weight. The choice-select spread, $16.81, was down $2.01 from a week earlier.

Fed cattle prices this week were down from last week's record. The 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $120.78/cwt, down $3.18 from last week. Steers sold on a dressed weight basis averaged $194.94/cwt, $7.98 lower than the week before.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 636,000 head, up 1.8 per cent from the week before, but down 6.6 per cent compared to the same week last year. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending November 5 was 857 pounds, down 2 pounds from the week before and down 1 pound from a year ago.

Cash bids for feeder cattle around the country this week were mostly steady to $5 higher. Prices this week at Oklahoma City were steady to $3 higher with price ranges for medium and large frame #1 steers: 400-450# $170-$190, 450-500# $157-$176, 500-550# $155-$164.50, 550-600# $144-$157, 600-650# $136-$153.75, 650-700# $135-$148.50, 700-750# $143-$147.10, 750-800# $137.50-$148, 800-900# $137-$144.75 and one lot of 900-1000# at $127/cwt.

The December live cattle futures contracted ended the week at $119.70, down 85 cents from the previous Friday. The February contract settled at $121.77/cwt today and the April contract ended the week at $125.77, down $1.03 from last week's close.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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