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Cattle Outlook: WASDE raised 2015 beef production estimate

The October WASDE raised USDA's estimate of 2015 beef production by 245 million pounds and lowered their forecast of the 2015 average price for slaughter steers to $149.19/cwt. They are predicting 4.9% more beef in 2016 and an average price for fed cattle that is $2 to $13/cwt lower than this year.


Feeder Cattle Review: Cattle futures rocketed

Compared to last week, yearling feeder cattle started the week mostly 5.00 lower on a light test with calves trading 5.00-15.00 lower, then on Tuesday the Live and Feeder Cattle futures closed with limit gains that turned the week around. Cattle futures then rocketed higher again on Wednesday and Thursday; it seems one extreme move one way can have extreme moves the other way as from mid- week on yearlings moved mostly 3.00-10.00 higher and calves traded firm to 5.00 higher, instances 10.00 higher.


Boxed Beef Report: Beef prices drop

Choice boxed beef prices dropped from $204.97 on Thursday to $202.97 on Friday. The two-dollar fall brought the 27-day average price to $222.47. Select boxed beef saw a seven-cent drop to hit $197.93, bringing the 27-day average price to $215.66.

Choice primal rib fell the most from $311.34 on Thursday to $304.56 on Friday, a $6.78 fall that brought the 27-day average price to $315.59. Choice primal short plate had the next biggest drop of $2.12. Chioce primal flank was the only cut that didn't fall, jumping $6.33. 

Drovers Cow/Calf

Resource for understanding Unit Cost of Production

Cow/calf producers will forever remember the record profits of 2014. They may also vividly remember the "fall of the 2015 fall." Prices have quickly fallen off the last two weeks, this following a continual inching down during the months of July and August.


Natural gas supply down

Henry Hub price reaches lowest level since July 2012. The Henry Hub spot price began the report week last Wednesday at $2.47/MMBtu, then dropped 21¢ by Friday to $2.26/MMBtu, the lowest Henry Hub spot price since July 2012. The price then rose to close at $2.46/MMBtu yesterday. Prices in most markets, except the Northeast, followed a similar pattern, ending down for the week, after reaching weekly lows on Friday. Chicago Citygate spot prices started at $2.56/MMBtu last Wednesday and closed yesterday at $2.46/MMBtu.

Drovers Cow/Calf

Marketing cull cows

Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. A few cows will become reproductively unsound, broken-mouths, bad udders, open, and/or just plain OLD. If feed resources are available, some producers may wish to market the culls after the first of the year for tax purposes.


Beef and pork byproducts make dollars and sense

ERS research indicates that a $1 increase in the value of byproducts to processors adds about 10 cents to the average price paid per hundredweight to producers of fed steers (slaughter cattle that have been finished on concentrated feed on a per hundredweight basis).


Morning Farm Report: Cattle prices see a jump

Livestock prices saw a jump on Thursday, raising across the board. Live cattle prices saw a $1.83 increase, rising to $131.18. This jump brought the 27-day average price to $134.65. Feeder cattle also saw an even greater increase, raising from $184.95 on Wednesday to $187.88 on Thursday. The $2.93 rise brought the 27-day average price to $191.93.

Lean hog prices jumped 17 cents to $74, bringing the 27-day average price to $70.83.

Both corn and wheat saw five-cent decreases, falling to $3.91 and $5.12 respectively. Soybeans fell more, decreasing 10 cents to hit $8.81.


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