Cattle Outlook: Beef, Futures, Fed and Feeder Cattle All Break Records

US - Beef, fed cattle, feeder and future prices all set new records last week, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.
calendar icon 7 July 2014
clock icon 2 minute read
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

On Thursday morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $248.65/cwt, up $2.58 from the previous Friday, up $52.02 from a year ago and $2.67 higher than any day prior to this week. The select cutout was $241.25/cwt on today's morning report, up $3.74 from last week and up $53.23 from a year earlier.

Fed cattle prices were also record high this week. Sales volume was moderate. Through Wednesday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $157.40/cwt, up $7.40 from last week's average and up $38.25 from a year ago. The 5 area average dressed price for steers was $249.45/cwt, up $13.45 from a week earlier and up $59.87 from the same week last year.

USDA said this week that 15 per cent of U.S. pastures were in poor or very poor condition on June 29, down 1 point from the previous week and down from 25 per cent poor or very poor a year ago.

The average dressed weight for steers slaughtered the week ending on June 21 was 856 pounds, up 4 pounds from the week before and 2 pound heavier than the same week last year.

Feeder cattle prices at this week's Oklahoma City auction were steady to $10 higher than the week before. This week's prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight were: 400-450# $287-$2310, 450-500# $286-$303, 500-550# $259-$282, 550-600# $242.50-$262.50, 600-650# $219-$250, 650-700# $219.50-$243, 700-750# $212-$224, 750-800# $211.50-$217.25, 800-900# $198.75-$209, and 900-1000# $185-$204/cwt.

The August live cattle futures contract closed at $155.00/cwt today, up $3.88 from last week's close. October fed cattle settled at $156.90/cwt, up $2.55 for the week. The December contract ended the week at $156.05/cwt, up $1.43 from last Friday. February closed at $155.75/cwt.

The August feeder cattle contract ended the week at $217.62/cwt, up $3.30 for the week. The September feeder cattle contract settled at $218.82, up $2.92 from the previous Friday. October feeders ended the week at $218.85/cwt.

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