Weekly US Cattle Outlook - Cattle on Feed Report More Positive

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 25th April 2008 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 28 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain
The April 1 Cattle on feed report came in more positive than the average of the trade estimates of the report. The on feed number April 1 was up 0.3 percent according to the USDA, the on feed trade estimate was for a 1.3 percent increase. Placements of cattle on feed during March were down 11.4 percent based on the USDA, the trade estimate was for a decline of 8.1 percent in placements from a year earlier. Fed marketings during March were down 0.1 percent based on the USDA estimate the trade estimate was for a 2 percent decline from the same period in 2007.

The futures market on Monday for live cattle responded to the report with a decline in price of $0.25 to $0.72 per cwt with the exception of the April 2008 contract. However, the futures market already had built in substantial price increases for the next year based on the supply of feeder cattle in the North American cattle inventory. Based on the January 1 inventories, the potential supply of young cattle available for feeding was basically the same as a year earlier.

On April 1, the number of steers and steer calves on feed was down 1.2 percent but the number of heifers and heifer calves on feed was up 3.2 percent from twelve months earlier. Therefore, as indicated, more of the heifers and heifer calves will be available this year for feeding because of reduction in the size of the cow herd.

The weights of cattle placed on feed during March on average were lighter than a year earlier. The number placed on feed weighing less than 600 pounds was down 2.9 percent, the number placed weighing 600-699 pounds was down 12 percent, the number placed weighing 700-799 pounds was down 12.3 percent and the number placed on feed weighing over 800 pounds was down 15 percent from a year earlier.

Feeder steers and heifers $1-4 per cwt higher, mostly $2-3 per cwt higher this week at Oklahoma City compared to a wee earlier. Steer calves steady in a light test, heifer calves steady to $2 per cwt higher at Oklahoma City compared to seven days earlier.

The range in priced for medium and large frame Number One steers by weight groups were: 400-500 pounds $122.50-128 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $113-123 per cwt, 600-700 pounds $110-119 per cwt, 700-800 pounds $104.50-114 per cwt and 800-1,000 pounds $88.50-103.50 per cwt.

The weighted average live fed cattle price fro the five-market area at $92.11 per cwt up $2.61 per cwt through Thursday compared to a week earlier. The weighted average carcass negotiated price at $149.00 per cwt up $5.08 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Wholesale beef prices continued to push higher this week with Choice beef Friday morning at $154.69 per cwt up $3.62 per cwt from a week earlier. Select beef at $151.37 per cwt up $2.56 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 695 thousand head up 3.00 percent from a year earlier.

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