Friday, February 12, 2016

CATTLE OUTLOOK – Ron Plain and Scott Brown Ag Economics, MU February 12, 2016

CATTLE OUTLOOK – Ron Plain and Scott Brown
Ag Economics, MU   February 12, 2016

U.S. beef imports were down 35.2% in December at 186.2 million pounds.
Over half of the decline was in beef imported from Australia.
December imports equaled 9.1% of U.S. beef production.  For all of
2015, beef imports were up 14.4%.

U.S. beef exports were down 7.6% in December to 196.1 million pounds
with most major foreign customers, except South Korea, buying less
U.S. beef than they did in December 2014.  December exports equaled
9.6% of U.S. beef production.  For all of 2015, beef exports were down

December live cattle imports totaled 155,636 head.  This was down
43.7% compared to 12 months earlier with 36.4% fewer Mexican cattle
imported and 53.8% fewer cattle imported from Canada.  The U.S.
exported 8,202 cattle during December.

For all of 2015, the U.S. imported 1,984,413 cattle and exported
72,456 head.  During 2015, 58.2% of cattle imports came from Mexico
and 41.8% of the cattle imports came from Canada.  81% of U.S. cattle
exported went to either Canada or Mexico.  Last year’s U.S. cattle
imports were 15.8% fewer than in 2014, and the fewest for any year
since 2005.

Fed cattle prices were a bit lower this week in heavy volume.  Through
Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live
weight basis was $131.70/cwt, down 50 cents from last week’s average
and down $28.84 from a year ago.  Dressed steer prices averaged

This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $216.67/cwt, down
$5.83 from the previous Friday and down $21.42 from a year ago.  The
select carcass cutout was $213.27/cwt, down $5.18 from last week and
down $21.10 from a year ago.

This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 544,000 head, up 1.9% from last
week and up 0.7% from a year ago.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on January 30 was
898 pounds, down 1 pound from the week before, but up 17 pounds from a
year ago.  This was the 85th consecutive week with steer weights above
the year-ago level.

Prices at the Oklahoma City Stockyards this week were $2 to $5 lower
on feeder steers and steady to $2 higher on calves than last week.
Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were:
400-450# $221-$226, 450-500# $204-$217, 500-550# $192.50-$210,
550-600# $172-$195, 600-650# $164-$178, 650-700# $152.50-$165,
700-750# $146-$161.75, 750-800# $140.50-$153.50, 800-900# $137-$152
and 900-1000# $130-$144.75/cwt.

Cattle futures were sharply lower this week.  The February live cattle
futures contract settled at $129.95/cwt today, down $6.10 for the
week.  April fed cattle settled at $129.12/cwt, down $5.28 from the
previous week.  The June contract ended the week at $119.62/cwt, down
$4.43 from the previous Friday.

March feeder cattle ended the week at $150.02/cwt, down $3.80 from a
week earlier.  April futures lost $3.97 this week to close at
$149.50/cwt.  May feeder cattle settled at $148.82/cwt.

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