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Agricultural News

Robb says Boxed Beef Nearing Top, While Cow Beef Has Room to Run

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:43:57 CDT

Robb says Boxed Beef Nearing Top, While Cow Beef Has Room to Run

Wholesale boxed beef trade reached record levels last week. Levels have gotten above $2.50 a pound, even though values were down on Monday. Livestock Market Information Center Director Jim Robb says it looks like the market may start pulling back a bit. Ron Hays catches up with Jim Robb on today's Beef Buzz. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show.

"For the week the box beef cutout on the choice side was up slightly compared to the prior week and set and all-time record high as did the select cut out," Robb said.

That was a little bit concerning because the volume was not large. Robb says that was the lowest volume since the Christmas shortened week of late 2013.

"That's a very light volume level and one that probably does suggest that these prices are ready to tip a little bit lower on the wholesale beef front, as they already have on the feed cattle side," Robb said.

So far consumers have been largely willing to pay these record high prices. Robb says both the supply side and demand side have really come together to get us these prices and these prices that are dramatically above a year ago and dramatically above four to six weeks ago.

While the whole box beef trade cutout value seems to be softening, one market that seems to have some more upside is cowbeef. Robb says this past week the cow cutout was up nearly $8 per hundred weight from the prior week and over the last two weeks the market added $15 per hundred weight to the cow cutout value.

"It largely reflects very low slaughter levels of cows," Robb said. "The latest week of actual data we had total cow slaughter about 20 percent below a year ago, year to date its down about 14 percent."

This reflects a very strong cull cow market.

"These meats that are used in further processing and for hamburger and for a lot of manufactured meat items in strong demand and it also reflected starting to move our imports also higher of those most manufactured beef items, those lean beef products," Robb said. "Maybe here this is one market that really hasn't topped out yet and a little bit like the feed cattle market recently we should be getting toward the time of year where cull cow prices and whole sale prices where start to erode."

"We're not seeing that yet this year," Robb said.

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.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Jim Robb
right-click to download mp3


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