In this file:
· Analyst: Cattle markets spark optimism
· Cash Cattle Market Holds Together Despite Challenges
Analyst: Cattle markets spark optimism
By Carol Ryan Dumas, Capital Press
Jan 7, 2019
Strong beef demand and timely marketing of finished cattle in 2018 are two key factors setting the stage for a good year in the cattle business. But other positive indicators should also keep cattle producers in the black.
“I am pretty optimistic for this business, for the industry as we start 2019,” John Nalivka, owner of Sterling Marketing in Vale, Ore., said.
Ending the year with fed cattle trading at $122 to $123 per hundredweight is a pretty good start, he said.
The number of cattle on feed has been large, but the on-feed inventory coming into the year is in good order — up just 1 percent year over year, he said.
“I don’t think we have a huge supply to work through, he said.
Feedlots have stayed current with marketings, and they didn’t let carcass weights run up — and there was opportunity to do that with favorable feed costs, he said.
“I thought possibly weights would pick up. But feedlots kept current and weights didn’t get away. That makes a world of difference,” he said.
Other positive factors for markets are strong demand for beef and consistent quality, with choice grade running 82 to 85 percent of slaughter, he said.
“We’ve got the equality, markets stayed in tack, the economy is good, unemployment is down sharply, wages are starting to gain and there are plenty of jobs. People have money, they like beef and they’re buying beef,” he said.
In addition, exports have been strong all year. If things keep clicking along as they are, it spells a pretty good year in the cattle business, he said.
The industry also sent a lot of cows to slaughter, up 12 percent year over year at certain times, he said.
“The bottom line is we killed a lot of beef cows. At the same time, we didn’t bring a lot of heifers in (for replacement). So we stalled expansion,” he said...
Cash Cattle Market Holds Together Despite Challenges
Brad Hulett, Drovers
January 7, 2019
Steady trade dominated most of the south trading region last week with sales at $123 per cwt. In the north, $122.50 live and $195-$195.50 dressed moved most of the cattle.
The mostly steady trade was a disappointment to many cattle feeders anticipating a higher cash market. Holiday shortened kills, winter storms and several breakdowns in several plants have backed up the kill numbers. Moving forward we should be getting through the backlog of cattle due to these events, and have the ability to push the live market higher going forward.
The demand for beef remains robust...