Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending February 12, 2016

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week averaging $131.70 for live sales, and $205.96 for dressed; respectively, down $0.50 and $4.04. Total volume sold was up 10,000 head from a week ago and up 7,000 head from last year.

Feeder steer cattle and calves were mixed across much of the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were up $11.00 for lightweights and down $3.00 to $4.00 for heavier cattle. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $5.00 from a week ago, averaging $187.50, while heavy steers were averaging $132.50, down $7.50 from last week.

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Live cattle futures and feeder futures were lower this week. February live cattle were down $5.93 on the week and $29.60 lower than a year ago at $130.00, while April live cattle were down $4.92 from last week and down $24.15 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were lower on the week with March futures down $2.55 from last Friday and down $53.43 from a year ago at $150.45 while May futures are down $3.85 on the week. Nearby corn futures are down $0.06 from a week ago while May futures are also down $0.07.


Wholesale boxed beef prices are down compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $217.63, down $4.21 from a week ago and $21.06 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $214.12, down $3.14 from last week. The choice-select spread narrowed from $4.58 a week ago to $3.51 this week.


The United States Department of Agriculture’s World Supply and Demand Estimates were released on Tuesday morning (February 9, 2016). Beef production for 2015 was revised down by 10 million pounds from last month’s estimate to 23.69 billion pounds. That number is up from 2014 when annual beef production was 24.25 billion pounds. Looking ahead to 2016, beef production is expected to be up 890 million pounds from last year at 24.58 billion pounds. Per capita consumption for 2016 was lowered slightly from 54.4 pounds per person to 54.3 pounds per person. On the crop balance sheet, corn ending stocks for the 2015/16 crop were revised up by 35 million bushels primarily due to a 50 million bushel reduction in exports.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.