Key cattle prices continued the upward trend throughout November, with Choice fed steers averaging more than $131 per hundredweight. As we approach the end of 2013 and anticipate updated cattle inventory numbers early in the new year, beef cow and heifer slaughter are down for this year compared to 2011 and 2012 data.
Production costs mostly fell in November with corn prices down 35 cents from the three-month average to $4.12. The steer-corn ratio increased for the sixth consecutive month, up $2.13 from the previous month.
The Drovers/CattleNetwork retail price index shows retail beef prices were 8 cents higher than the three-month average, while retail broiler and pork prices were both down compared to the three-month average. The eight key economic indicators suggest the cattle market continues to push higher as we approach the end of 2013.