A myriad of factors are at work in cattle and beef markets now. Spring has arrived, according to the calendar, but it isn’t obvious yet in many parts of the country. Cold weather continues to delay grass greenup in many regions in a fashion that is reminiscent of last year.
Every year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects surveys from a large number of American farmers and ranchers asking what they plan to plant. This information is collected into the Prospective Plantings report, and the information is invaluable to the markets and subsequent reports.
Although challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country continued to impact customer traffic in February, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained above 100 for the 12th consecutive month. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.
It is such an alien thing to report these days, but cash fed cattle trade was wrapping up Wednesday last week, with the prices paid surprising even bullish analysts. Live cattle went for $150-154, with most volume in the $152-154 area—up $4 in the Southern Plains and steady to up $1 in the Corn Belt—and $242-245 dressed.
Wheat Association, strong export demand supported markets, including a soft red winter (SRW) cargo purchase by Egypt. Worries about how political tensions in the Black Sea region might disrupt grain shipments helped push futures even higher, the association said.
One thing making economics brighter for cattle producers is a change in the price of corn, a major feed for market cattle. “Corn at $4.50 per bushel looks better than corn at $7.50. Recall, we didn’t think $4.50 corn looked so good on the way up.”.
Cash fed cattle trade was slow to develop last week, but by Thursday afternoon a light trade had taken place at $150 live and $240 dressed. These prices were mostly seen in the Texas Panhandle and Kansas. Comparatively, the prior week had seen prices at $148- 148.
Cattle and beef prices are at record levels in every industry sector, from cow/calf to retail beef prices. These record prices are obviously supported by a very unusual set of supply and demand circumstances.
“Effective with the August 2015 delivery month, the amendments will allow heifers to be deliverable against the Live Cattle Futures contract but be subject to additional eligibility requirements,” noted the CME announcement of the decision. The additional restrictions are as follows:.
Cash fed cattle prices drifted lower last week as the live cattle futures took a nose-dive and packers seized on the opportunity to buy cattle cheaper. Compared to the $150-152 live and $240 dressed prices seen in the previous week, last week saw the bulk of trade happen at $150 live and $237-240 dressed.