Cow Prices Dip as Culling Remains Higher

January 4, 2016 09:17 AM
Beef carcasses

By Dave Natzke

Following the trend in the beef market, estimated U.S. November 2015 cull cow prices (beef and dairy combined) declined to the lowest level in two years, according to the USDA/NASS Ag Prices report.

November prices averaged $82.00/cwt., down $7.50/cwt. from October and $33.00/cwt. less than November 2014. It represents the lowest monthly average since November 2013.

Even with the decline, 2015 U.S. cull prices will average similar to 2014. Through the first 11 months of 2015, the cull cow price has averaged $106.77/cwt., compared to $107.61/cwt. for the same period a year ago.

Although final 2015 figures aren’t in, dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection will end the year approximately 100,000 head more than 2014. For the week ending Dec. 19, weekly slaughter topped 60,000 head for a second consecutive week, the first time that’s happened since March 2015.

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