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Cattle Outlook: "Wild Markets" Push Cattle Lower

01 September 2015
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - Markets turmoil is mostly related to concerns about the Chinese economy, which has led to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 10.7 per cent.

Soon after, however, it gained 988 points, recovering 6.3 per cent, according to Professors Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.

They write that, on Thursday, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.7 per cent during the second quarter. This follows a dismal 0.6 per cent growth rate in the first quarter. Meat demand usually correlates with economic growth.

USDA says frozen red meat and poultry stocks totaled 2.403 billion pounds on July 31, up 2.5 per cent from the month before and up 16.7 per cent from a year ago. Beef in cold storage totaled 455 million pounds, down 4 per cent from the month before, but up 23.7 per cent from a year ago.

Fed cattle prices this week were lower on light volume. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $143.40/cwt, down $3.87 from last week's average and down $11.16 from a year ago. The 5 area average dressed price this week for steers was $226.97/cwt, down $5.58 for the week and down $16.01 compared to the same week last year.

This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $243.63/cwt, down $1.14 from the previous Friday and down $2.36 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout was $232.83/cwt this morning, down $1.99 from last week.

Cattle slaughter this week totaled 545,000 head, up 0.9 per cent from the week before, but down 7.3 per cent from the same week last year. Cattle slaughter has been below the year-ago level every week since the start of 2014 except for four.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on August 15 was 900 pounds, up 5 pounds from the week before, up 21 pounds compared to the same week last year, and above the year-ago level for 61 consecutive weeks.

Feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City were $3 to $15 lower this week. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $250-$305, 450-500# $240-$260, 500-550# $234-$244.75, 550-600# $217-$233, 600-650# $213-$226, 650-700# $204.50-$227, 700-750# $198.75-$218, 750-800# $189-$215, 800-900# $195-$205 and 900-1000#, $172.50-$199/cwt.

Cattle futures were lower this week. The August live cattle futures contract settled at $146.52/cwt today, up 5 cents for the week. October fed cattle settled at $143.97/cwt, down $2.35 from the previous week. December fed cattle settled at $146.05/cwt.

September feeder cattle ended the week at $202.40/cwt, down $4.42 from seven days earlier. The October feeder cattle contract lost $5.05 to close at $198.92/cwt.

USDA says that only 16 per cent of pastures were in poor or very poor condition as of August 23. That is the same as the week before and down 4 points from a year ago.

 ended the week at $202.40/cwt, down $4.42 from seven days earlier. The October feeder cattle contract lost $5.05 to close at $198.92/cwt.

USDA says that only 16 per cent of pastures were in poor or very poor condition as of August 23. That is the same as the week before and down 4 points from a year ago.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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