Cattle analysts expected the markets to find support in seasonal trends that would have suggested higher September prices. The reality was a 10% decline in feeder cattle and a 9% drop in fed cattle.
That was enough to turn the month’s overall arrow lower, though several other indicators show gains. Production costs and cattle performance are positive, but both indicators suffer from lower prices, which drops the steer to corn ratio and increases feedyard losses.
Packers continued to earn excellent profits and held most of the leverage as September ended. Pork and poultry production will remain large through the end of the year, adding pressure to retail beef prices.
Note: This story appeared in the October 2016 issue of Drovers.