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Cattle Outlook: Retail Beef Prices Up in June

18 July 2016

US - The average price of choice beef at retail was $6.20 per pound during June. That was 11.9 cents higher than in May, 20.6 than in June 2015, and the highest monthly average price since March, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.

The June average grocery store price for all fresh beef was $5.832 per pound.

The 5 area average price of for slaughter steers was $123.00/cwt during June. That as $7.20 lower than in May, $28.20 lower than in June 2015, and the lowest monthly average since August 2013.

USDA's July WASDE forecasts have US beef production up 5.3 per cent this year and up another 3.4 per cent in 2017.

USDA weekly crop progress report said that 13 per cent of US pastures were in poor or very poor condition as of July 10. That is up 1 point from the week before and 4 points higher than a year ago.

Fed cattle sales volume was moderate last week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $117.00/cwt, down $3.38 from the previous week's average and down $29.00 from a year ago. The 5-area dressed steer price averaged $187.42/cwt, down $3.24 from the week before and down $47.58 from a year ago.

On Friday morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $205.37/cwt, down $4.49 from the previous Friday and down $27.94 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout on Friday morning was $193.24/cwt, down $3.73 from the previous week and down $36.44 compared to last year. The choice-select spread, $12.15/cwt this morning, remains large.

This week's cattle slaughter totalled only 594,000 head, up 16.5 per cent from last week (which was low because of the Independence Day holiday) and up 9.6 per cent from a year ago.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on July 2 was 868 pounds, up 4 pounds from the week before, down 7 pounds from a year ago, and below the year-ago level for the ninth consecutive week. Year-to-date, cattle slaughter is up 3.1 per cent and beef production is up 3.8 per cent.

Stocker and feeder cattle prices at the Oklahoma City auction were mostly steady last week. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $170, 450-500# $158.50-$168, 500-550# $159-$164.50, 550-600# $140-$160.25, 600-650# $143-$154, 650-700# $137-$148.50, 700-750# $136.50-$148, 750-800# $138.50-$145.50, 800-900# $130-$141.50 and 900-1000# $126.50-$133/cwt.

The August live cattle futures contract settled at $110.92/cwt on Friday, down $1.30 for the week. October fed cattle settled at $109.85/cwt, down $2.47 from the previous Friday. The December contract ended the week at $111.45/cwt.

August feeder cattle futures ended the week at $139.57/cwt, down $3.88 from a week earlier. October feeder cattle closed the week down $4.10 at $137.37/cwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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