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U.S. Cattle on Feed Down 3 Percent; Beef Prices Steady to Higher

15:10PM Jul 19, 2013

U.S. Cattle on Feed report shows cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.4 million head on July 1, 2013. The inventory was 3% below July 1, 2012. The inventory included 6.53 million steers and steer calves, down 3% from the previous year. This group accounted for 63 % of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.78 million head, down 4% from 2012.

Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.59 million, 5 % below 2012. Net placements were 1.52 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lb. were 315,000, 600-699 lb. were 232,000, 700-799 lb. were 415,000, and 800 lb. and greater were 625,000.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.90 million, 4 % below 2012. Marketings for the month of June are the lowest since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 63,000 during June, 5% below 2012.





Beef demand stays level

University of Missouri economists Ron Plain and Scott Brown say year-over-year beef is still in high demand. 

Domestic beef demand in May was up 0.7% compared to a year ago. After three consecutive down months, export demand for U.S. beef was up a solid 6.2% in May. Consumer meat demand was 0.9% stronger this May than last.

Retail prices for choice beef in June averaged $5.294 per pound. That was up 5.3 cents from the average in May, up 36.2 cents from a year ago, and less than a penny under the $5.30/pound record set in March. All fresh beef averaged $4.90 per pound in June.

Fed cattle prices were a bit lower this week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $120.71/cwt, down 53 cents from last week, but up $7.81 from the same week last year. Steer prices on a dressed basis averaged $191.00/cwt this week, down 73 cents from a week ago, but up $12.11 from a year ago.

This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $189.51/cwt, down $2.35 from the previous Friday, but up $9.37 from a year ago. This was the eighth consecutive week with lower choice cutout. The select carcass cutout is at $184.32/cwt, up 30 cents for
the week. The choice-select price spread dropped $2.65 this week to $5.19/cwt.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 651,000 head, up 1.7% from last week, but down 0.3% from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on July 6 was 860 pounds, up 5 pounds from the week before and up 1 pound from a year ago.

Oklahoma City feeder cattle auction prices this week were $2 lower to $4 higher with prices for medium and large frame #1 steers: 450-500# $172-$184.50, 500-550# $163-$186, 550-600# $156-$174.75, 600-650# $145-$164.25, 650-700# $137-$156, 700-750# $142.75-$151.75, 750-800#
$137.75-$150, 800-900# $132.85-$148.50, and 900-1000# $127.50-$138/cwt.

The August live cattle futures contract closed at $121.97/cwt today, up 12 cents from last week’s close. The October fed cattle contract gained 15 cents from last Friday to settle at $126.22/cwt. December ended the week at $128.72/cwt. August feeder cattle futures settled at $152.25/cwt, up $2.13 for the week. The September contract gained $2.53 from last Friday to close at $155.25/cwt. October settled at $157.20/cwt.