Feeder cattle futures take a tumble
Total beef production year-to-date is about 8 billion pounds, which is nearly a 3.6 percent increase in production year-over-year.
Dr. Andrew Griffith, University of Tennessee
via BEEF Magazine - Apr 29, 2021
Fed cattle traded steady to $1 lower compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were primarily $120 to $122 while dressed prices were mostly $191 to $193.
The 5-area weighted average prices thru April 20 were $121.36 live, down $0.57 compared to last week and $192.11 dressed, down $3.52 from a week ago. A year ago, prices were $96.95 live and $154.27 dressed.
Precipitous is the word that comes to mind as it relates to finished cattle markets and live cattle futures contracts, because that is the type of price decline that has taken place this week. Seasonal beef demand is strengthening, which is sending beef prices higher, but cattle feeders are watching fed cattle prices decline as packers have an ample supply of cattle to hang on the rail. This is one challenge that must be navigated with a non-storable product such as cattle. The primary method the beef industry navigates this situation is by keeping cattle on grass longer. However, cattle cannot be kept indefinitely. The supply of market ready cattle will likely have to wane before cattle feeders gain much leverage.
Beef Cutout ...