The Cattle Range Home Page
Cattle Industry News...
The Cattle Range Mercantile


.
.
.
.

April 18th - National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary:
USDA-MO Dept of Ag Market News

RECEIPTS:    Auctions     Direct    Video/Internet    Total
This Week     171,800    82,500         6,900        261,200 
Last Week     188,600    57,900        55,200        301,700 
Last Year       195,200    34,600         4,200        234,000

Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves throughout the majority of the country sold mostly steady to 2.00 lower while lightweight calves in the Southeastern markets traded mostly steady to 2.00 higher.  Record prices have leveled off the last couple weeks with the fed cattle market struggling to hold its ground and most of the more-aggressive stocker orders having been filled.  In fact, several auction markets near the major grazing areas saw 6 weight stocker steers sell as much as 10.00 lower, after being the most highly sought-after class for several weeks.  However, many would argue that these kinds have been perhaps 30.00 too high in comparison to the market value of other classes and weight groups.  

Receipts continue to run light and are becoming progressively lighter with each passing week, with many trade areas (like Colorado) moving to their summer auction schedule weeks ahead of normal.  The Pratt, KS Livestock Auction sold a 94 head string of thin-fleshed 831 lb yearlings steers for 180.85.  Nationwide auction receipts during March were about 4 percent lighter than the same time a year ago, but likely included a much larger percentage of available spring supplies.  Auction managers have exhausted their “little black books” and most don’t know where they’re going to find cattle to hold sales each week until mid-summer yearlings start to show up.  

Farmers have now fully moved into planting season mode and most will have little interest in the cattle market until they put their planters away.  Meanwhile, major cattle feeders have set their sights on acquiring the summer grass yearlings that are just now being turned out.  These cattle require very little care other than the occasional ride by or windshield glance while putting out salt/mineral.  If stocker operators can secure a profitable contract and moisture levels are adequate, that spells for a pretty care-free summer.  Plus, a private treaty is free and a less stressful hedging strategy than playing the CME Board.  But, contract sellers remember last year when the yearling market went straight-up through the late summer and fall shipping season and many of them left money on the table.  Fed cattle trade was light this week and 1.00-2.00 lower from 146.00-148.00 and 238.00-240.00 dressed.  This week’s reported auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs and 43 percent heifers. 

.

Canadian Weekly Cattle Report:
Provided by CanFax

Fed cattle steady to lower

  • Cash to futures basis levels were the strongest of the year, encouraging feedlots to market cattle.
  • A few Canadian fed cattle traded south on a negotiated cash basis with prices at a slight premium. However, most of the trade was Canadian because some producers were concerned about grading discounts in the United States.
  • Weighted average steers were $145.24, almost steady, while heifers were $144.88, down $1.81.
  • Dressed trade was $2-$5 lower at $242.50 in Alberta.
  • Most of the show list comprised yearlings, but a few calves were offered. More calves will arrive at the end of the month.
  • More heifers are entering the slaughter mix. Western Canadian heifer slaughter has been 26 percent larger than the steer kill over the past three weeks.
  • Weekly fed exports to March 29 totaled 11,890 head.
  • Feedlots have done a good job keeping front end inventories current.
  • There appears to be a slight lag before calves arrive in large numbers. The market should be able to hold above $140 at least until the end of the month.
Slaughter cows mostly steady
  • D1, D2 cows ranged $97-$112 per hundredweight to average $104.50, down 92 cents. D3 cows ranged $85-$98 to average $92, up 25 cents.
  • Rail bids were steady at $200-$205.
  • Butcher bull were 106.15, down $2.21
  • Non-fed slaughter to April 5 fell 14 percent to 5,090 head.
  • Weekly exports to March 29 fell two percent to 7,533 head.
  • Warm weather following Easter should encourage grilling and enhance hamburger demand.
Feeders post records
  • Alberta feeder prices hit new record highs. Average feeder steer prices were more than $2 per cwt. higher, and heifers were more than $1.25 higher.
  • Alberta feeder steers had a $4 premium over Saskatchewan and Manitoba markets.
  • Keen buyer interest from Eastern Canada and the U.S. fueled competition.
  • A few calves weighing less than 400 pounds were steady to higher, and 400-600 lb. feeders rose 40 cents-$1.
  • Grass type 600-800 lb. steers surged $3.25, while comparable heifers rose $1-$1.50.
  • Steers heavier than 800 lb. were mixed on varied quality while heifers rose $1.75-$3.
  • Most feeders less than 700 lb. traded $60 per cwt. higher than the same week last year.
  • Alberta auction volume rose six percent to 30,740 head.
  • There is an increase in forward pricing of calves and feeders for deferred delivery.
  • Weekly feeder exports to March 29 fell one percent to 17,004 head.
  • The aggressive interest from outside Western Canada has sustained price momentum. Supplies should seasonally tighten, supporting prices.
Beef falls
  • U.S. boxed beef prices fell last week with Choice down $6.95 at $225 US per cwt. and Select down $7.11 at $214.30.
  • Weekly volumes were up 13 percent at 879 loads.
  • Retail features on grilling cuts saw a noticeable increase, which should be positive for prices.
  • Weekly Canadian cutouts to April 5 saw AAA stabilize at $237.96 Cdn per cwt. and AA fall $3.04 to $236.48.
.

April 18th - Taking the Markets Private

The public cash markets in fed cattle are reaching the final stages of privatization. The were no public markets in fed cattle this past week in Texas or Kansas even though almost 200,000 cattle traded between feedlots and packers under some type of arrangement. Formula cattle, once a popular vehicle for both buyers and sellers, are also on the wane as public indexes for benchmarking dry up.
 
Many participants in these markets want to claim the market is broken but far from it. The market is doing fine. There are probably more ways to sell your cattle today than ever, but they will not be reported or at least in a form that is understandable to the marketplace.
 
There is no inherent right to know the price paid in private transactions. Some people think there is. There is only a law created years ago and unnecessary today called mandatory price reporting. Buyers and sellers have been able to skirt that law and obscure the transactions to the point that it is meaningless today and a waste of time and money.
 
Reformers are worried about price discovery. Price discovery also is alive and well. Sellers are finding offers and consummating trades every day. For anyone doubting ability to discover price, run your own dutch auction whereby you post 1000 head for sale, allow buyers to inspect the cattle, start the asking price at $8 premium to April futures, drop the price .50 cwt. every 15 seconds until someone accepts your offer, and you will discover the market.  The sale won't be reported however.
 
The loss of public markets does create some misinformation. Bragging rights are circulated in the rumor mill. Both buyers and sellers put out their own spin on the prices paid and received and there is no way to prove or disprove what amounts to gossip.
 
The marketplace has changed for a reason. More than three fourths of all cattle traded are in carcass form. Live selling is no longer useful. Futures contracts will be the tool of choice for pricing in the future. Basis trades have worked in the grain trade for years. Basis trades are working fine in the beef business today. The industry needs to support a move to change the cattle contracts to a YG 3 choice carcass instead of a live contract.

The Cattle Report

.

"Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the past 12 weeks
.

April 17th - Daily Futures Summary

Cash weakness likely undercut cattle futures. Wednesday’s surprising beef gains appeared to support CME cattle futures in early Thursday trading. However, producers reportedly took about $1-$2 less for the cattle (with packers paying $146-$148/cwt) today. That sent futures tumbling. June cattle futures plunged 1.25 cents to 134.37 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December dropped 0.30 to 139.67. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle plummeted 1.85 cents to 178.05 cents/pound, and August dove 1.57 to 181.40.

Corn traders seemed disappointed by Thursday’s Export Sales report. Potential improvements in spring planting conditions have been weighing corn futures. Traders also seemed less than impressed by the weekly USDA Export Sales report, which stated last week’s result toward the lower end of the forecast range. May corn slid 2.75 cents to $4.9475/bushel in late Thursday trading, while December lost 2.25 to $4.9675.

The export data seemed to exacerbate today’s early soy pullback. Soybean and product prices had proved extremely strong in the wake of Tuesday’s bullish NOPA crush report. However, beans were backing away from overnight highs in early trading and the decline accelerated after the export sales result proved mediocre. May soybeans declined 4.75 cents to $15.14/bushel at their Thursday close, while May soyoil sagged 0.30 cents to 43.41 cents/pound, and May soymeal dipped $2.7 to $488.3/ton.

Strong wheat exports boosted those markets Thursday. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week’s wheat figure above the forecast range, thereby suggesting recent price slippage has sparked renewed international interest. Talk of persistent dryness and freeze damage to Southern Plains wheat also seemed spur buying. May CBOT wheat futures settled 3.25 cents higher at $6.9125/bushel Thursday afternoon, while May KCBT wheat futures climbed 3.5 cents to $7.58, and May MWE futures surged 6.25 to $7.3275.

Technicians may have bought hog futures. The latest cash and wholesale news has not been particularly supportive of the short-term hog outlook. Nevertheless, some traders may now be looking for a significant late-spring price rebound, since the market traditionally proves quite strong in May and June. Technicians seemed to buy in anticipation of a larger short-term advance. June hog futures climbed 1.05 cents to 124.82 cents/pound as the CME session ended Thursday, while December moved up 0.25 to 88.75.

.

April 17th - Slow Start for U.S. Beef Imports in 2014

U.S. imports through February 2014 totaled 352.2 million pounds, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier. Imports have fallen most from Brazil (-38 percent), Uruguay (-35 percent), and New Zealand (-7 percent).

Imports from Canada have increased (+7 percent) as a stronger U.S. dollar makes Canadian beef comparatively less expensive. Imports from Oceania declined in the first 2 months of the year as significant herd liquidation during last year’s drought will lower beef production this year.

The forecast for U.S. beef imports in 2014 was raised 40 million pounds to 2.325 billion pounds, an increase of 3 percent year-over-year. Import demand is expected to strengthen due to a forecast decline in U.S. beef production.

Prices of domestic processing beef are well above last year as weekly cow slaughter through March 29, 2014, has fallen 8 percent from a year earlier. Lower cow slaughter will increase demand for imported processing beef. Imports from Mexico are expected to strengthen and, to a lesser extent, imports from Australia and Canada.

.

April 17th - Cattle Import Forecast Raised

U.S. cattle imports totaled 364,804 head through February 2014, about even with a year earlier. Imports from Canada were up 7 percent, while imports from Mexico have fallen 6 percent. Imports of slaughter cattle from Canada were unchanged from 2013, but feeder cattle imports have increased 12 percent this year.

Demand from U.S. buyers has been strong as feeder cattle prices in Canada have lagged strong growth in U.S. prices. AMS weekly data through March 29, 2014, show cattle imports at 19 percent above year-earlier levels.

Due to stronger shipments from Canada, the forecast for total 2014 cattle imports was raised by 20,000 to 1.97 million head. The forecast implies a 3-percent decline in cattle imports from 2013 as inventories have fallen in both Canada and Mexico.

The January 1, 2014, Canadian cattle inventory indicated a year-over-year decline of 0.7 percent. While the number of beef replacement heifers has increased for the past 4 years, the beef cow herd declined 0.8 percent in 2013.

.

April 17th - Beef Exports Strong to Asia

U.S. beef exports were up 4 percent through February 2014 compared with a year earlier. Strong demand from Japan, Mexico, and Hong Kong more than offset declining shipments to Canada, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Higher prices for U.S. beef may have limited demand from some markets, including Canada, which has also experienced a depreciating exchange rate with the U.S. dollar. The average exchange rate in February 2014 was nearly 10 percent lower than the previous year. Higher prices have not discouraged strong sales of beef products to Japan and Hong Kong.

Exports to Mexico have also been strong in 2014. After declining in 2012 due to a drought-induced rise in Mexican beef production, U.S. exports to Mexico rose 15 percent in 2013 and were up 32 percent through February.

Demand is likely to remain strong as beef production is not expected to increase significantly this year in Mexico due to diminished cattle inventories. As a result of strong demand from Asia and Mexico, the forecast for 2014 U.S. beef exports was raised to 2.515 billion pounds, an increase of 80 million pounds from the previous month’s forecast. This implies nearly a 3-percent decline in 2014 beef exports as lower production will limit trade volumes.

.

April 16th - Wholesale Prices Peak

The wholesale beef market enjoyed an extraordinary first quarter this year. The comprehensive boxed beef cutout (averaging wholesale prices for Choice, Select, Branded and other categories of beef) gained a little over 18 percent between the first of the year and the end of March. The performance of the pork cutout was even more exceptional.

The pork cutout rose by almost 57 percent over that same time period. Over the last couple of weeks, though, wholesale prices on beef and pork appear to have topped out. The comprehensive boxed beef cutout has slipped by over $12/cwt (about 5 percent) so far in April. The pork cutout finally stalled out last week, declining by over $4/cwt from the record level of the prior week.

The decline in beef and pork prices stands in contrast to the behavior of broiler prices. Broiler prices, which languished for most of the first quarter as beef and pork prices soared to new highs, have increased substantially over the last month or so. Last week, the boneless/skinless (b/s) breast wholesale price reached 168.57 cents/pound, a 33 percent increase over the price at the beginning of the year and the highest price on that cut since last August.

This change in prices over the last couple of weeks has brought wholesale beef and broiler prices back close to their normal historical relationship. For now, wholesale pork prices remain quite high relative to broiler prices as well as to beef prices. At the beginning of the year, it seemed likely that beef, due to declining production, would be at a persistent relative price disadvantage to competing meats. That, for the most part, has not turned out to be the case.

A big part of the reason that wholesale pork prices have been so strong is that expectations with respect to pork production have been steadily revised lower. USDA offered another such revision in last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Projected pork production was dropped by about 2.5 percent compared to the March forecast, reflecting downward adjustments for all four quarters of the year. Broiler production projections were also dropped slightly (between 0.25 percent and 0.5 percent) for all four quarters of the year. The projection for beef production for the year as a whole was essentially unchanged: a drop in the first quarter projection was a little more than completely offset by higher third and fourth quarter projections.

The revisions to projected pork production are particularly noteworthy. In January, USDA forecast a year-over-year increase in pork production of a little more than 1.5 percent. After last week’s revisions, pork production is now forecast to decline year-over-year by almost 2 percent. Broiler production, forecast to increase by 2.8 percent in January is now forecast to increase by 1.8 percent. Beef production, forecast to decline by almost 5.5 percent in January is now forecast to decline by not quite 4.5 percent. Beef still faces a challenge in holding market share in a competitive consumer environment, but that challenge is not quite as daunting as it appeared to be a few months ago.

John D. Anderson, Deputy Chief Economist - American Farm Bureau Federation 

.

April 16th - Weather Will Dictate Cattle Trends This Year

Commercial cow slaughter has run at historically low levels so far this year, partly due to short supplies but also indicating ranchers intend to stabilize or expand their herds. The situation remains volatile though, and with drought appearing to be expanding in the West and Southwest, weather conditions will help determine the direction of herd numbers, according to the April Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook report from USDA.

The report also notes that first-quarter commercial steer and heifer slaughter is on track to be the lowest since 1965. Slaughter weights have helped offset some of that loss of numbers, and irst-quarter beef production will likely be the lowest only since 2005.

Other key points in the report include:

  • Corn prices have moved roughly $1 per bushel higher from postharvest lows and were given an additional boost in the intentions to plant fewer acres this year.
  • Cow-calf producers should continue to see attractive cow prices for the near term because of low cow inventories and continued demand for ground beef products from culled cows. Those cow prices could be tempting to producers concerned with drought.
  • Feeder-cattle prices could decline in the short term as grass-fever ebbs and fed-cattle values likely move lower seasonally, but short supplies suggest continued high prices calf and feeder prices later in 2014 and 2015.
  • With feeding costs in the range of $129 to $130 per hundredweight and fed-cattle prices around $150 per hundredweight, cattle feeders are seeing positive margins around $200 per head. Prices could decline through the summer as large placements of heavy cattle from December through February reach market weights.
  • Retail beef prices increased by 4 percent from $5.35 per pound for Choice beef in January to $5.58 in February. All-fresh beef prices increased by almost 5 percent, from $5.04 to $5.28 over the same period. Continued increases in beef prices could drive consumers toward alternative proteins.
  • U.S. beef exports were up 4 percent through February 2014, while imports of beef were down 6 percent. The report increases the forecast for U.S. beef exports to 2.515 billion pounds due to strong demand for beef in Asia.
  • Pork production is forecast to decline about 2 percent in 2014, largely as a result of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. Prices of both hogs and pork will increase as a consequence. Reduced pork production will likely reduce U.S. pork exports and increase pork imports this year.
  • The milk production forecast is raised in April. Given favorable milk-to-feed price ratios, cow numbers are expected to increase later in 2014; however the 2014 forecast number is unchanged from March. Continued robust domestic and export demand for dairy products tightens ending stocks and suggests higher dairy-product prices, except for nonfat dry milk, which is unchanged from last month in the report.
Read the full April Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook Report from USDA.
.

April 15th - Pressure Builds on Cattle Prices

With boxed beef prices down sharply from the second rollercoaster high of the year, fed cattle prices may have peaked seasonally.  Fed prices are currently holding mostly steady near $150/cwt. but will likely decrease into May as fed cattle marketings increase seasonally. Cattle slaughter typically increases from April through May to seasonal peaks in June.  Fed cattle prices typically decrease from April peaks to summer lows in July.  Average price change from current market levels would suggest that fed prices could drop to around $140/cwt. by July.  Given some bunching of placements in the past couple of months, it would not be surprising to see fed prices drop into the mid $130s, at least briefly, for a summer low.  Beef demand, as expressed by wholesale and retail beef prices, will be key through this seasonal supply increase.

Feeder cattle prices have been holding strong as well but are showing signs of weakening from the current peaks.  Several factors may contribute to weaker feeder prices in the coming weeks.  Persistent drought conditions and delayed spring temperatures are both contributing to growing concern about forage conditions.  The clock is ticking on spring pasture and hay development and another 2-4 weeks of delay will limit summer grazing demand and may force some producers move defensively to ensure forage demands can be met.  At the same time, delays in corn planting, along with USDA estimates for smaller corn acreage and tighter old crop corn supplies have firmed corn prices.  The corn market will be closely watching weather conditions from now on and corn market volatility could add to feeder price pressure.

Slaughter cow prices have pulled back slightly from record levels in the past week or so. This is earlier than the typical May peak in slaughter cow prices.  Looming prospects for poor forage conditions could result in counter-seasonal increases in cow culling in coming weeks, much as happened last year in the first half of the year.  Thus far, demand for replacement heifers and breeding cows has been strong, especially in the central and northern Plains.  Only slight increases breeding female demand have been noted in the Southern Plains this spring, where drought conditions have been more prevalent, and the demand appears to be diminishing rapidly.

Tight supplies will continue to dominate the market situation and provide strong support for cattle and beef prices.  However, seasonal tendencies and a variety of factors will likely pressure feeder and fed cattle prices some in the coming weeks.  Factors to closely watch in the next few weeks include: regional drought conditions; crop planting and development; and the PEDv situation and hog markets.

Source: COW/CALF CORNER-From the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

.

April 14th - U.S. Corn Export Prospects Increase

Projected U.S. corn exports are raised 125 million bushels to 1,725 million due to the strong pace of export sales and shipments. Corn ending stocks are reduced by the same amount to 1,331 million bushels. Forecasts for corn food, seed, and industrial use and feed and residual use were unchanged. The midpoint of the corn price is raised 10 cents to $4.60 per bushel in response to export demand and tighter ending stocks.

On the strength of the export pace and volume of outstanding sales, sorghum exports are boosted by 20 million bushels over last month’s forecast. Sorghum feed and residual use and food, seed, and industrial use are reduced by 15 million and 5 million bushels, respectively, as export markets attracted sorghum supplies away from biorefinery and feed use in the first half of the marketing year. Higher projected use of barley and oats lowers ending stocks for each grain. Prospective 2014 plantings for all four feed grains are reported down, but harvest intentions are up slightly for hay.

World corn trade in 2013/14 is projected up 3 percent this month to a record 116.5 million tons. Ample supplies and attractive prices are supporting import demand for corn. Global corn production is raised to a record 973.9 million tons, with increases of 2.0 million tons for Brazil and 1.0 million tons for South Africa. However, projected world consumption is increased more than production, reducing global corn ending stocks slightly.

.

.
Shootin' the Bull Weekly Analysis

In my opinion, the spread between cash and futures remains so wide that risk of participation from a hedge standpoint is perceived to have elevated risks.  The volatility in such a tight range has caused a great deal to move from this market.  Feedlots are perceived to have interest in selling deferred contract months as such a discount and packers are not perceived interested in purchasing futures as supply increases through the 2nd quarter of this year.  So, there is not much that I can see to do in the fat market.  The wide spread is anticipated to make for exceptional volatility.

The feeder cattle continued to move higher this week with a few making new contract highs.  The open interest in feeder cattle has fallen off from last week.  Although new highs have been made, they have so far been very minor from one high to the next.  The deep downward swings appears to make it look as if the moves are more.  I continue to advocate buying put options to maintain a minimum price floor under production.  My strategy is to continue to market inventory at the highest prices available today as these prices may, or may not be available in the future through options on futures contracts.  There will always be grumbling after the fact if premiums are lost.  This is a strange phenomenon to me as losing the option premium suggests that the price of the product has been able to sustain current level or potentially improve further.  It is seldom that at the termination of a car insurance policy that the buyer berates having paid the premium.  No one wants to have to go through the inconvenience or potential harm an accident may cause.  In my opinion, no livestock producer wants to have to explain to their lender why they didn't use some type of price protection. 

Corn settled a little lower this week from new rally highs made on Wednesday.  I continue to anticipate corn to move some higher.  However, if a new high in the December contract were to materialize, I will begin to view that as an opportunity to lock in a portion of new crop sales. 

Christopher B. Swift is a commodity broker and consultant with Swift Trading Company in Nashville, TN. Mr. Swift authors the daily commentaries "mid day cattle comment" and "Shootin' the Bull" commentary found on his website @ www.shootinthebull.com

An investment in futures contracts is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for persons who can assume the risk of loss in excess of their margin deposits.  You should carefully consider whether futures trading is appropriate for you in light of your investment experience, trading objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

.

March 21st Cattle on Feed Report:

United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent

  • Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.8 million head on March 1, 2014. The inventory was 1 percent below March 1, 2013. 
  • Placements in feedlots during February totaled 1.65 million, 15 percent above 2013. Net placements were 1.58 million head. During February, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 390,000, 600-699 pounds were 330,000, 700-799 pounds were 415,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 515,000.
  • Marketings of fed cattle during February totaled 1.55 million, 3 percent below 2013. Marketings for February are the lowest for the month since the data series began in 1996. 
  • Other disappearance totaled 71,000 during February, 18 percent above 2013.
.

March 21st - Cold Storage Report
  • Total red meat supplies in freezers were up 1 percent from the previous month but down 5 percent from last year. 
    • Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 5 percent from the previous month and down 17 percent from last year.
    • Frozen pork supplies were up 6 percent from the previous month and up 3 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 1 percent from last month and up 105 percent from last year.
  • Total frozen poultry supplies on February 28, 2014 were up 3 percent from the previous month but down 5 percent from a year ago. 
    • Total stocks of chicken were down 2 percent from the previous month but up 4 percent from last year. 
    • Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 14 percent from last month but down 21 percent from February 28, 2013.
.

February 14th - USDA Long-Term Projections

Despite lower prices for many agricultural products in the near future, USDA is projecting U.S. farm income to remain historically high through 2023. Analysis for the report was conducted prior to completion of the Agricultural Act of 2014, and was based on the assumption of continuation of policies in the 2008 Farm Bill. Projections range from long-term economic growth, global production and consumption trends, global trade trends, commodity prices, farm income and more.

USDA projects global economic growth to average 3.2 percent annually over the next decade, with stronger growth projected in developing countries, including China, India, and countries in Africa and Latin America. The U.S. economic growth is projected to average 2.6 percent over the next decade. “Steady global economic growth supports longer term gains in world food demand, global agricultural trade, and U.S. agricultural exports,” according to the report.

While prices for many of the major crops are projected to decline in the next few years, long-term growth in global demand, a low-valued U.S. dollar, and demand for biofuel, will hold prices for corn, oilseeds and other major crops above pre-2007 levels, according to the report.

As a result of recovering from high feed prices in recent years and drought, USDA is projecting livestock production and per capital red meat consumption to increase through 2023.
While beef production is projected to decline through 2016 as producers retain heifers to grow the overall herd, production is expected to begin increasing in 2016. USDA is projecting that beef cow numbers will increase from 29 million today to more than 33 million in 2022-2023. The total cattle inventory is projected to expand to approximately 96 million in 2023, and increasing slaughter weights add to increased beef production projections. USDA is projecting beef cattle prices to increase through 2017, then fall but increase again through 2023.

With regard to global beef trade, USDA is projecting world meat consumption to increase by about 1.9 percent annually from 2014-2023 and world meat trade to increase by 22 percent during that same period. Stagnate beef export projections from Australia resulted in the top four beef exporting nations, according to USDA, to be Brazil, India, the United States and Australia. On the import side, China and Hong Kong are projected to increase beef imports by 55 percent in the next decade as China’s middle class grows from 300 million today to an expected 640 million by 2020.

.

February 13th - USDA Projects Net Farm Income to Fall in 2014

While USDA’s latest farm income projections indicate an overall decline in net farm income of around 26.6 percent in 2014, there are some positive projections in the report, especially for livestock producers.

“Livestock receipts are up marginally,” said USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber. “They’re up at $183.4 billion. It’s the first time in a long while that we’ve seen livestock and crop receipts at around roughly the same magnitude.”

Crop receipts are projected at $189.4 billion in 2014, down more than 12 percent and back to pre-2011 levels. According to the report, declines in cash receipts are expected for almost all major crop categories, including food grain, feed, oil, fruits/tree nuts, and vegetables/melons. Large anticipated declines in the 2014 price for corn are impacting farmers’ decisions regarding other major crops. According to the report, use of corn for ethanol is expected to rise in 2014. Additionally, USDA is projecting declines in hay, wheat and soybeans receipts as well.

USDA is projecting a 0.7 percent increase in livestock receipts in 2014. For cattle and calves, steady receipts are projected due to lower production levels. Additionally, USDA is forecasting a decline in beef and veal export quantities in 2014.

Overall, net farm income, earnings only from current year production, is forecast to be $95.8 billion in 2014, down 26.6 percent from 2013 and projected to be the lowest since 2010. Net cash income, which includes income from carryover stocks from 2013, is forecast at $101.9 billion, down 22 percent from 2013.

For just the second time in the last 10 years and the first time since 2009, USDA is projecting a decline in production expenses, with an expected $3.9 billion decrease in 2014.

“Expenses are down,” Glauber said. “We’re forecasting them at $310 billion. That’s down almost $5 billion from last year, and that’s largely lower feed costs.”

Feed expenses are expected to decline by $6.6 billion, 11.3 percent, but livestock and poultry purchases are projected to increase, driven by an expected double-digit increase in the price of feeder steers due to tight supplies and strong beef demand. The overall expenses for the two major livestock-related expenses, however, are projected to fall by 6.1 percent, or $5.1 billion.

Other farm expense projections include a 4.7 percent decline for the three major crop-related expenses – seed, fertilizer and pesticides; a 9.6 percent decline in net rent to non-operators; a 4.6 percent increase in total labor; and a 3.2 percent increase for miscellaneous expenses, including things like animal health and breeding expenses, contract production fees, irrigation water, and general production and management decisions.

.

All Cattle & Calves... State Rankings & Change
.
January 1, 2014 Inventory vs. 2013 Inventory... Compiled from USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service Data
Rank
State
2014
2013
% Change
2014 as
% of Total
 
1
Texas
10,900,000
11,300,000
-3.54%
12.42%
2
Nebraska
6,150,000
6,300,000
-2.38%
7.01%
3
Kansas
5,800,000
5,850,000
-0.85%
6.61%
4
California
5,250,000
5,300,000
-0.94%
5.98%
5
Oklahoma
4,300,000
4,200,000
+2.38%
4.90%
6
Missouri
3,800,000
3,650,000
+4.11%
4.33%
7
Iowa
3,700,000
3,850,000
-3.90%
4.22%
8
South Dakota
3,650,000
3,850,000
-5.19%
4.16%
9
Wisconsin
3,350,000
3,450,000
-2.90%
3.82%
10
Montana
2,550,000
2,600,000
-1.92%
2.91%
11
Colorado
2,480,000
2,600,000
-4.62%
2.83%
12
Minnesota
2,280,000
2,390,000
-4.60%
2.60%
13
Idaho
2,190,000
2,370,000
-7.59%
2.50%
14
Kentucky
2,090,000
2,240,000
-6.70%
2.38%
15
North Dakota
1,770,000
1,790,000
-1.12%
2.02%
16
Tennessee
1,760,000
1,830,000
-3.83%
2.01%
17
Arkansas
1,660,000
1,600,000
+3.75%
1.89%
18/19
Florida
1,620,000
1,660,000
-2.41%
1.85%
18/19
Pennsylvania
1,620,000
1,610,000
+0.62%
1.85%
20
Virginia
1,530,000
1,610,000
-4.97%
1.74%
21
New York
1,450,000
1,400,000
+3.57%
1.65%
22
New Mexico
1,290,000
1,340,000
-3.73%
1.47%
23
Oregon
1,280,000
1,280,000
+0.00%
1.46%
24
Wyoming
1,270,000
1,290,000
-1.55%
1.45%
25
Ohio
1,250,000
1,230,000
+1.63%
1.42%
26
Alabama
1,240,000
1,220,000
+1.64%
1.41%
27
Illinois
1,130,000
1,120,000
+0.89%
1.29%
28
Michigan
1,120,000
1,120,000
+0.00%
1.28%
29
Washington
1,100,000
1,150,000
-4.35%
1.25%
30
Georgia
1,000,000
1,020,000
-1.96%
1.14%
31
Mississippi
930,000
910,000
+2.20%
1.06%
32
Arizona
920,000
900,000
+2.22%
1.05%
33
Indiana
870,000
810,000
+7.41%
0.99%
34
North Carolina
810,000
820,000
-1.22%
0.92%
35
Utah
800,000
770,000
+3.90%
0.91%
36
Louisiana
790,000
780,000
+1.28%
0.90%
37
Nevada
455,000
460,000
-1.09%
0.52%
38
West Virginia
380,000
410,000
-7.32%
0.43%
39
South Carolina
360,000
355,000
+1.41%
0.41%
40
Vermont
260,000
270,000
-3.70%
0.30%
41
Maryland
182,000
192,000
-5.21%
0.21%
42
Hawaii
130,000
132,000
-1.52%
0.15%
43
Maine
85,000
85,000
+0.00%
0.097%
44
Connecticut
47,000
48,000
-2.08%
0.054%
45
Massachusetts
39,000
39,000
+0.00%
0.044%
46
New Hampshire
32,000
33,000
-3.03%
0.036%
47
New Jersey
29,000
31,000
-6.45%
0.033%
48
Delaware
16,000
18,000
-11.11%
0.018%
49
Alaska
10,000
12,000
-16.67%
0.011%
50
Rhode Island
5,000
4,600
+8.70%
0.006%






-
Total
87,730,000
89,299,600
-1.76%
 100.00%
.

Beef Cows... State Rankings & Change
.
January 1, 2014 Inventory vs. 2013 Inventory... Compiled from USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service Data
. Rank
. State
2014
2013
. % Change
2014 as
% of Total
 
 
 
 
1
Texas
3,910,000
4,015,000
-2.62%
13.46%
2
Missouri
1,820,000
1,757,000
+3.59%
6.27%
3
Oklahoma
1,805,000
1,754,000
+2.91%
6.22%
4
Nebraska
1,797,000
1,805,000
-0.44%
6.19%
5
South Dakota
1,635,000
1,688,000
-3.14%
5.63%
6
Montana
1,476,000
1,506,000
-1.99%
5.08%
7
Kansas
1,414,000
1,328,000
+6.48%
4.87%
8
Kentucky
1,012,000
1,028,000
-1.56%
3.48%
9
North Dakota
943,000
922,000
+2.28%
3.25%
10
Iowa
885,000
925,000
-4.32%
3.05%
11
Arkansas
882,000
851,000
+3.64%
3.04%
12
Florida
877,000
908,000
-3.41%
3.02%
13
Tennessee
864,000
912,000
-5.26%
2.97%
14
Colorado
700,000
715,000
-2.10%
2.41%
15
Wyoming
694,000
694,000
+0.00%
2.39%
16
Alabama
671,000
651,000
+3.07%
2.31%
17
Virginia
657,000
686,000
-4.23%
2.26%
18
California
600,000
610,000
-1.64%
2.07%
19
Oregon
516,000
527,000
-2.09%
1.78%
20
Georgia
480,000
490,000
-2.04%
1.65%
21
Mississippi
477,000
486,000
-1.85%
1.64%
22
Louisiana
450,000
454,000
-0.88%
1.55%
23
Idaho
445,000
510,000
-12.75%
1.53%
24
New Mexico
387,000
390,000
-0.77%
1.33%
25
North Carolina
360,000
364,000
-1.10%
1.24%
26
Illinois
359,000
360,000
-0.28%
1.24%
27
Minnesota
350,000
375,000
-6.67%
1.21%
28
Utah
325,000
315,000
+3.17%
1.12%
29
Ohio
293,000
290,000
+1.03%
1.01%
30
Wisconsin
240,000
260,000
-7.69%
 0.83%
31
Nevada
226,000
231,000
-2.16%
 0.78%
32
Washington
209,000
221,000
-5.43%
 0.72%
33
Indiana
192,000
191,000
+0.52%
 0.66%
34
West Virginia
191,000
200,000
-4.50%
 0.66%
35
Arizona
178,000
175,000
+1.71%
 0.61%
36
South Carolina
174,000
174,000
+0.00%
 0.60%
37
Pennsylvania
170,000
155,000
+9.68%
 0.59%
38
Michigan
114,000
113,000
+0.88%
0.39%
39
New York
105,000
90,000
+16.67%
 0.36%
40
Hawaii
68,800
69,900
-1.57%
0.24%
41
Maryland
38,000
41,000
-7.32%
 0.13%
42
Vermont
12,000
12,000
+0.00%
 0.041%
43
Maine
11,000
11,000
+0.00%
0.038%
44
New Jersey
8,000
9,000
-11.11%
0.028%
45
Massachusetts
6,000
6,500
-7.69%
0.021%
46
Alaska
4,300
4,900
-12.24%
0.015%
47
Connecticut
4,000
6,000
-33.33%
0.014%
48
New Hampshire
3,000
3,500
-14.29%
 0.010%
49
Delaware
2,800
4,000
-30.00%
 0.010%
50
Rhode Island
1,500
1,500
+0.00%
0.005%






-
Total
29,042,400
29,295,300
-0.86%
100.00%
.

February 4th - Rabobank Report: Structural Changes Needed to Keep U.S. Beef Industry Competitive

Consumption shift requires better cost control as U.S. becomes a “Ground Beef Nation”

Rabobank has published a new report on the U.S. cattle industry, calling for changes in the way beef is produced in order for the industry to remain competitive. In the new report, “Ground Beef Nation,”, Rabobank says that changing consumer preferences and a production model tailored to production of top-shelf steaks has put the U.S. cattle industry in a position of losing market share to competitive proteins.

“Under the existing business model, the U.S. cattle industry manages all fed beef as if it were destined for the center of the plate at a white table cloth restaurant,” notes Rabobank cattle economist Don Close. “The industry is, essentially, producing an extraordinarily high-grade product for consumers who desire to purchase a commodity. More than 60% of U.S. beef consumption is ground product. If the U.S. cattle industry continues to produce ground beef in a structure better suited to high-end cuts, the result will be continued erosion of market share.”

The report goes on to explore the trend of changing consumer preferences and the role pricing plays in the notable decline in beef consumption. The industries that produce competitive proteins such as pork and chicken have grown and become more efficient, making the products more readily available at competitive prices.

“The industry must change to a production model that determines the best end use of an animal as early as possible, in order to compete in a ‘ground beef nation’,” notes Close. “A new system for end-use categorization that influences calf selection, cattle management, production costs, and feeding regimen throughout the life of the animal is vital to keeping beef competitive with other choices at the meat counter.”

.

USDA Cattle Inventory Report... January 1 Cattle Inventory Down 2 Percent

All cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2014 totaled 87.7 million head, 2 percent below the 89.3 million on January 1, 2013. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 82.1 million on hand in 1951.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 38.3 million, were down 1 percent from the 38.5 million on January 1, 2013. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cows and heifers that have calved since the 36.8 million head in 1941. 

  • Beef cows, at 29.0 million, were down 1 percent from January 1, 2013. 
  • Milk cows, at 9.2 million, unchanged from January 1, 2013. 
Other class estimates on January 1, 2014 and the change from January 1, 2013, are as follows:
  • All heifers 500 pounds and over, 18.8 million, down 2 percent. 
  • Beef replacement heifers, 5.5 million, up 2 percent. 
  • Milk replacement heifers, 4.5 million, unchanged. 
  • Other heifers, 8.7 million, down 5 percent. 
  • Steers weighing 500 pounds and over, 15.4 million, down 3 percent.
  • Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over, 2.0 million, down 1 percent. 
  • Calves under 500 pounds, 13.3 million, down 4 percent. 
  • Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all feedlots, 12.7 million, down 5 percent. 
  • The combined total of calves under 500 pounds, and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds outside of feedlots was 24.7 million, down 3 percent. 
 Calf Crop Down 1 Percent

The 2013 calf crop was estimated at 33.9 million head, down 1 percent from 2012. This is the smallest calf crop since the 33.7 million born during 1949. Calves born during the first half of 2013 are estimated at 24.7 million, down 1 percent from 2012.

.

.
.
 
.
Home | Recent Listings | Cattle | Real Estate |.TCR Mercantile.| Classified Ads | Markets | Auctions| Weather.| Field Reps.| List On-Line | FAQ's | Terms & Conditions | Contact TCR
.
<img src="/cgi-sys/Count.cgi?df=CattleIndustryNews.dat|display=Counter|ft=0|md=5|frgb=100;139;216|dd=E">
.
Copyright © TM - The Cattle Range - All Rights Reserved


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1

T

.