Weekly Livestock Market Update with Scott Brown, April 22nd 2019


Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update: •This week in the markets – Fed cattle were unchanged for the week. June live cattle futures were up $.85 this week, while May feeder cattle futures were down $.50. Choice box beef price was $2.25 higher on strength in ribs and loins. Cash barrow and gilt prices were $1 higher this week, while the May lean hog futures closed nearly $2 lower. The pork cutout value was $2.65 higher, now surpassing year-ago levels by $18. •Retail prices – Both March beef and pork prices moved higher. With the Choice Beef retail price increasing $.17 from February. The pork retail price was $.07 higher than February. The beef retail price change is the largest year-over-year price change since July 2015. Strong retail beef and pork price continue to point to strong domestic demand. •Consumer Confidence – Although the consumer confidence index moved down 1.5 percent relative to March, the current situation index was .8 percent higher. That suggest more concern about the remainder of 2019. •The USDA released its latest WASDE report – The biggest news out of the report is that the USDA increased the midpoint of their price range in April relative to March as African Swine Fever continues to unfold. •The FAS World Markets and Trade report – China remains front and center as FAS projects at 10 percent decline in Chinese pork production for 2019. They also project a record level of Chinese pork imports at 2.2 million metric tons, with the European Union garnering half of the growth of Chinese imports. FAS also projects 213,000 metric tons increase of beef imports into China. The US is expected to gain only marginally. China imports of chicken are projected to grow 233,000 metric tons. •Farrow-to-finish returns from Iowa State University – show a profit of $8.47 per head. It is the first profitable month since last July. Given the increase in hog prices from African Swine Fever – positive returns are expected to continue. •Next week’s reports – Cattle on Feed and Monthly Trade Data


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