Cattle arriving at packing plants with bruises result in economic losses related to beef quality and create animal-welfare concerns, and recent research from Kansas State University shows the prevalence of bruising remains relatively high.
This week in Petroluem has previously examined crude oil supply patterns on the West Coast, noting the increase in unaccounted-for supply, and then linking the increase to movements of crude by railroad. EIA’s recently launched crude-by-rail data enable a more detailed analysis of emerging crude oil supply patterns on the West Coast. The data indicate that most crude-by-rail deliveries into PADD 5 are destined for refineries in Washington state, and that despite recent delays in crude-by-rail projects in California, refineries in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas are not entirely without access to domestic crude oil from other regions.
Traders seemingly thought Wednesday’s grain losses were overdone today. Corn and wheat futures tumbled yesterday in apparent response to forecasts for drier weather next week, with the yellow grain decline putting the market at its lowest levels since last October. Talk of firm spot quotes as farmers work fields and ignore old-crop sales seemed to spark renewed bullishness. July corn futures rallied 4.0 cents to $3.535/bushel at Thursday’s close, while December added 3.25 to $3.70.
It is amazing to see such an array of meats available in today’s grocery stores. Traveling across the country in my role at USDA, I hear from so many folks that want to know where their beef comes from, what the animal was fed or how was it raised. I also know farmers have a real commitment to their crops and animals and are happy to share their stories with customers.
Choice boxed beef is down 58 cents on Thursday to $260.18. The drop brought the 27-day average price to $260.19. Select boxed beef dropped much harder from $250.10 on Wednesday to $248.48 on Thursday. This $1.62 fall brought the 27-day average price to $248.43.
Choice primal rib fell by $3.31 on Thursday to hit $378.87. Choice primal brisket and choice primal flank were the only cuts that saw increases on Thursday, rising one cent and nine cents, respectively.
Traders seemingly think Wednesday’s grain losses were overdone. Corn and wheat futures tumbled yesterday in apparent response to forecasts for drier weather next week, with the yellow grain drop putting the market at its lowest levels since last October. Talk of firm spot quotes as farmers work fields and ignore old crop sales seemed to spark renewed bullishness. July corn futures rose 3.0 cents to $3.525/bushel late Thursday morning, while December added 2.25 to $3.69.
Commercial cattle slaughter during 2014 totaled 30.2 million head, down 7 percent from 2013, with federal inspection comprising 98.4 percent of the total. The average live weight was 1,330 pounds, up 16 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 51.8 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 28.2 percent, dairy cows 9.5 percent, other cows 8.6 percent, and bulls 1.8 percent.
Volatility continued for cattle feeders last week, with margins improving more than $70 per head. Unfortunately, feeders are still losing nearly $113 per head and are projected to remain in the red for the rest of 2015, according to John Nalivka with Sterling Marketing, Inc.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today broke ground to officially begin construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) main laboratory structure in Manhattan, Kansas.