The Cattle Price Slide of 2015- Derrell Peel on the Turning PointFri, 18 Dec 2015 09:48:05 CST
2015 is now in the record books as far as sales of stocker and feeder cattle are concerned, with virtually all livestock auction markets now wrapped up with their sales for this calendar year. When you look at the numbers, the start of 2015 reflected the record setting prices seen in the latter parts of 2014- and it was downhill from there.
Five to six hundred pound steer calves were priced from $2.70 to $3.10 at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in January 2015- in the final sale of the year this past week in Oklahoma City, that weight range was bringing $1.67 to $1.99, off 34% from the start of the year to the end of the year. While calf prices seemed to be trending down throughout the year, yearling prices were down nine to twelve dollars per hundred from January to the first of August- and at that point, yearlings were pushed over the price cliff and fell 69 to 79 dollars per hundredweight from early August to the end of December. Eight weight yearling steers followed that pattern as well, falling just four to seven dollars a hundred weight from January to August- then dropped fifty five to sixty five dollars a hundred from August to the end of December.
Here's the prices of these three weight categories- based on sales at the Oklahoma National Stockyards:
Five to Six Hundred Steer Calves:
January- $270 to $301
August- $235 to $258
December- $167 to $199
Seven to Eight Hundred Steer Yearlings
January- $220 to $240
August- $209 to $231
December- $142 to $151
Eight to Nine Hundred Steer Yearlings
January- $207 to $220
August- $200 to $216
December- $145 to $151
Oklahoma State University Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel says that cattle producers who have stocker cattle that were bought ahead of the drop off the cliff may see some price recovery in the new year- but it is unlikely that they will avoid losing money on those animals. The same, he says, is true in the feedlot cattle where yearlings were placed before hard fall in both yearling and feedlot prices in recent months.
Margin operators who buy stockers or yearlings now have a much better chance of making those animals work- now that the twenty to thirty percent fall in value has been priced in.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays and Derrell Peel talk about stocker values and also how the hard fall in cattle prices has impacted stocking of wheat pasture here in 2015-16 on today's Beef Buzz.
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.
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