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Cattle Outlook: Mixed Picture From Market Last Week

09 February 2015
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - Beef prices eased, fed cattle prices were mixed and feeders were eight to twelve dollars higher last week.

In their weekly cattle outlook, Professors Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri, write that boxed beef prices dropped for the third consecutive week.

Boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $239.98/cwt on Friday morning, down $3.41 from the previous Friday, but up $27.73 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout was $234.84/cwt this morning, down $2.19 from last week, but up $24.88 from a year ago.

Fed cattle prices were mixed this week on light sales volume. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $158.73/cwt, down 74 cents from last week's average, but up $18.17 from a year ago. The 5 area average dressed price for steers was $252.00/cwt, up $1.93 for the week and up $26.65 compared to a year ago.

Cattle slaughter this week totalled 544,000 head, down 3.4 per cent from the week before and also down 3.4 per cent from the comparable week last year.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on January 24 was 880 pounds, down 2 pounds from the week before, but up 7 pounds compared to the same week last year. This is the closest steer weights have been to a year ago since the week ending on July 19.

After three weeks of decline, feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City were $8 to $12 higher this week. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $310.50, 500-550# $279-$280, 550-600# $255-$269, 600-650# $225-$250, 650-700# $215.50-$232, 700-750# $212.50-$218.50, 750-800# $198-$215, 800-900# $186.50-$200.25, 900-1000#, $179-$191/cwt.

The February live cattle futures contract today settled at $156.07, up $1.22 for the week. April fed cattle settled at $151.02/cwt, down $1.25 from the previous Friday. June fed cattle lost 37 cents this week to settle at $144.25/cwt.

The March feeder cattle contract ended the week at $199.45/cwt, down $5.75 for the week. The April feeder contract lost $6.25 this week to settle at $199.15/cwt. The May contract ended the week at $199.67/cwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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