As 1999 winds down Drovers’ index of economic indicators shows the beef industry in pretty good position to kick off the new year. Six of the eight arrows point higher with just two arrows pointing down. Key cattle prices remain steady to slightly higher last month. Boxed cutout prices averaged lower during November but the final weeks showed retailers paying $120 per hundredweight for boxed beef, an indication of strong demand. An increase in cattle-on-feed numbers along with a decline in cattle marketings and lower slaughter rates caused the two down arrows. Cattle prices should remain stable into the new year if feeders remain current in their marketing and demand continues to exceed expectations.