Weekly Livestock Market Update with Scott Brown, March 25th 2019

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Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update: •This week in the markets – Cash fed cattle are up $3 this week and feeder cattle sales were $4 to $9 higher for the week. The April live cattle futures contract closed $.50 higher and the April feeder cattle futures contract closed $2 higher. The Choice/Box beef price rose $1.25 this week on strength in ribs and loins. Cash barrow and gilts ended $6 higher this week and the April lean hog futures contract closed jumped more than $9 this week. The April contract has seen a $20 increase over the past two weeks. Pork cutout value jumped nearly $7 this week, pushing it above year-ago levels for only 7th time in the last 60 weeks. •Livestock Slaughter – Dressed cattle slaughter weights were 11 pounds lighter than year-ago levels in February as the weather continues to create challenges for finished cattle weights. They are at the lowest levels since February of 2014. Beef production is up .8% in the first two months of the year, while pork production has increased by 4.4 percent. •Cold Storage – Beef cold storage increased 4.3 percent relative to a year ago and pork increase by 1 percent. The chicken industry continues to see reduced chicken stocks as the February reports showed at 2.8 percent decline relative to a year ago. •Cattle on Feed – We fell outside of pre-report range for both Placements and On Feed. Placements tallied 102.2 while pre-report would have suggested weaker cattle placements for February. Short term cattle inventories remain above expectations as lower weights offset the growth in total beef supplies. •Meat Consumption for 2019 – We’re continue to reduce our meat production while that the same time our rate of consumption is slowing. That’s most likely good news for producers. •China – The biggest driver behind the surge in pork prices. •Next week’s reports – Hogs and Pigs, Monthly Trade Data, Planting intentions, and Restaurant Performance Index

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