Weekly Livestock Market Update with Scott Brown, November 26th 2018


Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update: • This week in the markets – We taped on Wednesday, right after the release of the USDA reports and ahead of the holiday and any major cash business. The early indications are that both feeder cattle and fed cattle prices are firm to higher. Activity at the majority of auctions will and have had light runs this week because of the shortened trading schedule. Through midday on Wednesday, December live cattle futures are up $.75 and January feeder cattle futures are up $1.15. Choice Box Beef price is basically unchanged for the week. Cash barrow and gilt prices are unchanged on the week. December lean hog contracts are $1.50 lower. The pork cutout value is down another $2.30 this week, pressured by another week of record pork production. Bellies fell below $1 this week. • Cattle on Feed – Placements are down 6 percent, well-below the pre-report average guess. On feed as of November 1 came in at 103.2, up 3.2 percent. That’s outside the range of 103.3 to 105.6. Looking at October placements by weight group – cattle under 800 pounds made up the majority of the decline in October placements. • Livestock Slaughter – Record meat production in October. Red meat production was 4.9-billion-pounds. Year-to-date, beef production is up 3.2 percent and pork is up 3 percent. • Cold Storage Report – For the second consecutive month, total red meat freezer supplies were lower than year-ago levels. There are down 1.3 percent for October. For the first time in 13 months pork belly stocks fell below year-ago levels, down more than 17 percent. Ham supplies were 9.8 percent below year-ago levels. Total beef supplies were up 1.6 percent in October, the lowest increase since March of 2018. Even poultry stocks are in better shape with the October data. Total poultry is 3.9 percent higher, the lowest year-over-year increase for the year. After a burdensome increase of 17 percent poultry supplies in September, stocks grew just 7.9 percent in October. • Next week’s reports – Restaurant Performance Index, Farm income estimates, and we’ll talk final Consumer Confidence numbers for November.


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