Cattle Outlook: Beef Exports Up During October

US - Beef exports during October were up 5.4 per cent compared to a year ago thanks to big increases in shipments to Mexico, Hong Kong and Japan, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown.
calendar icon 10 December 2013
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Exports equaled 10.13 per cent of October beef production and were greater than imports for the sixth consecutive month.

Beef imports were up 29.8 per cent compared to October 2012 with large increases coming from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil. Imports equaled 7.91 per cent of October beef production.

Imports of live cattle in October were down 17.6 per cent with 37.5 per cent fewer cattle coming in from Canada and 7.8 per cent more cattle imports from Mexico.

Through October 2013, US beef exports are up 4.1 per cent , beef imports are up 0.5 per cent , and cattle imports are down 16.7 per cent .

Retail beef demand was up 4.3 per cent during October. This was the eighth consecutive month with demand above the year-ago level. Export demand for US beef was up 6.1 per cent during October.

Fed cattle prices averaged above $130/cwt for the seventh consecutive week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $131.89/cwt, down 77 cents from the week before, but up $8.13 from the same week last year. Steers sold on a dressed basis averaged $209.10/cwt this week, down 39 cents from last week, but $13.10 higher than a year ago.

This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $202.02/cwt, down 96 cents from the previous Friday, but up $8.85 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout is $187.68/cwt, down $2.60 for the week, but up $15.45 from the same day last year.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 629,000 head, up 13.3 per cent from last week which was low due to Thanksgiving, but down 1.9 per cent from the corresponding week last year.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on November 23 was 879 pounds, up 1 pound from the week before and up 5 pounds from a year earlier.

Oklahoma City feeder cattle auction prices were steady to $4 lower this week. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight were: 400-450# $205-$229, 450-500# $185-$216, 500-550# $183-$196, 550-600# $173.50-$189, 600-650# $159-$183, 650-700# $152.50-$173.50, 700-750# $163-$169.50, 750-800# $155-$167.50, 800-900# $149.50-$164.25, and 900-950# $149-$153/cwt.

The December live cattle futures contract closed at $131.42/cwt today, down $2.05 from last week's close. February fed cattle settled at $132.85, down $1.40 for the week. April settled at $133.70/cwt, down $1.72.

The January feeder cattle futures contract ended the week at $164.47/cwt, down $1.20 for the week. March feeders closed at $164.67/cwt which was $1.73 lower than the previous Friday.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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