In this file:


·         Cattle, beef prices move past spring peaks

·         Fed Cattle Recap | Prices slide farther



Cattle, beef prices move past spring peaks


by Kim Souza, Talk Business & Politics (AR)

May 14, 2019


Fed cattle prices continued to rally through April and surpassed seasonal peaks in March, according to Derrell Peel, agriculture extension specialist with Oklahoma State University. He said April looks to have been the peak for fed cattle prices at $128 per hundredweight. In the past week, prices have dropped to the $120 range, which are the lowest fed cattle prices since December.


He said the early round of summer grilling wholesale purchases for Memorial Day are over and the middle meat prices are steady-to-weak with cuts like ribeyes trading lower.


“This may reflect widespread wet, cold weather across much of the country that is delaying summer beef demand. Boxed beef cutout values will likely strengthen again with July 4 buying commencing in middle to late May. Warmer summer weather should also boost beef demand seasonally in the coming weeks,” Peel noted.


He explained prices of chuck and round cuts were also down, which is typical of the pre-summer months.


Beef exports were down 5.7% year-over-year through March with reduced exports to Japan, Canada and Hong Kong, while South Korea and Mexico continue to be growing markets for U.S. beef.


“For the first quarter, total beef exports were down 4.7% from a year ago. Growth in beef exports the past three years has been especially strong for products from the chuck. Current forecasts are for total beef exports in 2019 to be quite close to 2018 levels, barring any major changes in global trade policies,” Peel noted.


The U.S also imported 6.3% more beef in March and 6.3% more through the first quarter compared to the year-ago period. He said beef imports are up for major import sources including Canada, Australia and Mexico but are down sharply from New Zealand. Total beef imports in 2019 are projected to hold close to year-ago levels.


USDA reports beef production is up less than 1%...





Fed Cattle Recap | Prices slide farther

The cash market for fed cattle was $3-$4 lower and cash sale numbers were down slightly.


Ed Czerwien, BEEF Magazine

May 14, 2019


As Memorial Day grows closer, retailers are filling inventory and preparing for a grilling holiday. And with ample beef supply, they can afford to be a choosy.


Indeed, it seems as if seasonal trends in the fed cattle market are fully in play. And the downward price trend is helped along by an ample supply of long-fed cattle, courtesy of this past winter, and packers’ continued leverage. Beef demand will be key as the spring and summer market digests the increased number of fed cattle being harvested.


The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 258,277 head for the week ending May 11, compared with about 247,465 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 112,318 head, compared with about 128,870 head the previous week.


Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 43,000 head for the week. The packers have 184,000 head lined up for May and 247,000 head for June.  


National cash sales for the week included 40,557 head of 15- to 30-day delivery, which is still large, and had almost 50,000 head the previous week. So, during the last three weeks that total was over 120,000 head.


Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending May 11 was $120.34 per cwt, which was $3.42 lower for the week...


more, including chart