Weekly Cattle Summary: 2013 Set to Be Record Year For Japanese Beef Shipments

US - Export to Japan are up over half this year to July, according to Ron Plain, University of Missouri.
calendar icon 9 September 2013
clock icon 3 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

U.S. beef exports to Japan during July were at their highest level since October 2003. Last month the U.S. exported 11.5 per cent of production, the second highest percent ever.

During the first seven months of 2013, beef exports to Japan are up 51.6 per cent compared to a year ago. Total beef exports are ahead of year ago levels by 2.8 per cent .

Russia's ban on meat containing ractopamine has basically brought a halt to all shipments there, and beef exports to South Korea are down 27 per cent .

Cattle imports from Mexico during July were down 51 per cent while imports from Canada were up 12 per cent . July live cattle imports totaled 90,731 head, down 30 per cent compared to July 2012.

Crop growing conditions are deteriorating but are still far better than last year. As of September 1, 56 per cent of corn acres were rated in good or excellent condition. That is down 3 points from the week before, but up 34 percentage points from a year ago. On September 1, 34 per cent of pastures were rated poor or very poor. That is up 3 points from the week before, but down from 59 percent poor or very poor a year ago.

Fed cattle prices were lower this week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $122.42/cwt, down $1.10 from last week, but up 62 cents from the same week last year. Steer prices on a dressed basis averaged $194.22/cwt this week, down $1.79 from a week ago, but up $4.74 from a year ago.

This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $195.23/cwt, down 45 cents from the previous Friday, but up $4.32 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout is at $181.18/cwt, down $1.30 for the week and down 81 cents from the same day last year. The choice-select spread, $14.05, was up for the seventh consecutive week.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 569,000 head, down 9.3 per cent from last week (due to Monday being Labor Day), but up 3.3 per cent from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on August 24 was 866 pounds, up 2 pounds from the week before, but down 1 pound from a year ago.

The Oklahoma City auction was closed on Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. Missouri feeder cattle auction prices this week were steady to $3 higher for steers and heifers with prices for medium and large frame #1 steers: 400-450# $180-$220, 450-500# $166-$189, 500-550# $160-$187, 550-600# $157-$178.25, 600-650# $148-$177.25, 650-700# $145-$173, 700-750# $147.50-$172, 750-800# $145-$163.10, 800-900# $135-$152, and 900-1000# $138.75/cwt.

The October live cattle futures contract closed at $125.67/cwt today, down $1.13 from last week's close. December fed cattle settled at $129.02, February at $131.00/cwt.

The September feeder cattle futures contract ended the week at $156.57/cwt, down 35 cents from the previous Friday. October feeders settled at $158.02, down 93 cents for the week.

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