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Agricultural News

Ed Czerwein Introduces Summary Report of Weekly Feedlot Trade and Finished Cattle Prices

Tue, 05 Apr 2016 21:53:17 CDT

 Ed Czerwein Introduces Summary Report of Weekly Feedlot Trade and Finished Cattle Prices Ed Czerwein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Market News Office in Amarillo, Texas has started a new summary report of weekly feedlot trade and finished cattle prices. Here is his review of cash and formula prices for the week ending April 2.

The finished cattle trade live prices were $1 to $3 lower with the biggest declines midweek when the CME plummeted.

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the five areas, which include Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa feeding areas, was about $2.30 lower at $133.83 compared to $136.12 the previous week. The five area total cash volume was 70,000 head compared to 51,000 the previous week. The three biggest states for cash volume were Nebraska at 28,000 head, Kansas at 18,000 head and Iowa/Minnesota at 15,000 head. All three together totaled 87 percent of the cash volume.

Five area formula sales totaled 146,000 head, with Texas at 62,000 head and Kansas at 40,000 head. The five area formula price was $220.10 compared to $220.60 the previous week.

This is the time of the year when all weights - both live and carcass - follow their normal seasonal declines. The average live weight from the Texas Panhandle, which includes steers and heifers for the week ending March 26, was 2 lbs lower at 1,317 lbs but that was 48 lbs higher than last year, which was 1,269 lbs. Mild dry weather since the Christmas blizzard has really helped improve feedlot performance.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending March 19, was 1 lb lower at 895 lbs and was 24 lbs heavier than last year, which was 871 lbs, with a five year average of 851 lbs. To put this number in perspective, if you added 24 lbs on all finished cattle carcasses, it would be equivalent to adding roughly 13,000 extra carcasses each week weighing 800 lbs.

Choice-Select spread was $12.18 on Friday, which was about $2.70 higher compared to the previous Friday. Cattle are actually grading a very high percent Choice and Prime now due to longer feeding, better genetics and heavier carcass weights. The percent of Choice and Prime normally declines when more calf feds enter the trade later this spring. Quality grades for all regions of the U.S. averaged 75 percent Choice and Prime compared to 76 percent last week and 75 percent last year.

Packers currently have 337,000 head of forward contracts for April, 148,000 head for May and 212,000 head for June. April is down almost 30,000 head from last year, May is down 100,000 head and June is down 74,000 head. The two biggest states last week using forward contracts were Nebraska at 11,800 head and Kansas at 9,500 head.

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