Economy Improvements Look Promising For 2012

US - Ron Plain, University of Missouri says that with the unemployment rate dipping to 8.5 per cent in December, hopefully, the economy will put in a stronger performance this year than last.
calendar icon 9 January 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Fed cattle prices were lower this week in light volume. The 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of this week on a live weight basis was $121.00/cwt, down $3.00 from last week, but $15.55/cwt above the same week last year. Not enough fed cattle were sold on a dressed weight basis for a market quote.

Beef cutout value also was lower this week. On Friday morning, the choice boxed beef carcase cutout value was $190.34/cwt, down $4.26 from last week. The select carcase cutout was down 43 cents from the previous Friday to $179.28 per hundred pounds of carcase weight. The choice-select spread, $11.06, was down $3.84 from a week earlier to the lowest level since September 14.

This week's cattle slaughter totaled 640,000 head, up 3.9 per cent from the week before and down 12.5 per cent compared to a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending December 24 was 849 pounds, up three pounds from the week before, but down six pounds from a year ago.

Feeder cattle sales were light again week. Oklahoma City did not have a sale this week because of the New Year's holiday. Prices this week at most auctions across the country were $2 to $10 higher than last week. Missouri auctions were $2 to as much as $15 higher than last week. Price ranges for medium and large frame #1 steers were: 400-450# $162-$200, 450-500# $160-$198, 500-550# $149.50-$185.50, 550-600# $142-$178.50, 600-650# $135-$169, 650-700# $136.50-$164, 700-750# $129.75-$155.75, 750-800# $126-$153, 800-850# $124.50-$152.60/cwt.

The February live cattle futures contract settled at $120.32/cwt today, down $1.13 compared to last Friday. The April contract closed at $124.60/cwt, off 85 cents for the week. The June contract settled at $124.00/cwt. August ended the week at $126.05/cwt.

The January feeder cattle futures contract gained 95 cents this week and settled at $147.30/cwt. March feeder cattle ended the week at $149.88 and the April contract settled at $151.20.

The March corn futures contract ended the week at $6.435/bushel, down 3 cents from the week. May closed at $6.5075 and July ended the week at $6.5575.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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