The cash live cattle trade Friday morning was extremely light. USDA reported that Nebraska sold 1,142 head at $115 per cwt live or $175-180 per cwt dressed for a weekly total of 31,691 head. Iowa-Minnesota sold 247 head at $115 live for a weekly total of 24,136 head. Kansas sold no cattle for a weekly total of 53,465 head (with 42,387 head being grid sales) and Texas sold 468 head at $112 per cwt live FOB for a weekly total of 12,042 head. The totals include negotiated cash and negotiated grid sales. Live cattle futures prices closed lower to slightly higher. June closed down 110 points at $97.70 per cwt (versus $97 last Friday), August closed down 90 points at $97.32, October closed down 50 points at $99.40, December closed down 5 points at $102.75, February closed up 32 points at $106.70 and April closed up 22 points at $109.57.
The week’s cattle slaughter came in at an estimated 555,000 head, versus 646,811 head last year, with Friday’s kill 102,000 head and Saturday’s kill 56,000 head. The total year to date was 12.113M head, 893,000 head or 6.9 percent below last year. Weekly hog slaughter totaled an estimated 2.130M head. The total year to date was 50.090M head, 1.1 percent below last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower. The Choice cutout declined $5.07 per cwt from the day before to $396.74 per cwt (versus $436.62 last Friday) and the Select cutout declined $8.35 per cwt to $374.18 (versus $419.06 last Friday). The Choice-Select price spread was $22.56 per cwt, versus $15.26 per cwt last Friday. The reported boxed beef trade for the week was 431 loads, 8.8 percent higher than the 396 loads last week.
Cattle on Feed report
USDA released its monthly Cattle on Feed (COF) report Friday afternoon. The
numbers for U.S. feedlots 1000 head or larger were:
COF 1 May 1: 11.200 head, 94.9% of a year ago
Placed in April: 1.432M head, 77.7%
Marketed in April: 1.459M head, 75.7%
Analysts regarded the report as neutral as all three categories were close to the average forecasts. April placements were down 410,000 head from last year and April marketings were down 469,000 head. The May 1 COF total was 607,000 head below the May 1 total last year.
The placement weight breakdown showed that nearly half the decline in placements came in the two middle categories: The under 600-lb. category saw 60,000 fewer cattle placed than last year (295,000 head); the 600-699-lb. category saw 70,000 fewer cattle placed (180,000 head); the 700-799-lb. category saw 132,000 fewer cattle placed (315,000 head), the 800-899-lb. category saw 103,000 fewer cattle placed (392,000 head), the 900-999-lb. category saw 30,000 fewer cattle placed (180,000 head); and the 1,000-lb.-plus category saw 15,000 fewer cattle placed (70,000 head) as a year ago.
Only Washington had more cattle on feed than last year. Texas had the most cattle on feed (2.690M head), with its total down 100,000 head from a year ago. Nebraska was second with 2.370M head, down 190,000 head, and Kansas was third with 2.320M head, down 60,000 head. All states except California and Minnesota placed fewer cattle than a year ago. All states except Idaho and South Dakota (same as last year) marketed fewer cattle in April than last year. Texas marketed 16 percent less, Kansas 26 percent less and Nebraska 28 percent less. — Steve Kay, editor and publisher, Cattle Buyers Weekly