Weekly Livestock Market Update with Scott Brown, August 27th 2018


Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update: •This week in markets – Cash fed cattle ended the week $.50 lower and feeder cattle prices ranged from $3 lower to $3 higher this week. Futures contracts gave back some of last week’s gains as October live cattle ended $4 lower for the week and September feeder cattle futures contract closed $4.25 lower. The Choice Box Beef price gained $4 this week with strength across all components. On the hog side, barrow and gilt prices continued their slide and ended the week $3.20 lower. The October lean hog futures gave back all of last week’s gains – and then some closing $7.25 lower. The pork cutout value continues to move lower – down $3 this week. Driven by lower pork belly prices. •Cold Storage – Red meat and poultry supplies at the end July were 5.6 percent above year levels. Chicken ending stocks were recorded large 1 percent above the previous record set in 2002. Beef and pork ending stocks have moved in a different direction in 2018. Beef ending stocks started the year below year-ago levels and at the end of July were 12 percent above last year at this time. Pork ending stocks started the year 11 percent higher, but according to the latest report are now 1.2 percent lower than last year at this time. •Livestock Slaughter – As expected, beef production is running 4.1 percent above year-ago levels for the first months of the year. And pork production is running 3.8 percent above year-ago levels. Beef cow slaughter by region has been a mixed bag. In the Southeast, beef cow slaughter has been running below year-ago levels, while in states that have been experiencing drought conditions have seen expansion in beef cow slaughter. •Cattle On Feed – Cattle on Feed as of August first came in at 104.6 percent, right in line with pre-report expectations. Cattle placed in feed yards came in at 107.9 percent, nearly 2.5 percent above pre-report estimates. There was a wide range in pre-report estimates on placements as analysts grappled with the effects of drought. Placement numbers tended to be largest in the lightest weight categories. That suggests some movement of calves to feed yards earlier than normal in those dry-weather areas. •African Swine Fever – A third and fourth case were found this week in China. Scott talks about the potential impact on markets and demand for US pork. •Next week’s reports – Restaurant Performance Index and on Thursday Farm Income Estimates.


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