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Market Summary for the week ending July 22nd:
July 22, 2016
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The Cattle Range 10 Day Market Trendline:
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Bearish: All market indicators were lower for the week.  Friday's upturn in the Trendline was due entirely to higher cattle futures as holders of short positions took their profits before the Cattle on Feed Report and the weekend.

The markets have been counting on exports to absorb a significant portion of the increased beef production occuring in 2016.  However, the British "Brexit" vote of June 23rd has strengthened the Dollar, leading to concerns that export demand will diminish and this has become a contributing factor in the decline in beef & cattle prices.

U.S. Dollar Index (DXY)

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The Trendline is an indicator of overall cattle/beef market strength and is based on daily market factors for the last 10 days.  Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 10 major market indicators compared to the previous trading day. The angle indicates direction & velocity of the trend.
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Market Data:
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On-Line Store
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National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
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RECEIPTS:  Auctions   Direct   Video/Internet    Total
This Week     105,700      50,600        265,100        421,400 
Last Week     162,200      62,300        104,600        329,100 
Last Year          93,700      29,000          39,900        162,600 

Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers sold mostly steady with instances of 3.00 lower to 3.00 higher.  The real summer heat moved in this week as we hit the dog days of summer, with extremely hot and humid weather curtailing receipts across much of cattle country, including some major auction barns.  It’s difficult and dangerous for both man and beast to move cattle in such conditions.  Heat stress and weight loss make handling and transporting cattle very unappealing and the risk of death loss skyrockets when the heat index is so high. 

Demand was still good for the cattle that did make it town even as the cash market remained under pressure.  Cattle futures were extremely volatile with nearly all months hitting contract lows throughout the week but as has been proven over and over, strong fundamentals no longer have any sway over futures activity.  The bulk of this week’s fat cattle trade was pretty much wrapped up on Wednesday, with live sales mostly 2.00 lower at 115.00-115.50 (for extended delivery) and dressed sales 2.00 lower as well, 184.50-186.00, the lowest prices seen in four years. 

It has been frequently discussed that negotiated sales make up only a small percentage of fat cattle sales as so much of the packers supply is already captive.  The lack of competition this creates really hurts slaughter cattle trade as packers simply don’t have huge needs to fill anymore.  Last week’s slaughter numbers ended up being larger than expected at 594,000 head.  July kill levels have been huge because it was profitable for the packer, and the weekly kill will stay high as long as packer margins remain positive.  Fundamentally, this will help feedlots stay current and at some undetermined point will mean a better fat market.  Instead of feeding cattle too long like many feedlots did last summer, many are now pulling green cattle forward. 

As expected, boxed beef made new lows for the year but since packers are still enjoying impressive margins, seasonally weaker box prices aren’t an issue so long as their supply is replaced at lower prices.  The high heat that was discussed earlier in this report also hurts demand at the meat counter, and with lots of beef in the channel, prices at the supermarket will have to stay competitive with other proteins to keep beef cuts moving.  It is generally hard to find much optimism for the beef complex in July, but one bit of positive news for the feeder market this week was Monday’s Crop Progress Report which rated 76 percent of the nation’s corn and 71 percent of beans in good to excellent condition. 

Hot weather and timely rains have worked together to create what is expected to be another outstanding crop.  The monthly Cattle on Feed report has not yet been released at the time of this report but analysts expect placements and marketings to be well over year ago levels.  No surprises there, but a larger number of heifers on feed is also expected, showing that herd expansion is slowing.  Moving forward, increased marketing levels will be critical to maintain feedlot currentness as feeder cattle supplies are expected to be very heavy this fall.  Auction volume this week included 54 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 36 percent heifers.

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Stocker Steers:
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Feeder Steers:
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Five Year Moving Average - Stocker Steers, Feeder Steers, & Slaughter Steers:
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Cattle Futures: Live and feeder cattle futures recovered nearly all of yesterday's price losses by closing $1- to $2-plus higher, but still posted weekly losses. August live cattle ended the week 97 1/2 cents below last week's close and August feeders posted sharper losses of $2.37 1/2 for the week. Futures could see a boost from the friendly Cattle on Feed Report, as it showed Placements below expectations. But the Cold Storage Report will maintain concerns about demand.
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Selected Auction Reports:
"Click" on individualauction links for complete report

Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
Receipts:  1250    Last Week:  2200    Year Ago:  1600
Compared to last Thursday at same market, stocker and feeder cattle 4.00-8.00 lower in a light test. Trade slow to moderate with light to moderate demand and light buyer attendance.

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
Receipts:  2238    Last Week:  2475    Year Ago:  3142
Compared to last week: Steers 900-1050 lbs 8.00-11.00 lower; 700-900 lbs 5.00-6.00 lower; 700 lbs and under lower undertone noted. Heifers 750-950 lbs 3.00-7.00 lower; 750 lbs and under lower undertone noted.

Sioux Falls Regional Livestock - Worthing SD
Receipts:  2418    Last Week:  740    Year Ago:  843
Compared to last week:  Few comparable sale as there was a light offering of feeder cattle last week.  Best test was steers weighing 1000-1100 lbs 1.00 to 4.00 higher.

Mid-South Livestock - Unionville TN...
Receipts: 729      Last week: 1064       Last year: 626
Compared to last week, Feeder Steers/Bulls below 650 lbs. 4.00-8.00 lower, over 650 lbs. 2.00-6.00 higher; Feeder Heifers below 650 lbs. 3.00-7.00 lower, over 650 lbs. 3.00-7.00 higher;

Florence Livestock Auction - Florence AL...
Receipts:  731    Last Week:  1152    Year Ago:  529
Compared to a week ago: Slaughter cows and bulls sold 2.00 lower. Feeder steers and bulls sold steady to 2.00 lower. Feeder heifers sold 2.00 to 5.00 lower.

Tadlock Stockyards - Forest MS...
Receipts     This week    962       Last Week    1,378
Compared to last week slaughter cows trended 2.00 to 4.00 Lower. Slaughter bulls trended 4.00 to 5.00 Lower. Feeder steers trended Steady. Feeder heifers trended Steady.

Athens Livestock Auction - Athens GA...
Receipts:  1042    Last Week:  1344    Year Ago:  759
Compared to one week earlier, slaughter cows steady to 3.00 higher, slaughter bulls lightly tested, feeder steers and steer calves mostly steady, feeder bulls and bull calves unevenly steady,

Cullman Stockyard - Cullman AL...
Receipts:  680    Last Week:  1373    Year Ago:  1108
Compared to one week ago: Slaughter classes sold 3.00 to 4.00 lower. Feeder classes sold steady to firm. Trade active with good demand on feeders.

Blue Grass South Livestock Market - Stanford KY...
Receipts:  734    Last Week:  1148    Year Ago:  572
Compared to last Monday:Feeder steers and heifers 5.00-10.00 lower,Moderate demand for feeder classes.Slaughter cows 2.00-4.00 lower,Slaughter bulls steady,Moderate demand for slaughter classes.

Green Forest Livestock Auction - Green Forest AR...
Receipts:  195         Last week:  1174            Last year:  NR
Compared to last week: Feeders mixed from 5.00 higher to 5.00 lower generally steady on a light test. Slaughter cows and bulls steady. Light run today due to extreme heat and humidity.

Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
Receipts:  5,163    Last Monday:  8,031    Year Ago Monday:  4,501
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers mostly steady to 1.00 higher. Feeder heifers sold 2.00-3.00 higher.  Demand moderate but improved as the day progressed.

Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
Cattle and Calves:  721      Week ago: 755       Year Ago:  682
Compared to last week:  No market comparison due to limited numbers of comparable sales however a much weaker undertone was noted after the big drop on the day in the futures contract prices on the CME.

Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
Receipts:  1309    Last Week:  1885    Year Ago:  740
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold 5.00 to 8.00 lower on limited comparable sales.  Trade activity and demand were moderate.  The cattle futures took some major hits spurring the price decline.

El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
Receipts:  5,676    Last Week:  10,994    Year Ago:  4,977
Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers were mostly steady to firm.  Not enough comparable sales on steer or heifer calves for a market trend.

Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
Receipts:  953           Week Ago: 2886           Year Ago: 1075
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers under 600 lbs steady; over 600 lbs steady to 1.00 higher.  Heifers steady to weak.  Slaughter cows steady, bulls 3.00 lower, though quality not as attractive.

Joplin Regional Stockyards - Carthage MO
Receipts:  2,512     Week ago:   5,492    Year ago:  2,288
Mid-Session and Close.  Compared to last week, steer calves under 550 lbs steady to 3.00 higher, steer calves over 550 lbs steady to 3.00 lower, yearling steers 2.00 to 4.00 lower on a limited test, heifers (all weights) 1.00 to 3.00 lower.

Pratt Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction - Pratt, KS
Receipts:  984    Last Week:  1356    Year Ago:  2928
Compared to last week: Feeder steers steady to lower undertone noted on a limited supply of Medium and Large 1; Feeder heifers a lower undertone noted on a light test.

Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:

WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 979     Week Ago:  3687     Year Ago:  1593 
Not enough comparable offerings this week for an adequate market trend. Buyer and seller interest was light. Extremely hot weather across most of the buying region along with a depressed live cattle market and sharply lower CME cattle boards nearly put a halt to this week direct cattle movement.

AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
Confirmed: 0 
Compared to last week, trade inactive, feedyards are in a wait and see attitude.  Trade should resume late next week.  Heifers 0 percent of total supply.  Cattle weighing over 600 lbs totaled 0 percent.

Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts: 3,657        Last Week 5,420        Last Year 
Compared to last week:  No trend available for feeder steers and heifers due to no Current FOB trades.  Demand moderate to good. Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs; 30 percent heifers.

IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
Receipts:  0     Last Week:  432     Last Year:  0
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not established. Prices based on net weights FOB after a 3 percent shrink or equivalent and 5-10 cent slide on calves and 4-6 cent slide on yearlings from base weights.

Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts:  2103       Last Week:  7961       Last Year:  2995 
Compared with last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not well tested for current delivery.  Demand for feeder cattle early in the week was good despite the sharply lower cattle futures.

Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 3,780        Last Week 2,103        Last Year 2,988 
Compared with last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not well tested for current delivery.  Demand remains moderate to good for feeder cattle. Volume includes 100 percent 600 lbs and over; 81 percent steers and 19 percent heifers.

New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
Receipts:  4700    Last Week:  4555    Year Ago:  800
Compared to last week:  Not enough comparable sales of feeder steers or heifers for a market trend.  Trade was active on good demand.  Supply consisted of 73 percent steers and 27 percent heifers.

Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  2350    Last Week:  5150    Year Ago:  4500
Compared to last Friday, feeder cattle steady to weak. Trade slow this week in response to a lower CME Price. Demand moderate. The feeder supply included 82 percent steers and 18 percent heifers. Near 95 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs.

Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Receipts: 4,371        Last Week 5,954        Last Year 3,120 
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers sold mostly steady on limited tests.  No trade established for feeder heifers due to light offerings.  Demand remains moderate to good.  Receipts this week 
consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs and 18 percent heifers.

Texas Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Confirmed: 34,000     Last Week: 32,100    Last Year: 15,400
Compared to last week current FOB feeder steers and heifers, steady to 4.00 Lower. There was a higher percentage of current FOB Med and Large 1 700-850 lbs steers in the receipts this week and fewer 1-2.
 

  • Reported on Friday for current week.
  • Reported on Monday for previous week.
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    Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs:
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    • Video
      • Bred Heifers:  Medium and Large 1 North Central Oct-Dec delivery 950-1075 lbs 2-3 months bred 1400.00-1825.00.
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 North Central Jul delivery 2-5 year old 1150-1200 lb cows 8 months bred 1650.00-1760.00; 3-5 year old 1100 lb cows 1-3 months bred 1400.00-1525.00.  South Central Jul-Aug delivery 2-9 year old 900-1275 lb cows 6-8 months bred 1500.00-1800.00.
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1 Southcentral Jul-Aug delivery 850-900 lb 1st Calf Heifer Pairs with 100-200 lb calves 1525.00-1800.00; 7-10 year old 1200 lb cows bred back with 450 lb calves 2250.00.  North Central July delivery: Jul delivery 3-5 year old 1100 lb cows with 200 lb calves 2375.00-2400.00.
    • Bowling Green, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Blk 3-6 yrs 1150-1560 lbs mostly 3rd stage 1370.00-1575.00; 5 yrs to short solid 1000-1500 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1050.00-1240.00.  Medium and Large 2 few 6 yrs to aged cows 850-1200 lbs 3rd stage 810.00-1020.00 per head.
      • Cow and Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  Blk 2-5 yrs 1100-1250 lbs w/175-300 lb calves 1850.00-1990.00; 2-7 yrs 1200-1400 lbs w/150-350 lb calves 1360.00-1480.00, pkg 4-5 yrs w/250 lb calves 1560.00 per pair. 
    • Springfield, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 1050-1500 lbs 1025.00-1375.00; short and solid to broken mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1025-1400 lbs 785.00-1185.00.
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2 Few 5 yrs to broken mouth 900-12025 lbs with baby to 300 lb calves 1150.00-1450.00; Small 3 Pkg Longhorn 725 lbs with 300 lb calves 810.00.
    • West Plains, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yr old 1048-1548 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 1150.00-1450.00 per head, 1st stage 1050.00-1125.00 per head;  7 yrs to short-solid mouth 1150-1511 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 1050.00-1175.00 per head.  Medium and Large 2  2-7 yr old 895-1218 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 900.00-1150.00 per head;  Short-solid to broken mouth 950-1150 lb cows in the 1st-3rd stage 750.00-825.00 per head.
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 yr old 1153-1275 lb cows with 125-200 lb calves 1400.00 per pair; Short-solid to broken mouth 850-1150 lb cows with 100-150 lb calves 1150.00-1300.00 per pair.
    • Joplin, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs. 2nd-3rd stage 1150-1350 lbs 1075.00-1400.00 per head.
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium 2-3  2 yrs.-short and solid 850-1050 lbs with 150-250 lb calves 1000.00-1100.00 per pair.
    • Arkansas
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 year old 850-1250 lb cow second & third stage bred 102.00-112.00 1100.00-1200.00/hd, first stage/open 77.00-87.00, 7-10 year old second & third stage bred 77.00-87.00 1000.00-1100.00/hd. 
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 year old 800-1200 lb cow w/100-200 lb calf 1300.00-1400.00/pair, few to 1650.00/pair, 200-300 lb calf 1400.00-1500.00/pair; 7-10 year old 100-200 lb calf 1150.00-1250.00/pair.  Small 1 and Medium 2  7+ year old 750-900 lb cow w/100-200 lb calf 900.00-1000.00/pair.
    • El Reno, OK
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  4-8 yr old 1100-1200 lb cows 3-4 months bred 1050.00-1275.00; 4-5 yr old 1200-1250 lb cows 3-7 months bred 1475.00-1500.00.
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-2 yr old 1100-1200 lb cows w/75-100 lb calf 1450.00-1575.00; 5-8 yr old 1100-1200 lb cows w/100-200 lb calf 1010.00-1125.00; pkg 5 yr old 1250 lb cows w/100 1600.00.
    • Woodward, OK
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Heifers 800-950 lb cows 1-3 months bred 1225.00-1600.00; 3-4 yr old 1250 lb cow 7 months bred 1600.00; 3-5 yr old 1175-1250 lb cow 5-6 months bred 1400.00-1500.00; 3-5 yr old 1100-1150 lb cow 6-7 months bred 1450.00-1575.00.
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-5 yr old 900-1150 lb cows w/200-300 lb calf 1900.00-2200.00.
    • Oklahoma City
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  5-6 yr old 1100-1375 lbs 6-7 months bred 1250.00-1450.00; 5-10 yr old 1005-1300 lb cows 4-7 months bred 900.00-1100.00.
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  9-10yr old 1200-1300 lb cow w/100-175 lbs calf 1110.00-1185.00.
    • McAlester, OK
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-4 yr old 875-1150 lb cow 4-6 months bred 975.00-1350.00; 5-8 yr old 1050-1125 lb cow 4-8 months bred 1100.00-1150.00; 9-10 yr old 1125-1375 lb cow 4-6 months bred 950.00-1025.00.
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yr old 850-1000 lb cows w/175-225 lb calf 1200.00-1300.00/pair; 7-10 yr old 850-1175 lb cows w/200-375 lb calf 1025.00-1250.00/pair
    • Sterling, CO
      • Cow/Calf Pairs: Medium and Large 1 Middle Aged 1305-1350 lbs with 295-300 lb calves 1550.00; Aged 1165-1315 lbs with 285-325 lb calves 1200.00-1225.00.
    • Roswell, NM
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2:  Young indiv 1085 lb cow 3-6 months bred 1125.00, per head; middle aged indiv 1260 lb cow 3-6 months bred 975.00, per head.
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2:  Young 840-1015 lb cow w/160-250 lb calves 1225.00-1250.00, per pair; middle aged 1075-1200 lb cows w/200-225 lb calves 1100.00-1125.00, per pair; aged indiv 1000 lb cow w/180 lb calf 800.00, per pair.
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    Canadian Cattle:
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    Alberta Beef Producers: Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with dressed sales reported from 240.00-245.00 delivered. Initial sales are 3.00-7.00 lower than last week. Packers are not long bought, buyers were indicating cattle that they bought this week would be lifted in 2-3 weeks.
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    Canadian Cattle Prices:
    Prices have been converted to U.S. $/CWT.  Grades changed to approximate U.S. equivalents
    Exchange Rate: Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.7732 U.S. dollars
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    Prices for the week ending July 15th:
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    Tire-Changing Ramp for Trailers
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    July 22nd Cattle on Feed Report:
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    United States Cattle on Feed Up 1 Percent
    • Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more headtotaled 10.4 million head on July 1, 2016. The inventory was 1 percent above July 1, 2015. The inventory included6.87 million steers and steer calves, down 1 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 66 percent of thetotal inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.49 million head, up 5 percent from 2015.
    • Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.53 million head, 3 percent above 2015. Net placements were 1.46 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 290,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 255,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 340,000 head, and 800 pounds and greater were 640,000 head.
    • Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.91 million head, 9 percent above 2015.
    • Other disappearance totaled 61,000 head during June, 12 percent below 2015.
    "Click" to view Charts
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    A Mid-Year Review of Production & Prices:
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    Looking back at the first six months of 2016 the one word summary for beef production is “growing” compared to a year ago, especially during May and June.  The first term that immediately comes to mind regarding cattle prices is “volatile”, especially in futures markets.  A close second price descriptor was “lower” year-over-year.

    For the first six months of 2016, U.S. beef production was 5.2% above 2015’s.  At 12.1 billion pounds, that was the largest tonnage for January-June since 2013’s.  Both cattle slaughter (up 4.3%) and dressed weights (rising 0.9%) posted year-over-year increases.  Most of the year-over-year gain in cattle slaughter came from steers and heifers (up 4.7%).  Cow slaughter also increased, rising about 3.5% compared to 2015’s; most which was in beef-type animals rather than dairy-type.

    Increased beef production, lackluster exports, and large processor margins have translated into lower cattle prices in 2016, as would be expected.  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Market News (AMS) negotiated 5-market average slaughter (fed) steer reported prices for the first six months of this year averaged just over $131.00 per cwt. compared to a shade above $160.00 last year, as drop of 18%.  Lower fed cattle prices combined cattle feeders adapting their feeder cattle price bids after record large losses in 2015 to pressure yearling and calf process.  AMS reported auction prices for 700-to 800-pound steers in the Southern Plains to plummet 30% year-over-year in the first half of 2016.  Southern Plains prices for 500-to 600-pound steers in January through June averaged 33% below 2015’s.

    Estimating per capita beef disappearance for the first half of 2016 is instructive, even if we need to use some estimates, most importantly beef imports and exports.  Here we will use the LMIC’s estimates.  On a per person basis, beef disappearance domestically in January-June 2016 was about one pound above a year earlier.  That’s not a huge increase, but the amount (27.6 pounds calculated on a retail weight equivalent basis) was the largest since 2013’s.  Of course, to increase disappearance domestically generally requires a lower price.  Also, given weak world economic conditions, trade barriers, etc., during the last two years the export tonnage that was achieved required lower prices.

    The LMIC forecasts U.S. commercial beef production in calendar year 2016 at about 24.7 billion pounds, up 4% to 5% year-over-year and the largest since 2013’s.  In 2016’s last 6 months, production is forecast to rise 3% to 4% year-over-year.  As the second half of 2016 progresses, year-over-year declines in cattle prices are forecast to moderate.  As the year wraps-up, the fed steer price could match or slightly exceed the depressed level of late 2015.  Yearling and calf prices are expected to remain below 2015’s through year-end.

    U.S. TOTAL RED MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTION

    For the first six months of 2016, domestic production of red meat and poultry was larger than posted in any prior year.  The prior record was set in 2008.  However, the rate of change year-over-year is the important market driver not the absolute level; the year-over-year increase for the first half of this calendar year was 2.9%.  For the 20 year period beginning in 1989 through 2008, record large U.S. total red meat and poultry production for the first six months of the year occurred 17 times.

    As usual in recent decades, U.S. chicken production had the largest production level; Ready to Cook (RTC) production for January-June of this year was nearly 20.3 billion pounds, 2.9% above the same timeframe in 2015.  Next was pork at 12.2 billion pounds (carcass weight), followed closely be beef at 12.1 billion pounds.  Note this is a record level of pork production in the U.S. for the January to June timeframe.  Importantly, the year-over-year gains in pork and beef tonnage were 0.9% and 5.2%, respectively.  U.S. turkey production was about 2.9 billion pounds and has been recovering from the Avian Influenza caused reductions last year and was 3.1% above 2015’s for the first six month of 2016.  At about 77 million pounds, commercial lamb production in January-June was essentially unchanged from a year ago, while veal dropped (down 6.9% year-over-year) to 37.4 million pounds.

    As we did in the prior article on beef, we now shift to calculating per person disappearance of red meat and poultry for the first six months of this year.  Using LMIC’s projections on imports and exports for June, estimated per person disappearance on a retail weight basis was 105.6 pounds. That was up 3 pounds from 2015’s and the largest since 2008 (108.2 pounds).  So, even though production was record-large, product available per person in the U.S. was not.  Note that people don’t actually eat nearly that much per person because of three major factors: 1) purchased weight (retail) includes bones; 2) use by family pets is included (purchased meat and poultry in pet foods/meals); and 3) waste (uneaten food).  Of course, the estimated retail weight disappearance also is a pre-cooked amount.

    Livestock Marketing Information Center

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    Retail Beef Prices Drop Only Slightly:
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    USDA-ERS released June average retail meat prices last Friday.

    Retail prices are calculated from a very limited number of retail cuts, for each protein, using several assumptions by  USDA-ERS (those cut prices are collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the U.S. consumer price index).  Due to the nature of these calculations and the retail environment, people tend to  call these average retail prices “sticky” meaning, as the fundamental  live animal and wholesale markets change, the retail price changes are  slower to appear.  Additionally, to take beef for example, no consumer  buys “beef”, they buy steak, or hamburger, or roasts, etc.  To average  all of these prices together to get one value for beef can be misleading,  however these retail prices are still useful as a barometer to the  industry. 

    Starting out with retail beef prices, the June average All Fresh Beef price was $5.83 per pound. This was $0.27 per pound below a year  ago (down 4%).  Within the monthly retail meat prices, roasts and  ground beef have experienced the most decline year-over-year, all  down over 6%.  Steak cuts were only down 1%-3% year-over-year.  This  is supportive of beef cutout data and weekly wholesale price levels.

    Retail beef prices are moving in a seasonally normal pattern and we  expect them to slowly increase into fourth quarter, but stay below  year ago levels. 

    On the pork side, retail prices were actually up year-over-year for  June.  Looking back on last year though, retail pork prices experienced  a seasonally abnormal decrease from January through June.  So far  this year, retail pork prices have moved in a more seasonally normal  fashion.  Compared to June 2015, pork was up $0.07 per pound (up  2%) to $3.77 per pound in grocery stores this year.  Bacon and ham  were the only cuts with average monthly retail prices above year ago,  but other pork cuts were only down 1%-3% year-over-year. 

    Retail broiler composite prices were $0.07 per pound below their  year ago level (down 4%) at $1.92 per pound.  Retail whole fresh  chicken prices saw a steep drop in June compared to May, down $0.10  per pound, and ended up at $1.41 per pound, almost $0.11 below year  ago levels.  Average retail turkey prices tracked right on year ago levels  since February, but June’s price fell slightly below that of 2015’s, down  2% year-over-year to $1.51 per pound. 

    All major proteins, except pork, averaged below their respective  2015 values in June.  Pork, although above year ago, has not  experienced a significant increase in retail prices but instead was  comparing to a seasonally abnormal price movement in 2015.  These  generally lower protein prices, including lower dairy and egg prices,  continue to show up in the Consumer Price Index data. 

    The CPI,  released this past Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a collection of items from multiple sectors of the economy to form a  singular basket of goods so prices can be compared over time and the  effect on U.S. consumers can be monitored.  The CPI for June reflected  generally lower meat prices compared to year ago levels.  This has  been a consistent trend since the start of the year.  Energy CPI  continued to increase, up 11% since January, largely on higher fuel  costs.  The “all items less food and energy” category continues to track  about 2% above year ago, with the main contributors to the year-over-year increase being housing and medical costs. 

    Daily Livestock Report

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    There appears to be a "Disconnect" between the prices retailers are charging and what producers receive.


    Prices from a Wal-Mart Super Center -- Wal-Mart is the world's largest grocery retailer.

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    Photo of the Week:
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  • 97 Angus Bred Heifers... Central KS*
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    Shootin' the Bull Weekly Analysis:
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    In my opinion, I anticipate fat cattle futures to begin moving higher.  The new contract low this week leads me to perceive that traders have begun to push futures to levels that would be construed as exceptionally under valued were the cash market to trade to these levels.  Traders have been brazen with their selling this week.  This may come to a quick end as the on feed report continues to show excellent movement of inventory with persistent draws in cold storage.  The lower than guessed placement figure is anticipated to lend support to the October contract.  On Monday, I will look for an opportunity to buy the October contract.

    I anticipate feeder cattle futures to begin moving higher as well.  While the fall calf crop is anticipated to be larger, the number of available feeder cattle may not be as plentiful.  The movement into feed yards has been steady and at elevated levels.  This is anticipated to keep the pipeline flowing.  I would not be quick to sell or hedge on the first bounce up.  Feed yards are urged to use options to lock in purchases for October placements.  While I do not anticipate a roaring bull market to start, I do anticipate prices to begin gravitating higher as the industry is working exceptionally hard to find equilibrium. 

    Corn is anticipated to have made a 5th wave low this week.  While my aspirations of $5.00 corn have long been shot to pieces, a retracement of the entire decline from this summers high is anticipated.  Therefore, a 50% retracement of the decline would lead me to anticipate a trade of December up to $3.91.

    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.

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    Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers:
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    June USDA Monthly Livestock Slaughter Report:
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    Record High Red Meat Production for June
      • June 2015 contained 22 weekdays (including 0 holidays) and 4 Saturdays.
      • June 2016 contained 22 weekdays (including 0 holidays) and 4 Saturdays.
    • Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.23 billion pounds in June, up 5 percent from the 4.02 billion pounds produced in June 2015.
    • Beef production, at 2.19 billion pounds, was 10 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.71 million head, up 10 percent from June 2015. The average live weight was up 3 pounds from the previous year, at 1,335 pounds.
    • Veal production totaled 6.4 million pounds, 8 percent below June a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 37,600 head, up 7 percent from June 2015. The average live weight was down 45 pounds from last year, at 291 pounds.
    • Pork production totaled 2.01 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.57 million head, up 1 percent from June 2015. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 280 pounds.
    • Lamb and mutton production, at 13.2 million pounds, was down 2 percent from June 2015. Sheep slaughter totaled 195,200 head, slightly above last year. The average live weight was 135 pounds, down 3 pounds from June a year ago.
    January to June 2016 commercial red meat production was 24.4 billion pounds, up 3 percent from 2015. Accumulated beef production was up 5 percent from last year, veal was down 7 percent, pork was up 1 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was up slightly. 

    June Federally Inspected (FI) cattle slaughter was the largest for the month since 2013. The majority of the increase in slaughter came from an increase in FI steer slaughter, which was up 12% (up 167,000 head) year-over-year and the largest for June since 2011. FI heifer slaughter was also up year-over-year, but to a lesser extent of 5% (up 28,000 head) compared to 2015. Heifer slaughter in June was still below 2014 levels though. 

    Cow FI slaughter also increased compared to last year, up 10% (up 40,000 head), with almost all of the increase coming from beef cow slaughter. For the first half of the year, FI heifer slaughter was actually down 2% (down 82,000 head) and beef cow slaughter was up 8% (or up 95,000 head). Four consecutive quarters of declines in calf prices so far are not enough to induce a significant increase in female cattle slaughter. 

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    Out of Kilter:
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    A good way to determine if something is “going on” in a market is by noticing when market relationships are out of kilter. Cattle and grains typically have a positive correlation. They tend to move in tandem. Moderately increase the price of corn and the cattle will follow suit. The opposite is also true as the cost of feed declines, so does the cost of production. However, when this relationship breaks down, it's because one market can't keep pace or pass on the costs of the other. 

    Normally, the value of 25 bushels of corn is approximately equal to the price per cwt. for feeder steers.

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    5 Year Moving Average:
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    Crude/Cattle Correlation:
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    The chart below shows a fairly consistent correlation between the price for a barrel of crude oil and the per cwt. price for slaughter cattle.  Since it is unlikely the price of cattle affects the price of oil on the world market, it might be assumed the price of crude oil affects the price of cattle, but that is unlikely as well.  It is more likely that economic factors affecting demand for crude oil have a similar effect on demand for beef.

    Accordingly, in the absence of geo/political events disrupting or distorting oil supply, since price trends occur slightly sooner in the crude oil market, crude oil has been a good indicator of the direction of near term cattle prices. However, with increased supplies of crude oil and decreased supplies of slaughter cattle, an "Out of Kilter" situation between the two commodities has developed.

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    5 Year Moving Average:
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    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
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    Slaughter cows and bulls mostly 1.00 to 6.00 lower than last week. 

    Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Friday at the close on Friday was 172.92 -- Down 1.01 from last Friday.

                   %Lean        Weight             Montana           Oklahoma       Alabama 
    Breakers  75-80%     1100-1600     71.00-81.00     73.00-77.00    65.00-70.00
    Boners      80-85%     1000-1450     72.00-79.50     73.00-76.00    69.00-74.00
    Lean          85-90%     1000-1300     63.00-71.00     71.00-74.00    64.00-69.00
    Bulls          88-92%     1300-2500     85.00-97.50     93.00-97.00    92.00-95.00

                        Confirmed   Week Ago    Year Ago       WTD     Week Ago    Year Ago
    National       7,769           7,282             5,537          38,295      36,034         30,619
    S Central     1,605           2,076             1,411          10,365      10,719           8,211
    N Central        861              582                599             3,574        3,480           2,913
    East             2,135           2,034             1,667          10,238         9,000          7,887
    West            1,699           1,033                887             6,360        5,138           6,501
    Midwest      1,469            1,557                973            7,758         7,697           5,107

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    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
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    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, July 23, 2016 was estimated at 936 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 0.2 percent higher than a week ago and 6.0 percent higher than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 1.7 percent higher compared to the previous year.
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    Weekly Hay Reports: "Click" on links for detailed report
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    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
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    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending July 19 were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was 7.00 to 35.00 lower. Cottonseed Meal was 22.00 lower to 5.00 higher.  Canola Meal was 10.00 to 29.00 lower. Linseed Meal was 15.00 lower. Sunflower Meal was steady to 10.00 lower. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was 3.00 to 10.00 lower, mostly 5.00 lower.
    • Crude Soybean Oil was mixed, 15 points lower to 60 points higher. Crude Corn Oil was 60 points lower to 45 points higher. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mixed, 10.00 lower to 15.00 higher, mostly steady to 15.00 higher. Ruminant Blood Meal was steady to 10.00 lower, mostly steady. Feather Meal was steady to 35.00 higher, mostly steady. Menhaden Fishmeal was steady. 
    • Corn Hominy was steady to 1.00 lower, mostly steady. Gluten Feed was 10.00 lower to 10.00 higher, mostly steady. Corn Gluten Meal was 10.00 lower to 5.00 higher. 
    • Distillers Dried Grain were 23.00 lower to 5.00 higher, mostly steady to 11.00 lower. 
    • Wheat Middlings were 5.00 lower to 25.00 higher. Wheat millrun was steady.

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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus:
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    The theory behind the "Bullish/Bearish Consensus" indicator is when the public reaches a consensus, they are usually wrong:
    • They get too bullish after prices have risen, and too bearish after they have already fallen.
    Because of this tendency, there are often extremes in opinion right before major changes in trend:
    • When the public reaches a bullish extreme, i.e., a great majority thinks prices will keep rising, then prices often decline instead. 
    • And when they become too bearish, then prices tend to rise.
    So when Public Opinion moves above the red dotted line in the chart, it means that compared to other readings over the past year, you're seeing excessive optimism. You also want to look at the absolute level of Opinion, too - if it's at 90%, then there's no question we're seeing an historic level of bullish opinion.  Watch for readings above 80% (or especially 90%) to spot those dangerous times when the public is overly enthusiastic about a commodity.

    Conversely, when Public Opinion moves below the green dotted line, then the public is excessively pessimistic about the commodity's prospects for further gains compared to their opinion over the past year.  Looking for absolute readings under 20% (or especially 10%) often indicates an upturn in the market.

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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Cattle
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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Corn
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    Stock Markets & Economic News:
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    Stocks recorded modest gains, marking their fourth weekly advance and taking the large-cap benchmarks and the S&P MidCap 400 Index to record highs. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced the most, helped by strength in software giant Microsoft and semiconductor firm ASML Holding, which gained after beating earnings estimates. Volumes were light early in the week and that the market appeared to be consolidating after its rebound of over 9% following the Brexit vote in late June.

    As earnings season continued to unwind, the overall tone of second-quarter profits remained, if not positive, not as bad as feared. Analysts surveyed by data and analytics firm FactSet expect overall earnings for the S&P 500 to have declined 3.7% in the second quarter versus a year ago, which is somewhat less than anticipated before the start of reporting season. This would mark the longest stretch of quarterly declines since 2009, but many analysts expect profit growth to pick up later in the year.

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    U.S. Stocks:
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    "Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the last 12 weeks
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    Looking Ahead:
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    • The next 3-7 days will bring above normal temperatures for much of the CONUS with the warmest anomalies forecasted for the Midwest and along the East Coast. Negative temperature anomalies will be confined to the Northwest. The High Plains, parts of New England, the Southeast, and Florida have the best chances of greater than normal precipitation.
    • The CPC 6-10 day outlook calls for the greatest chances of above normal temperatures in California and the Great Basin, as well as the East Coast. The probability is high that below normal precipitation will occur in the Northwest, especially in Washington and Oregon, and the Midwest, while odds are in favor of above normal precipitation in the Southeast and East Coast.
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    Consolidation or Integration in the Beef Industry:
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    The beef industry finds its origins in the gritty independence and individual perseverance of the people who moved out west to the plains and learned to survive harsh winter weather, drought, volatile markets and emerge to grow the business to produce a world class product. That independence of spirit sometimes clashed with the corporate meat processors in Chicago dominated by Swift, Cudahy, Armour and Wilson. The large beef processing corporations never ventured into the world of the cattle raisers and the two segments remained separate and in constant war with each other over price at the point of transfer of ownership.

    That all changed when Currier Holman created IBP and moved the beef plants closer to the feedlots supplying the cattle. This allowed the other beef companies that followed to develop a closer relationship to the producer. The landscape changed from all arms length transactions between feeder and processor to the introduction of committed supplies sold under formulas based on the cash trade and carcass performance. Some of the processing companies ventured into cattle feeding and operated their own feedyards. Feedlots with their own cattle close to the plant provided starters for each day's slaughter and fill in needs to provide a little extra leverage in the cash market.

    Meanwhile the other meat processors moved towards a fully vertical integration model covering the entire live life cycle of the animals processed. The processors owned the animals and sometimes the facilities to grow them prior to harvest. Today poultry and pork are dominated by the large corporate companies who control the process from birth to the sale out the back door of the processing plant.

    The recent sale of feedlots by Cargill can be viewed in several ways. It may be the start of a movement by the processors to turn the live animal sector back over to the feeding companies. Cargill's press announcement seems to imply Cargill felt it could better use the investment to advance the meat business than the feeding of live cattle. Alternatively, it might represent a closer and more integrated relationship between the feeding companies and the processors. Under these type arrangements, the feeding companies might share in the processing margins as part of the consideration in payment for cattle at point of transfer to the plant.

    It is safe to assume the beef processors will not plan to move into cattle breeding. Over half of the nation's calf crops are raised by small herd of less than 50 cows. It is also not likely the processors will engage in ranching and growing the cattle on pasture but a larger more integrated arrangement between the feeding companies and the processors is possible and probably exists in some forms today. 

    Ag Center Cattle Report

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    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
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    Closeout projections are for cattle placed on feed by a cattle owner at a commercial feedyard and not for cattle owned by a feedyard and fed at cost or a farmer/feeder utilizing his own feed.
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    Typical closeout for un-hedged steers sold this week:
    • Placed On Feed 150 days ago = February 23rd
    • Projected Profit/(Loss) based on the futures when placed on feed: ($65.05)
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    Cost of 750 lb. steer delivered to the feedyard @ $155.88 per cwt. 
    $1,169.10
    Cost of gain* for 600 lbs. @ $77.68 per cwt.
    $466.08
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% on cattle cost for 150 days
    $26.42
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% of the feed cost for 150 days
    $5.27
    Total Cost & Expense
    $1,666.87
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    Sale proceeds: 1,350 lb. steer @ $115.00 per cwt.
    $1,552.50
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    This week's Profit/(Loss) per head
    ($114.37)
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    Profit/(Loss) per head for previous week
    ($88.46)
    Change from previous week
    -$25.91
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    Sale price necessary to breakeven
    $123.47
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    Projected closeout for steers placed on feed this week:
  • Projected Sale Date @ 150 days on feed = December 19th
  • Cost of 750 lb. steer delivered to the feedyard @ $137.35 per cwt.
    $1,030.13
    Cost of gain* for 600 lbs. @ $73.71 per cwt.
    $442.26
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% on cattle cost for 150 days
    $23.28
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% of the feed cost for 150 days
    $5.00
    Total Cost & Expense
    $1,500.67
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    Sale proceeds: December Live Cattle Futures @ $109.20 per cwt.
    $1,474.20
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    Projected Profit/(Loss) per head
    ($26.47)
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    Projected Profit/(Loss) per head for previous week
    ($57.73)
    Change from previous week
    +$31.26
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    Sale price necessary to breakeven
    $111.16
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    *In addition to feed costs, "Cost of Gain" includes death loss, medicine, insurance, etc.
     **Interest Rate @ Prime + 2.00% - Prime Rate as defined and published by The Wall Street Journal
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    Typical closeout for steers sold this week and hedged when placed on feed: ($65.05)
    Typical closeout for un-hedged steers sold this week:($114.37)
    Projected Profit/(Loss) based on the futures & estimated Cost of Gain this week: ($26.47)
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    USDA Cold Storage Report:
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    As of June 30th:

    Total red meat supplies in freezers were down 2 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from last year.

    • Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 1 percent from the previous month but down 5 percent from last year. 
    • Frozen pork supplies were down 5 percent from the previous month and down 8 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 19 percent from last month but up 42 percent from last year
    Total frozen poultry supplies were up 5 percent from the previous month and up 11 percent from ayear ago. 
    • Total stocks of chicken were up 1 percent from the previous month and up 12 percent from last year. 
    • Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 11 percent from last month and up 9 percent from June 30, 2015.
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    Slaughter Cattle:
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    Friday trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all feeding regions. The latest established market in the Southern Plains and Colorado was on Wednesday with live sale mostly at 115.00. In Nebraska on Thursday live sales sold from 113.50-114.00 with dressed sales from 183.00 -185.00. In the Western Cornbelt on Thursday dressed sales sold from 180.00-184.00 with live sales for the week mostly from 114.00-115.00.

    Livestock Slaughter under Federal Inspection:
                                     CATTLE     CALVES    HOGS         SHEEP
    Friday   (est)            112,000        1,000          406,000           7,000
    Week ago (est)        107,000       1,000          419,000           5,000
    Year ago (act)            98,000       1,000          403,000           5,000
    Week to date (est)  561,000       8,000       2,101,000         39,000
    Last Week (est)       556,000       8,000       2,105,000         39,000
    Last Year (act)         528,000       7,000       2,044,000         34,000

    Saturday   (est)          34,000         0                  40,000               0
    Week ago (est)         42,000         0                   16,000           1,000
    Year ago (act)              7,000         0                  50,000                0
    Week to date (est)  595,000        8,000      2,141,000         39,000
    Last Week (est)      598,000        8,000       2,121,000         40,000
    Last Year* (act)       535,000        8,000       2,094,000         34,000
    2016 YTD           16,443,000    244,000     63,464,000   1,122,000
    2015 *YTD          15,898,000   245,000     63,453,000   1,126,000
    Percent change         3.4%          -0.2%           0.0%            -0.3%

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    Corn Crop Condition:
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    National Grain Summary:
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    Grain and soybeans were lower for the week.  Corn and soybeans were pressured by favorable forecast ahead of the growing season and good crop ratings.  The corn crop was listed at 76 percent good to excellent rating and soybeans at 71 percent.  Wheat was also lower as harvest continues to progress with plentiful supplies.  Temperatures this week across the plains and Midwest have been extremely hot with heat indexes reaching 115 degrees which is concerning.  Weekly export sales for all wheat came in neutral at 7.6 mb (478,000 mt), with all for the 2016-2017 marketing year.  Weekly export sales for corn were bearish totaling 33.5 mb (851,400 mt) with 13.6 mb (345,100 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year. Sales of sorghum showed 2.1 mb (53,500 mt) with all for the 2015-2016 marketing year.  Soybeans were listed at 48.7 mb (1,326,600 mt) with 11.9 mb (325,000 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year.

    Corn Futures Summary: Corn futures settled 3/4 cent to 1 3/4 cents higher through the July contract today, but posted weekly losses. December corn futures dropped 15 cents. Corn futures were boosted by short-covering today, but with temps expected to moderate across the Corn Belt next week, prospects for an extended price rebound are limited. The upside will remain limited to modest corrective buying unless weather forecasts are hotter and drier than expected coming out of the weekend.

    Soybean Futures Summary: Aggressive fund selling in the soybean market today resulted in more technical chart damage and sharp weekly losses. Futures closed off session lows, but November beans still posted a weekly loss of 68 1/4 cents. Bears clearly have momentum on their side and next week's weather is expected to be more favorable than previously thought. Cooler temps and scattered showers are in the forecast across the Corn Belt next week, which would provide relief for crops stressed by this week's heatwave.

    Wheat Futures Summary: All wheat flavors benefited from a solid round of short-covering to end the week. For the week, front-month SRW and HRW futures posted a slight weekly gain and HRW September ended even with week-ago. Wheat will remain in a follower's role to corn and soybeans, as there's little other fresh news for the market to digest and abundant global supplies will remain a market factor throughout the year.

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    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat
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    Your Suggestions:
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