December cattle closed followed other agricultural markets to close sharply lower Thursday. A firmer US Dollar and significant weakness in metal and grain markets was thought to have weakened prices during the session. Cash cattle in Texas traded $2.00-$3.00 lower on the week and back to $122.00-$122.50. Cash cattle prices are just coming off a record high last week and beef prices are just coming off their highest level since October 20th, 2003. Weekly U.S. beef export sales for the week ending November 10 came in at 11,100 metric tonnes, compared with the prior 4-week average of 15,500 tonnes. Cumulative sales for 2011 have reached 789,600 metric tonnes, up 28.6% from last year's pace. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 129,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 506,000 head, down from 511,000 head last week at this time and down from 524,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were down 6 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 6 cents lower at $195.39. This was up from $190.49 the prior week. Select beef was up $.61 to $177.30. Average dressed steer weights for the week ending November 5th came in at 857 pounds, down from 859 pounds the previous week and down from 858 pounds last year. Beef production for the same week came in at 503.1 million pounds, down 1.00% over year ago. For the Cattle-on-Feed report this afternoon, traders have a wide range of estimates for placements of cattle during October, with most traders looking for a slight decline from last year. October marketings are expected to be up near 1.5% from last year and traders see November 1st on-feed supply near 4% above last year. While many traders believe that the large supply at feedlots is a negative force, the active placement of cattle onto feedlots for much of this year has pushed the animals more quickly through the pipeline. This has likely left fewer cattle available for slaughter next year.
Join the Discussion