Weekly Cattle Outlook: Boxed Beef and August Live Cattle Close Down on Previous Week's Close08 July 2013
US - Boxed beef closed the week 89 cents lower, as did August live cattle futures which closed at $121.95, seven cents down on the previous year, according to Ron Plain and Scott Brown from Missouri University.
The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 per cent in June. The number of jobs increased, but there was a trade-off between part-time and full-time jobs. The seasonally adjusted number of people working part-time increased by 360,000 in June; the number working full-time jobs declined by 240,000.
Crop growing conditions are much better than a year ago. As of June 30, 67 per cent of corn acres were rated in good or excellent condition. That is up 2 percentage points from the week before and up 19 points from a year ago. 25 per cent of U.S. pastures were rated in poor or very poor condition on June 30, down from 43 per cent poor or very poor a year ago.
Fed cattle prices were mixed this week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $119.58/cwt, down $1.24 from last week, but up $2.53 from the same week last year. Steer prices on a dressed basis averaged $192.59/cwt this week, up 59 cents from a week ago and up $4.92 from a year ago.
This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $196.63/cwt, down 89 cents from the previous Friday, but up $2.83 from a year ago. This was the sixth consecutive week with lower choice cutout. The select carcass cutout is at $188.02/cwt, up 76 cents for the week. The choice-select price spread dropped $1.65 this week to $8.61/cwt, the lowest since April.
This week's cattle slaughter totaled 559,000 head, down 14.3 per cent from last week (due to the Independence Day Holiday) and down 2.8 per cent from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on June 22 was 854 pounds, up 1 pound from the week before and up 1 pound from a year ago. Year-to-date cattle slaughter is down 1.5 per cent ; beef production is down 1.0 per cent.
Oklahoma City feeder cattle auction prices this week were $3 to $5 higher with prices for medium and large frame #1 steers: 450-500# $174, 500-550# $163-$175.50, 550-600# $154.25-$170.50, 600-650# $138.50-$161, 650-700# $139.50-$154, 700-750# $136.50-$149.25, 750-800# $141-$149, 800-900# $133.75-$146.75, and 900-1000# $122.50-$131/cwt.
The August live cattle futures contract closed at $121.95/cwt today, down 7 cents from last week's close. The October fed cattle contract gained 58 cents from last Friday to settle at $126.25/cwt. December ended the week at $128.10/cwt.
August feeder cattle futures settled at $151.80/cwt, up $2.35 for the week. The September contract gained $2.57 from last Friday to close at $154.17/cwt. October settled at $155.77/cwt.
Corn prices are expected to plummet as we approach harvest season. The July corn futures contract ended the week at $6.85/bushel. The September contract ended the week at $5.26 and December corn settled at $4.91.
TheCattleSite News Desk