Weekly US Cattle Outlook: Beef and Veal Exports Up

US - Weekly Cattle Outlook, 19 June 2009 - Weekly review of the US cattle industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 22 June 2009
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Beef and veal exports in April were up one per cent from 12 months earlier. For January-April, beef and veal exports were up five per cent from 2008. Exports to Mexico were down 19.2 per cent, to Canada were down 14.5 per cent, to Japan were up 19.2 per cent, to Taiwan were down 19.6 per cent, to South Korea were up 344.4 per cent, to Vietnam were up 74.4 per cent, to Hong Kong were down nine per cent, to the Bahamas were up 30.8 per cent and other countries were up 5.6 per cent from last year.

Beef and veal imports for January-April were up 15 per cent from a year earlier. Net beef imports as a per cent of production for January-April at 5.4 per cent were up from 4.1 per cent 12 months earlier.

Trade has added about 1.3 per cent more to the domestic beef supply in these four months of 2009 from 2008.

Beef and veal export value for January-April amounted to $69.19 per animal slaughtered. Beef and veal exports plus beef variety meats value for the first four months of 2009 was $87.18 per animal slaughtered. The value of beef and veal exports through April this year was up $6.49 per head slaughtered from last year.

Feeder steers were steady to $2.00 per cwt higher, feeder heifers were $1-3 per cwt higher, and stocker cattle and calves were not well tested this week at Oklahoma City compared to last week.

Medium- and large-frame Number One steer prices by weight groups this week at Oklahoma City were: 450-500 pounds $107-113 per cwt, 500-600 pounds $103.50-111.50 per cwt, 600-650-pound calves $96-101 per cwt, 600-700-pound yearlings $99-105 per cwt, 700-800 pounds $95.75-101 per cwt and 800-1,000 pounds $87-97 per cwt.

The trade estimates of the June 1 cattle on feed show number on feed 1 June down 3.3 per cent, placed on feed during May down 12.3 per cent and fed cattle marketings during May down 9.1 per cent.

Retail Choice beef prices in May were up 1.5 per cent from April and were up 2.2 per cent from May of 2008.

The marketers absorbed all the increase in retail prices. Fed cattle prices in May were 2.3 per cent below April and 9.1 per cent below May of 2008. In fact, the processor-retailer received all of the increase in retail price, plus some. The packers' margin for January-June was down 2.8 per cent where the processor-retailer margin was up 11.8 per cent from last year.

Wholesale beef prices Friday morning showed Choice beef at $139.24 per cwt, up $0.67 per cwt from last Friday. Select beef at $132.37 per cwt was down $0.34 per cwt from a week earlier.

The weighted average live fed cattle price for negotiated cattle at $81.19 per cwt was down $0.03 per cwt from Thursday last week. The weighted average negotiated carcass price at $130.56 per cwt was up $0.77 through Thursday compared to seven days earlier.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 672 thousand head, down 3.2 per cent from last year.

The 1 June Cattle on Feed report came in a little more positive than the trade estimates. The trade average was for the on-feed number to be down 3.3 per cent. The report came in down 3.8 per cent. Placements of cattle on feed during May were down 13.8 per cent. The trade expected the placements to be down 12.3 per cent. Fed marketings during May were expected to be down 9.1 per cent. The report came in down 8.8 per cent.

A weak demand, especially in the hotel and the restaurant trade, is the major reason fed prices are too low to cover costs. A more detailed summary will be in next week's letter.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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