Cattle Outlook: 5 states cattle production value tops $2 billion
USDA’s annual publication "Meat Animal Production, Disposition and Income" tells us that 5 states had a 2011 value of cattle production in excess of $2 billion: Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and California. The total for the U.S. was a record $45.176 billion, up $8.2 billion from the year before.
USDA says 72% of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition on June 3. That compares to 72% good or excellent the week before and 67% a year ago. The Crop Progress report says 94% of the soybean crop was planted by June 3 compared to an average of only 75% on that date. Nationally, 22% of pastures were rated poor or very poor in early June. That compares to 22% poor or very poor the week before and 24% a year ago.
Forecasts of continued dry weather in the southern corn belt boosted corn futures this week. July corn futures ended the week at $5.98/bu, up 47 cents from the previous Friday. December corn settled at $5.44/bu, up 34 cents for the week.
This week’s beef carcass cutout value was lower. On Friday morning, the choice boxed beef carcass cutout value was $197.26/cwt, down 9 cents from the previous Friday. The select carcass cutout was down $3.11 from the previous week to $182.71/cwt of carcass weight. The choice-select spread is now $14.55/cwt, the most since December 30.
Fed cattle prices were slightly higher this week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $122.79/cwt, up 89 cents from last week and up $16.59/cwt from the same week last year. Steer prices on a dressed basis averaged $195.58/cwt this week, up 80 cents from a week ago and up $22.06 from a year ago.
This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 652,000 head, up 9.4% from the week before (which was light because of Memorial Day) but down 4.3% from a year ago. The average dressed weight for steers for the week ending on May 26 was 839 pounds, down 2 pounds from the week before, up 19 pounds from a year ago, and above a year earlier for the 20th week in a row. Year-to-date beef production is down 2.8%.
Oklahoma City feeder cattle this week had price ranges for medium and large frame #1 steers of: 400-450# $201, 450-500# $188-$198, 500-550# $182-$188.50, 550-600# $171-$184.50, 600-650# $157-$175, 650-700# $153-$166, 700-750# $154.50-$162.50, 750-800# $153-$158, 800-900# $140-$154.75, and 900-1000# $132-143/cwt.
Fed cattle futures ended the week higher. The June live cattle contract settled at $119.87, up $2.17 from the previous Friday. The August contract gained $1.22 this week to end at $120.82. October ended the week at $125.25 and December at $128.62/cwt.
The August feeder cattle contract settled at $159.37/cwt, up $2.30 from the previous Friday. September feeder cattle gained $1.85 this week to close at $160.52. October settled at $161.45/cwt.
Source: Ron Plain and Scott Brown