Market Forecaster: U.S. meat exports are up


Brian Hoops for the Tri-State Neighbor

May 17, 2017 




Live cattle closed $2.67 lower while feeder cattle closed $1.60 lower.


Fed cattle trade occurred in the South at $137 to $138; $5 to $8 lower compared to the previous week. Fed trade in the North occurred mainly at $220, $10-$11 lower than the previous week.


Feeder cattle were anywhere from $2 to $10 lower. Product values advanced with choice gaining $11 and select gaining $10 from the prior week.


Last week's Fed Cattle Exchange online auction saw more active trade this week compared to last, with multiple tests in the South.


A total 1,287 head traded hands out of the 1,993 on the list (64.58 percent sold). The weighted average price from the total auction sales was $137 versus $140 per hundred weight last week.


USDA Foreign Agricultural Service weekly beef exports were 12,830 metric tons, down 6 percent from the previous four-week average and now up 19 percent year-to-date.


USDA steer carcass weights were down 2 pounds to 847 and are 21 pounds below last year. Seasonally, steer carcass weights will bottom in May and start to move higher into the fall.


Strategy and outlook: Producers with cattle to market this summer and fall should be transferring risk with put options. Feed costs for the year should be locked in for the entire year.




Lean hogs closed the week $1.50 higher. Net sales of 17,600 metric tons reported for 2017 were up 28 percent from the previous week, but down 28 percent from the prior four-week average.


For the week ending April 29, pork production was 490.3 pounds, up 4.6 percent from a year ago. Hog weights for the same week were 283 pounds versus 284.5 pounds last week and similar to last year's 283.2 pounds.


For 2017, total U.S. meat exports are up 482 million pounds or 14 percent year-to-date from 2016. For the first quarter of 2017, U.S. beef exports are up 22 percent, U.S. pork exports are up 17 percent and U.S. poultry exports are up 9 percent.


Strategy and outlook: Producers should have hedged 2017 production as prices tested weekly chart resistance. 2017 feed costs should be locked in for the entire year.


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