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Agricultural News

Volume Pressures Boxed Beef Lower, but Softness Likely Fleeting, Jim Robb Says

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:15:28 CDT

Volume Pressures Boxed Beef Lower, but Softness Likely Fleeting, Jim Robb Says

Cattle prices are remaining in record territory in both the fed cattle and feeder cattle markets. A slight decline in prices last week is reflective of the red ink flowing in feedlots as they attempt to close out and get their operations back in the black. That's according to Dr. Jim Robb, director of the Livestock Market Information Center.   

"We did have a softness in the boxed beef cutout so that would make four consecutive weeks, but as we moved through last week, the boxed beef market actually got stronger on rather adequate volume. In fact, it was volume that was maybe even a little bit stronger than we would expect on the week before Easter. That was the good news. It looks like some of the falling or eroding in the boxed beef market, down fully $20 per hundred weight from its peak on a weekly basis, seems like that has about run it's course and maybe some of the temporary softness in the fed-cattle market will do the same."

Feeder and stocker cattle are working sideways right now, but Robb says, they are at a higher plateau than ever before.

"We don't see enormous erosion of prices as we move through this year, but there's still a lot of uncertainty. We still haven't really planted the corn crop yet. We really don't know how pasture and range conditions will be nationwide. So, there is some reason to be a little bit cautious."

Drought conditions are taking their toll on pasture and range conditions in California and across the Southern Plains. As drought continues to unfold, it could throttle demand for stockers on grass pasture, Robb said.

"There's plenty of uncertainty and I think that's spilling over into fed-cattle markets, especially if we look at cattle on feed report estimates. There are several wild cards out there that people are trying to get their arms around that are driving the markets."

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


LMIC's Jim Robb analyzes the latest trends in the beef markets.
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