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Cattle Outlook: Beef, Futures, Fed and Feeder Cattle All Break Records

07 July 2014
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - Beef, fed cattle, feeder and future prices all set new records last week, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.

On Thursday morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $248.65/cwt, up $2.58 from the previous Friday, up $52.02 from a year ago and $2.67 higher than any day prior to this week. The select cutout was $241.25/cwt on today's morning report, up $3.74 from last week and up $53.23 from a year earlier.

Fed cattle prices were also record high this week. Sales volume was moderate. Through Wednesday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $157.40/cwt, up $7.40 from last week's average and up $38.25 from a year ago. The 5 area average dressed price for steers was $249.45/cwt, up $13.45 from a week earlier and up $59.87 from the same week last year.

USDA said this week that 15 per cent of U.S. pastures were in poor or very poor condition on June 29, down 1 point from the previous week and down from 25 per cent poor or very poor a year ago.

The average dressed weight for steers slaughtered the week ending on June 21 was 856 pounds, up 4 pounds from the week before and 2 pound heavier than the same week last year.

Feeder cattle prices at this week's Oklahoma City auction were steady to $10 higher than the week before. This week's prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight were: 400-450# $287-$2310, 450-500# $286-$303, 500-550# $259-$282, 550-600# $242.50-$262.50, 600-650# $219-$250, 650-700# $219.50-$243, 700-750# $212-$224, 750-800# $211.50-$217.25, 800-900# $198.75-$209, and 900-1000# $185-$204/cwt.

The August live cattle futures contract closed at $155.00/cwt today, up $3.88 from last week's close. October fed cattle settled at $156.90/cwt, up $2.55 for the week. The December contract ended the week at $156.05/cwt, up $1.43 from last Friday. February closed at $155.75/cwt.

The August feeder cattle contract ended the week at $217.62/cwt, up $3.30 for the week. The September feeder cattle contract settled at $218.82, up $2.92 from the previous Friday. October feeders ended the week at $218.85/cwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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