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Market Summary for the week ending April 29th:
April 29, 2016
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The Cattle Range 10 Day Market Trendline:
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Bearish:..Cattle futures held their ground but cash cattle and dressed beef were sharply lower for the week.  Meanwhile, retail beef prices were only slightly lower.
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     165,700     36,500        59,400         261,600 
Last Week     164,700     35,500           900           201,100 
Last Year       180,200     66,400        56,100         302,700 

Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers continued mostly 5.00-10.00 lower throughout the week.  The only bright spot was Wednesday when things looked to be turning around with a couple Wednesday auctions showing some strength, despite the CME board closing slightly lower after trending higher Monday and Tuesday.  The mid-week weakness in the futures was a the spark that ignited the fire, confirming that early week gains would be short lived, as Thursday the board open lower and finish sharply lower.  Last Friday’s afternoon Cattle on Feed Report had April 1 inventory 0.5 percent higher than last year at 10.85 million head; placements at 104.6 percent and marketing’s at 107.1 percent.  Inventory was slightly lower than expected, with placements lighter than expected and marketing were higher than expectations.  The report was more bullish than expected, but was not enough for the bearish outlook. 

A combination of decreased imports and the fed cattle futures decline appeared to play a role in placement during the month of March, as profit outlooks for late summer and fall looks bleak.  USDA’s Cold Storage report showed total beef in storage down from last year and just slightly under the 5 year average, which can be viewed as a positive moving into grilling season.  However, even the few supportive signs than can be gleamed from those two reports are certainly not enough to change the current market’s bearish position.  Protein sources are plentiful and beef demand is modest at best. 

Fed cattle trade was pretty much wrapped up by late afternoon Thursday with live sales at 124.00, 3.00 lower than last week’s trade and northern dressed sales at 196.00, 4.00 lower than last week and losing 20.00 in just two weeks.  Some packers appear to be bought up through the month of May and asking for extended delivery.  With the last two week’s estimated weekly cattle harvest numbers coming in as the two biggest weeks so far this year, indicates packer margins are favorable.  A large portion of the field work in the Corn Belt has been slowed as a result of wide spread thunderstorms early in the trading period. This should change early next week and allow planting to resume.  Despite the temporarily slowed planting progress, we should still be able to maintain our near record planting pace.  The early start to corn planting likely brought some additional acres into production.  At the same time, we are hearing reports that the rally in soybeans has encouraged some production of that crop.  Auction volume this week included 52 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 40 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: Cattle futures posted gains of 121/2 to 75 cents in the 2016 contracts today. For the week, futures showed little net price movement with contracts slightly on either side of unchanged. The downside is overdone for cattle futures, but the upside remains limited to modest corrective buying unless the boxed beef market strengthens enough to encourage packers to raise cash cattle bids. If wholesale beef trade doesn't improve, futures and the cash market are at risk of more price pressure next week.
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Selected Auction Reports:
"Click" on individual auction links for complete report

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
Receipts:  3311    Last Week:  2552    Year Ago: 2812
Compared to last week, steers and heifer calves under 500 lbs had a lower undertone; Steer calves and yearlings weighing 500-700 lbs sold 6.00-11.00 lower; 700-1000 lbs traded 3.00-5.00 lower.

Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
Receipts:  2347    Last Week:  2254    Year Ago:  842
Compared to last week:  Yearling steers and heifers sold 5.00 to 7.00 lower.  A light test of calves sold mostly steady.  Trade activity and demand were moderate to good.  Supply consisted of mostly steers weighing 800-1000 lbs.

Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
Receipts:  1240    Last Week:  3824    Year Ago:  4843
Compared to last week:  Very light receipts today, as much of the trade area has received anywhere from 1.5 to 4 inches of rain since Tuesday.

Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
Receipts: 8,416   Last Monday: 5,659   Year Ago Monday: 6,280
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers 1.00-4.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves steady to 3.00 lower.  Stocker cattle lightly tested with last week with some cattle selling sharply higher than a week ago.

El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
Receipts:  8593          Last Week:  3834         Year Ago:  4306
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold 2.00-4.00 lower.  Feeder heifers under 700 lbs not well tested from last week but a higher undertone was noted.  Steer calves steady.

Joplin Regional Stockyards Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg - Carthage MO
Receipts:  3703    Last Week:  6130    Year Ago:  5214
Compared to last week, steer calves 3.00 to 7.00 lower, except M & L 1 steers under 400 lbs steady to 5.00 higher, heifer calves 6.00 to 12.00 lower, yearling steers 2.00 to 5.00 lower, yearling heifers 3.00 to 7.00 lower.

Winter Livestock - La Junta CO...
Receipts:  1204    Last Week:  534    Year Ago:  882
Compared with last Tuesday: No trend available due to the lack of receipts from the prior week. Slaughter cows mostly steady, Slaughter bulls 2.00 lower. Trade and Demand moderate to good.

Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
Receipts:  1400    Last Week:  2525    Year Ago:  1450
Compared to the last Thursday at the same market: stocker and feeder cattle weak to 6.00 lower in a light test. Trade active with moderate demand. Slaughter cows 1.00-2.00 higher.

Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
Cattle and Calves: 2305       Week ago:  659       Year Ago:  1466
Compared to last week:  No market comparison available on feeder steers and heifers due to last week's very limited receipts however a much lower undertone was noted.  Receipts on offer were mostly in moderate flesh to fleshy condition.

Pratt Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction - Pratt, KS
Receipts:  2661    Last Week:  2973    Year Ago:  5148
Compared to last week: Feeder steers 800-1000 lbs 2.00-4.00 lower; Feeder heifers 600-750 lbs 2.00-6.00 lower; 750-850 lbs steady to firm on a light test  of Medium and Large 1.

Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
Receipts: 1083             Week Ago:  1969               Year Ago:  1322
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers 1.00-2.00 lower except 500-600 lbs 6.00 lower on limited comparable quotes.  Heifers 3.00-5.00 lower.  Slaughter cows and bulls steady on limited receipts.

Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
Receipts:  797    Last Week:  4206    Year Ago:  831
Compared to last week:  Receipts very light, with too few sales to make accurate comparisons.  Lower undertones noted for all weights and classes.  Demand light to moderate for today's offering of feeder cattle selling in mostly small packages.

Huss Platte Valley Auction - Kearney NE
Receipts:  1800    Last Week:  3160    Year Ago:  0
Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady. Demand was good from start to finish with a large crowd on hand and internet buying was  active.

Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:

AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
Confirmed: 1105 
Compared to last week, not enough head traded to establish trend. Trade slow, demand light.  A few lots of Holstein steers weighing 325 lbs for September delivery traded.

Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts: 5,147        Last Week: 2,471        Last Year: 0 
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers were lightly tested on a Current FOB basis from last week.  Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs; 58 percent heifers.

Georgia Direct Cattle Summary (Fri)
Confirmed sales on 434 head; All sales 2-3 percent shrink f.o.b. feedlots or equivalent, 10 day pickup: 
Steers Medium and Large 1-2 78 head 600-650 lbs 143.50; 77 head 700-750 lbs 139.00. Heifers Medium and Large 1-2 74 head 650-700 lbs 134.25; 205 head 750-800 lbs 126.50-129.00. 

IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
Receipts: 0     Last Week:  0     Last Year:  157
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not established. Producers are very busy working in the fields planting corn or are just finishing.

Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts:  2599    Last Week:  3480    Year Ago:  1390
Compared with last week: Steers and heifers 1.00-2.00 lower in a lightly tested Trade. Over last weekend most of the state received much needed rain, the western third mostly 5-9 inches, the central and east Kansas areas mostly 2-4 inches.

Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 600          Last Week: 260          Last Year: 0 
Compared to last week: No trend available for feeder steers or heifers due to limited recent Current FOB trades.  Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs and 100 percent heifers.

New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
Receipts:  135    Last Week:  280    Year Ago:  11300
Compared to last week:  Not enough feeder steers or heifers sold for a market trend comparison.  Trade activity was slow on light demand.  The CME feeder cattle board has been on a steady decline causing producers to back out of the market.

Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  550    Last Week:  1300    Year Ago:  2450
Compared to last Friday, feeder cattle weak in a light test. Trade slow this week as bearish cattle futures have succeeded in leading the feedlot trade significantly lower.

Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Receipts: 4,146        Last Week 5,692        Last Year 4,237 
Compared to last week:  No trend available for feeder steers and heifers due to limited comparable current FOB sales.  Demand remains moderate.

South Dakota Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts: 0          Last Week 823          Last Year 67 
Compared to last week:  No trend available for feeder steers or heifers.  Supply consisted of 0 percent over 600 lbs and 0 percent heifers.  All sales FOB North and South Dakota with a 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and a 4-8 cent slide on yearlings and a 8-12 slide on calves from base weights. 

Texas Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Confirmed: 21,300     Last Week: 26,200    Last Year: 22,000
Compared to last week current FOB feeder steers and heifers, 2.00 to 5.00 lower but with a few early sales steady to weak.  Approximately 97 percent of week's cattle weighed over 600 lbs.

Weekly Auction Summaries:
 

  • 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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    • Pratt, KS
      • Cow-Calf Pairs: Medium and Large 1  10 head Young 975 lbs 2400.00 with 150-200 lb  calves; 28 head Young 1000-1100 lbs 2500.00-2775.00 (2628.81) with 200 lbs etc. calves; 10 head Young 1092 lbs 2650.00 with 150-200 lbs calves.  Medium and Large 1-2 10 head Young 996 lbs 2000.00 with 150-200 lbs calves; 27 head Young 950-1000 lbs 2300.00-2475.00 (2397.65) with 200 lbs etc. calves.
    • El Reno, OK
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-5 yr old 950-1250 lbs 3-7 months 1425.00-1675.00; 4-7 yr old 900-1450 lbs 4-7 months 1200.00-1475.00; 8-10yr old 900-1250 lbs 5-7 months 935.00-1000.00. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-5 yr old 975-1200 lb cows w/150-250 lb calves 1725.00-1925.00; 2-6 yr old 950-1200 lb cows w/125-250 lb calves 1375.00-1500.00.
    • Woodward, OK
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  4-7 yr old 1275-1300 lb cows 5-7 months 1600.00-1725.00; 7-10+ yr old 1175-1275 lb cows 4-8 months 1175.00-1250.00. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-3 yr old 1000 lb cows w/150 lb calf 2300.00; 6-9 yr old 1150 lb cows w/425 lb calf 2100.00; 8-10 yr old 1050-1400 lb cows w/100-125 lb calves 1400.00-1500.00.
    • Arkansas
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 year old 850-1250 lb cows second & third stage 1225.00-1325.00; 7-10 year old cows second & third stage 1050.00-1150.00.
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 year old 800-1200 lb cows w/100-200 lb calves 1675.00-1775.00/pair, few to 2200.00/pair; w/200-300 lb calves 1800.00-1900.00/pair; 7-10 year old lb cows w/100-200 lb calves 1350.00-1450.00/pair.  Small 1 and Medium 2  7+ year old 750-900 lb cows w/100-200 lb calves 1250.00-1350.00/pair.
    • Springfield, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs most 2nd few 3rd stage 1080-1340 lbs 1175.00-1475.00, 1st stage 1010-1130 lbs 1125.00-1300.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1090-1360 lbs 860.00-1185.00. Large 1-2  4-7 yrs 2nd stage 1450-1475 lbs 1150.00-1300.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd stage 1405-1480 lbs 1055.00-1100.00. Medium and Large 2  3-6 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 940-1195 lbs 975.00-1025.00. Medium 1-2  2-7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 820-1020 lbs 1050.00-1325.00, 1st stage pkg. 1015 lbs 935.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd stage 950-1050 lbs 710.00-1025.00 per head.
      • Cow/ Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  4 yrs to short and solid mouth 915-1225 lb cows w/160-460 lb calves and a few rebred 1400.00-1775.00; short and solid mouth to aged 1115-1225 lb cows w/babies to 175 lb calves 1260.00-1310.00.  Medium 1-2  5-6 yrs 815-975 lb cows w/165-390 lb calves 1125.00-1475.00; broken mouth 900 lb cow w/180 lb calf 1010.00 per pair.
    • Joplin, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 925-1365 lbs 1225.00-1500.00; 7 yrs to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1065-1365 lbs 885.00-1200.00.  Large 1-2  4 yrs to short and solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1450-1525 lbs 1200.00-1500.00. Medium and Large 2  2-5 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 875-1210 lbs1025.00-1185.00; short and solid mouth 2nd stage 900 lb indiv. 760.00. Medium1-2  4-7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 900-1050 lbs 1000.00-1300.00, 1st stage pkg.1010 lbs 900.00; broken mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 900-1025 lbs 750.00-1025.00 per head.
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-5 yrs 1000-1365 lb cows w/newborn to 380 lb calves and a few rebred 1700.00-2000.00; short and solid mouth to aged 1200-1280 lb cows w/150-185 lb calves 1150.00-1375.00. Medium and Large 2 broken mouth to aged 1000-1100 lb cows w/baby calves 1025.00-1100.00. Medium 1-2  short and solid mouth 895 lb cow w/baby calf 1225.00 per pair.
    • West Plains, MO
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yr old 950-1445 lb cows in 2nd-3rd stage 1200.00-1700.00 per head.  Short-solid to broken mouth 1022-1340 lb cows in 2nd-3rd stage 1000.00-1250.00 per head.  Medium and Large 2  2-7 yr old 945-1362 lb cows in 1st-3rd stage 900.00-1250.00 per head.  Medium 2  2-7 yr old 760-1025 lb cows in 1st-3rd stage 600.00-900.00 per head.
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yr old 960-1305 lb cows with 100-250 lb calves 1500.00-1950.00 per pair; Short-solid to broken mouth 975-1115 lb cows with 150-250 lb calves 1100.00-1650.00 per pair; 3-n-1 pkgs 5-7 yr old 1110-1305 lb cows in the 1st stage with 150-250 lb calves 1300.00-1850.00 per pair; 5-7 yr old 1205-1353 lb cows in 2nd-3rd stage with 400-500 lb calves 2000.00-2300.00 per pair.  Medium and Large 2  6-7 yr old 750-1055 lb cows with 100-200 lb calves 950.00-1200.00 per pair.
    • Riverton, WY
      • Bred Cows: Heifers few 1118-1200 lbs 1600.00-1800.00, mostly 930-1170 lbs 1225.00-1525.00; Young 1115-1190 lbs 1800.00-1825.00, mostly 940-1485 lbs 1300.00-1575.00; Aged (Short Term) 1190-1555 lbs 1150.00-1250.00 all per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs: Heifers package 835 lb heifers with 140 lb calves 2175.00, several 845-1100 lb heifers with 120-200 lb calves 1825.00-2000.00; Young 1035-1295 lb cows with 125-140 lb calves 1600.00-1875.00, individual 845 lb cow with 70 lb calf 1375.00; Middle Aged (Short Solids) 1120-1435 lb cows with 130-140 lb calves 1450.00-1575.00; Aged (Short Term) few 1185-1255 lb cows with 125-135 lb calves 1300.00-1550.00, few 790-1335 lb cows with 55-150 lb calves 825.00-1150.00 all per head.
    • Kearney, NE
      • Bred Cows: Medium and Large 1: Solid Mouth 1580 lbs in third trimester 1375.00. Short Solid and Spreader Mouth 1450 lbs in third trimester 1225.00. Broken Mouth 1415 lbs in third trimester 1200.00. 
      • Cow/calf Pairs: Medium and Large 1: 3-4 yrs 1170 lbs with 150 lbs calves 1660.00. Solid Mouth 1525 lbs with 100 lbs calves 1530.00. Short Solid Mouth 1570 lbs with 150 lbs calves 1500.00. Broken Mouth 1135-1425 lbs with 100-160 lbs calves 1125.00-1370.00. 
    • Valentine, NE
      • Spring Bred Cows Medium and Large 1-2 Heifers 1033-1036 lbs. $1550.00-$1675.00. Young:  1100-1045 lbs $1525.00-$1525.00.  Solid Mouth:  1300-1301 lbs $1500.00-$1525.00.  Short Solid:  1277-1365 lbs $1050.00-$1375.00.  Broken Mouth: 1270 lbs $925.00.
      • Spring Pairs Medium and Large 1-2 Solid Mouth Pairs 1300 lbs New-Born $1525.00.
    • Billings, MT
      • Bred cows: 3-4 yrs old Medium and large 1 1299-1428 lbs calving before July 1st 1,700.00-1,950.00, calving in July 1200-1285 lbs 1,675.00-1,710.00, calving in Aug-Sept 1016 lbs 1,625.00. Medium and large 1-2 calving before July 1st 1139-1160 lbs 1,650.00-1,675.00.  3-6 yrs old Medium and large 1 1283-1393 lbs calving before July 1st 1,750.00-1,825.00, calving in July 1350-1485 lbs 1,700.00. Medium and large 1-2 calving in Aug-Sept 1175 lbs 1,275.00.  Middle age (Solid mouth) Medium and large 1 calving before July 1st 1,400.00-1,700.00. Medium and large 1-2 1240-1650 lbs 1,175.00-1,350.00.  Aged (Broken mouth) Medium and large 1 calving before July 1st 1,275.00-1,400.00. Medium and large 1-2 calving before July 1st 1,200.00. 
      • Heifer pairs: Medium and large 1 1119-1228 lbs with 90-175 lbs calves 2,100.00-2,400.00, Medium and large 1-2with 90-150 lbs calves 1119 lbs 1,675.00. 
      • Cow/calf pairs: Medium and large 1 1248-1385 lbs with 100-175 lbs calves 1,950.00-2,000.00, with newborn calves1385 lbs 1,800.00.  Medium and large 1 1448-1459 lbs with 80-175 lbs calves 1,800.00-1,850.00, with newborn calves 1545 lbs 1,675.00.  Middle age (Solid mouth) Medium and large 1 1269-1479 lbs with 135-194 lbs calves 1,600.00-1,700.00.  Aged (Broken mouth) Medium and large 1 1455-1581 lbs with 125-175 lbs calves 1,385.00-1,650.00.
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    Tire-Changing Ramp for Trailers
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    Canadian Cattle:
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    Alberta Beef Producers: Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen moderate trade develop and dressed sales have been reported in a very wide trading range. Premiums were being paid for cattle that could be delivered within two weeks. For immediate delivery trade was reported from 278.00-280.00 delivered which is 1.00-3.00 higher than the previous week. There were also some cattle that traded for June delivery and trade was reported from 252.00-257.00 delivered. We are on the horizon of seeing increased fed supplies and that is clearly being bid into the market. 
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    Canadian Weekly Cattle Report:

    Fed cattle lower

    • Weighted average steer prices slipped $4 to $163.38 per hundredweight and heifers were $163.63, down $1.10.
    • Alberta dressed trade was $272-$277 per cwt. delivered, with prices a little lower for deferred late May delivery.
    • Chicago cattle futures fell all week in anticipation of lower cash prices.
    • U.S. wholesale beef was slack and more cattle were for sale than the week before.
    • The effects of weakness in the American market were compounded by a stronger loonie.
    • The Alberta cash-to-futures basis strengthened sharply to +$3.49.
    • Weekly western Canadian fed slaughter to April 16 fell one percent to 30,145 head.
    • Western Canadian slaughter this year is 417,934 down eight percent.
    • Weekly fed exports to April 9 rose 24 percent to 7,097 head. For the year exports are up 27 percent.
    • The window of opportunity for a spring price rally is dwindling despite bullish North American fundamentals.
    • The strong Canada-U.S. basis will continue to discourage American interest in Canadian cattle.
    Cows steady
    • D1, D2 cows ranged $92 to $108 to average $100.83 down $1.17. D3 cows ranged $80 to $95 to average $88.83 up $1.33.
    • Dressed bids were mostly steady at $197-$202 delivered.
    • Butcher bulls averaged $128.73, down $1.90.
    • Weekly western Canadian non-fed slaughter to April 16 rose eight percent to 5,634 head.
    • Slaughter this year is up 11 percent at 109,835 head.
    • Exports to April 9 rose 28 percent to 5,389 head.
    • But for the year they are down 10 percent.
    • Auction volume should remain manageable and prices should be steady to modestly higher.
    Feeders lower
    • There was pressure across the entire calf and feeder market this week.
    • Steers were mostly down five to nine cents, while heifers were down two to nine cents.
    • Heifers in previous weeks had seen prices drop further than steers.
    • Rising corn prices kept pressure on Chicago feeder futures.
    • Western Canada feeder supply is ample and demand is weaker as the futures fall and the Canadian dollar rises.
    • Feedlots face significant red ink.
    • Calf prices have fallen in seven of the last eight weeks.
    • Meanwhile, 850 pound steers have dropped 15 out of the 16 weeks this year.
    • While 550 lb. steers are $105 lower than last year, they are $8 higher than 2014.
    • The feeder basis strengthened $1 over the week, and is following the five-year basis trend closely.
    • While the futures may be due for a bounce, the feeder market will continue to struggle as the feeding sector has to get margins back in line and the strong Canadian dollar weighs on the market.
    This cattle market information is from the weekly report from CanFax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
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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 $0.7891 U.S. dollars
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    Prices for the week ending April 22nd:
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    Demand for Beef is “Elastic” and Why It Matters:
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    About 15 months ago, cattle prices began a descent that continues today, and depending on the class of cattle, prices have plummeted by 30% to 50%. There is a wide spectrum of opinions as to why this has occurred ranging from manipulation of the cattle futures to the packer oligopoly colluding to maximize their profits. Even though these may be contributing factors, the major factor was the theory propagated several years ago by numerous analysts, pundits, academia, and by cattlemen themselves, that because of a record low cow herd, a pedal-to-the-metal herd expansion was essential to supply the demand for beef.  Not to do so would result in additional loss of market share to chicken and pork and jeopardize the survival of the industry.  This fueled the "irrational exuberance" which emerged in 2013 and accelerated in 2014, to expand the herd at any cost, resulting in record prices that have proven to be disastrously unrealistic.

    Today, astute cattlemen realize that in the end, consumer demand for beef determines the value of cattle. 

    However, waiting on improved consumer demand for beef to drive cattle prices higher may be a long wait.  The U.S. and International economies, despite the efforts of governments and central banks to stimulate economic growth with quantitative easing, are still struggling and continue to experience anemic growth and stagnant wages. This was confirmed as recently as Thursday when the Commerce Department announced that the U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter to the lowest growth in two years, expanding just 0.5% as businesses slashed investment by the steepest rate since the Great Recession. Additionally, consumer confidence tumbled in April as Americans’ views of the economy in the future darkened.  The University of Michigan’s April sentiment index fell to 89.0 from 91.0. The index is now 7.2% lower than its level a year ago, a decline driven largely by the expectations component. It fell 4.8% during the month to 77.6, and is 12.6% lower than in April 2015.

    All of this forms the basis for the economic reality facing the cattle industry: Compared to pork and chicken, beef is not competitive. 

    It can be argued that many consumers prefer beef but this overlooks the fact that beef has "elastic demand."  Elasticity is a measure of how much the quantity demanded of a service/good changes in relation to its price, income or supply.

    HOW IT WORKS:

    If the quantity demanded changes a lot when prices change a little, demand for the product is said to be elastic. This often is the case for products or services for which there are many alternatives, or for which consumers are relatively price sensitive. For example, if the price of Cola A doubles, the quantity demanded for Cola A will fall when consumers switch to less-expensive Cola B.

    When there is a small change in demand when prices change a lot, the product is said to be inelastic. The most famous example of relatively inelastic demand is that for gasoline.  As the price of gasoline increases, the quantity demanded doesn't decrease all that much. This is because there are very few good substitutes for gasoline and consumers are still willing to buy it even at relatively high prices.

    WHY IT MATTERS:

    Elasticity is important because it describes the fundamental relationship between the price of a good and the demand for that good. Elastic goods and services generally have plenty of substitutes. As an elastic service/good's price increases, the quantity demanded of that good can drop fast. Examples of elastic goods and services include non-essential food, jewelry, automobiles, professional services, and entertainment.

    Inelastic goods have fewer substitutes and price change doesn't affect quantity demanded as much. Some inelastic goods include gasoline, electricity, water, medicine, basic clothing, tobacco, food staples, and oil.

    WHAT NEXT?

    So even if most consumers prefer beef, many aren't able or willing to pay 3 to 8 times more for beef than the cost of competing meats.  Since it is unlikely the cost of pork and chicken will increase significantly in the foreseeable future, which would make beef more competitive, the cattle industry has 3 options:

    • Continue "as is" with reduced profitability, or in many cases, losses.
    • Wait for the less profitable producers to exit the industry resulting in lower production and a supply of beef that better matches the demand from consumers who are willing to buy expensive beef.  This means there would be a smaller cow herd owned by a reduced number of producers or “survivors” who would meet the demand for beef, primarily for higher-income households or as a “special occasion” treat such as lobster is today.
    • Produce less expensive beef through improved management, increased efficiency, and innovation. Obviously, this is easier said than done but it is likely that many producers will have to change their business plan if it is based on "That's the way we've always done it."  Although successful implementation will obviously benefit individual producers, widespread and long-term profitability in the cattle/beef industry will only occur when an industry-wide "makeover" is implemented.
    The bottom line is that consumers don't care how much it costs to produce beef but only how much it costs them to buy it and the market action is saying that beef is still too expensive.

    TCR

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    Competition for the "Grilling Dollar":
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    Competion for the “grilling dollar” will be tougher this year given the significant increase in supplies of all three main proteins. Feedlot operators are scrambling to accelerate marketings given the discounted forward prices and seasonal demand weakness in July and August. The large basis is offering a strong incentive to pull cattle forward. 

    Hog producers also appear to have plenty of supply on the ground. Weekly hog slaughter this week should be above 2.2 million head, quite large for end of April. And yet, large as beef and pork supplies are, their increase is dwarfed by the amount of chicken currently in the pipeline. 

    This year US consumers will have 7.6 pounds more chicken available than in 2014 (+9.1%), 3.8 pounds more pork (+8.2%) and 0.9 pounds more beef (+1.7%). 

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    Prices from a Wal-Mart Super Center -- Wal-Mart is the world's largest grocery retailer.
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    Another Leg Down:
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    Navigating through the treacherous world of price discovery is often confusing and sometimes irrational. Handing off $100/head to the packer’s bottom line is not the result of any wrongdoing on their part, or any conspiracy, but instead is the result of a combination of forces – some we have some control over and some we don’t.

    The commodity markets have been in rally mode. Complaints earlier this year of the cattle futures markets being yanked around by global commodities was true, but is not currently the problem. Cattle have uncoupled from a rally in most commodities that has seen oil reach a 5 month high and metals rally to a yearly high and corn this week touch $4/bushel. All this has occurred while cattle have gone in the tank.

    Confidence in the market’s ability to absorb increasing supplies of beef is at a low point. Futures prices for next year are now approaching $1 a pound [August of 2017 is $104]. This pessimistic view means more pain for the cattle industry and squeezed margins with no relief in sight. Recently purchased inventory is now on stream for large losses following a disastrous year in 2015. Some of the current fed cattle inventory selling in the mid $130s were close to a breakeven with a few pens showing a profit.

    Futures are on a downward path as some global macro traders make a bet, with an increasing herd size, the industry will be unable to sustain a prices level near the current level and prices must fall in order to compete with chicken and pork. Generally, the positions taken by these type traders are large and with few longs on the other side, futures tank. That doesn’t mean they are correct but it does mean the market moves south.

    The beef processing companies are gaining leverage as prices fall and can confuse the market regarding what is the cash price by buying forward into May and letting those contracts fall into the spot reports. Hedgers cannot and will not pass some extremely attractive basis offers so we have a cash market in a freefall. Increasing the numbers of cattle on feed will allow large slaughter numbers and better plant utilization and widening margins for the processors in the future.

    The new leg down provided will cause a major price realignment among all classes of cattle. This prospect will start to create financial stress for breeders who have enjoyed a string of profitable years. Ultimately, the market must find a sustainable level to support all segments of the industry. This will require structural reform as well as a strategic campaign to reignite beef demand. Much of the industry’s infrastructure has changed little in 50 years. Price reporting and a new futures contract are needed. Price discovery must be open and transparent so all participants can see and understand the market signals.

    Ag Center Cattle Report

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    Photo of the Week:
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  • Angus Bred Heifers... Northwest IA*
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    Bullish & Cattle in the Same Sentence?
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    Cattle on Feed: It is hard to say the words bullish and cattle market in the same sentence these days. Fed cattle futures collapsed in the last few weeks and June futures are now under $115/cwt. They were over $131/cwt in mid-March. The monthly USDA feedlot survey showed that March 2016 placements were 4.6% higher than a year ago. Analysts on average expected placements to be up 7%, with some calling for placements to maybe be in the double digits. A couple of things may have played into the smaller placements. First, feeder imports were down 20% in March.  Second, fed cattle futures declined sharply in the second half of March, which may have impacted the outlook for feedlot profitability in late summer and early fall. Marketings were reported up 7.1% from a year ago, in line with analyst estimates and consistent with slaughter trends. The big increase in marketings reflects the additional marketing day. If we adjust for the additional day, marketings are up less than 2% from last year. Total on feed supplies as of April 1 were 10.853 million head, 0.5% higher than last year. Keep in mind, however, that this is in operations with +1000 head capacity. Lower feed costs and demand for custom feeding may have brought more smaller feedlots into the mix. For some reference, it is good to revisit the difference between the monthly feedlot survey vs. the January 1 total cattle inventory. Takeaway: While the survey results were a bit more bullish than expectations, we are not sure it is enough to change the bearish view of the current cattle market. With plentiful protein supplies, anemic beef export demand and sticky retail prices the market is now encouraging the feeder to accelerate sales, pushing prices down in the process. This market dynamic may overwhelms the signals from this specific report. However, one thing that does stand out from the report is that feedlots are quickly becoming more current. The supply of cattle on feed +120 days is now down 6.3% from last year. Saturday slaughter was 31,000 head this week and some expected packers to run heavy Saturday slaughter into May. Currentness is something that feedlots struggled with last year and it may be what finally helps set a more stable floor under prices going forward.

    Cold Storage: The supply of beef, pork and poultry in cold storage at the end of March was 2.235 billion pounds, 0.7% lower than a year ago and 1.2% lower than the previous month. In four of the last five years March inventories increased from the previous month. Only in 2014 inventories were down. The fact that inventories declined should be seen as positive for prices going into the high demand spring period. Total beef in cold storage was 467.0 million pounds, 3% lower than the previous year and 0.5% lower than the five year average. Beef inventories declined 5% compared to the previous month and they are now 10% lower than just two months ago. The backlog of fat trim has been cleaned up and lower imports also have contributed to the reduction in beef refrigerated stocks. This may be viewed as supportive for beef prices going into Memorial Day.

    Total pork inventories at the end of March were 614.2 million pounds, 8.7% lower than a year ago and now 0.3% lower than the five year average. March inventories also were down 2.4% from the previous month, in line with the normal drawdown for this time of year, helped in part by an early Easter (lower ham inventories). Pork belly stocks were down 4.8% from last year but inventories of pork ribs are up 27% and inventories of pork loins were up 13%. Probably one of the more supportive items in the report was the inventory of pork trim, down 35% from last year and 23.5% lower than the five year average. Hog slaughter has been relatively high in Q1 but trim markets appear to be very current and this has likely been the reason for the sharp price escalation in pork trim values the last two weeks

    CME Daily Livestock Report

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    Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers:
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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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    .so

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    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
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    Slaughter cows and bulls steady to 2.00 lower, except Oklahoma steady  to 2.00 higher. 

    Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Friday afternoon was 175.08 -- Up 1.21 from last Friday.

                     %Lean     Weight         Colorado           Oklahoma         Alabama 
    Breakers  75-80%  1100-1600   77.00-80.50       76.00-80.00    67.00-71.00
    Boners     80-85%  1000-1450   77.50-82.00       77.00-82.00    73.00-78.00
    Lean         85-90%  1000-1300   73.00-76.00       77.00-80.00    68.00-73.00
    Bulls         88-92%  1300-2500  98.00-102.00  100.00-105.00    92.00-99.00

                        Confirmed  Week Ago  Year Ago      WTD    Week Ago    Year Ago 
    National       6,561            6,495         6,566         28,980   27,775          27,046
    S Central     1,752            1,717         1,822            7,393     7,929            7,499
    N Central        576               344            699             2,309     1,386            2,198
    East             1,880            1,844         1,632            7,874     7,544            6,478
    West            1,224            1,339         1,249            5,580     5,549            6,268
    Midwest       1,129            1,251        1,164             5,824     5,367            4,603


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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, April 30, 2016 was estimated at 947 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 2.0 percent lower than a week ago and 3.0 percent higher than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 0.8 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 April 26 were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was 16.20 to 20.00 higher. Whole Cottonseed was steady to 10.00 higher. Canola Meal was 9.90 to 18.20 higher. Linseed Meal was steady to 30.00 higher. Sunflower Meal was steady to 15.00 higher. 
    • Cottonseed Meal was mixed, 15.00 lower to 15.00 higher.
    • Crude Soybean Oil was 84 to 109 points lower. Crude Corn Oil not available. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mixed, 15.00 lower to 85.00 higher. Ruminant Blood Meal was mixed, 10.00 lower to 50.00 higher. Feather Meal was steady to 95.00 lower. Menhaden Fishmeal was 50.00 to 75.00 lower. 
    • Corn Hominy was steady. Gluten Feed was mixed, 23.00 lower to 2.00 higher, mostly steady. Corn Gluten Meal was steady to 15.00 higher. 
    • Distillers Dried Grain were mixed,5.00 lower to 10.00 higher, mostly steady to 10.00 higher. 
    • Wheat Middlings were mixed, 5.00 lower to 7.00 higher.  Wheat millrun was steady to 13.00 higher.

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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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    Late slump leaves stocks lower: Stocks were lower for the week after a sharp downturn that began Thursday afternoon drained away modest earlier gains. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged the other benchmarks, weighed down by Apple and other mega-capitalization technology shares as well as weakness in biotechnology stocks.

    Profits in focus as earnings season peaks: Corporate profits took center stage for the week, with over one-third of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings. As usual, results were mixed, but the overall trend was negative -- the S&P 500 as a whole is expected to record its fourth string of quarterly earnings declines for the first time since 2009, according to analytics and database firm FactSet. However, FactSet also notes that more companies than usual have managed to beat earnings estimates.

    While earnings were at the forefront, macroeconomic factors also continued to play a role in driving market sentiment. After a dip on Monday, oil prices rallied alongside the weakening dollar and provided a boost to energy stocks -- Reuters reported early Friday that oil prices were on track for their largest weekly gain in seven years. Traders also noted that the interest rate-sensitive utilities sector and the broader market reacted favorably to the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday. Policymakers signaled that further rate increases were coming, as expected, but also noted that they continued to closely monitor global economic and financial developments -- suggesting they were likely to move exceptionally slowly in tightening monetary policy.

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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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    • In the two days since the issuance of the April 26 USDM, additional heavy rain has fallen across the drought and abnormally dry areas of the central Plains, and precipitation of varying amounts has occurred over the drought and abnormally dry areas of other parts of the CONUS. During April 28-May 2, a large upper-level weather system and associated frontal systems are forecast to bring moderate precipitation totals of 0.5 to 2.0 inches, with locally higher amounts, to parts of the intermountain basin to central and northern Rockies, much of the Great Plains to Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, and the mid-Atlantic to Southeast. Less than half an inch is predicted for the Far West, southern portions of the Southwest, northern Great Lakes, New England, and central to southern Florida. The upper-level low is expected to keep temperatures below average for much of the country, with above-normal temperatures limited to the Far West and Southeast to southern Plains.
    • The odds favor above-normal precipitation across the Southwest, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts, and most of Alaska during May 3-7, 2016. There are enhanced chances for subnormal precipitation across the Pacific Northwest to western Great Lakes, much of the CONUS from the Rockies to Appalachians, and extreme northwest Alaska. Enhanced chances for colder-than-normal conditions exist for the southern Plains to New England, while warmer-than-normal weather is favored across the West to northern Plains, Alaska, and southern Florida.
    .dm

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    Drought Outlook:
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    Skepticism & Fear:
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    The rally today in CME cattle futures is being met with little if any confidence, let alone enthusiasm, but rather, a sense of bafflement and even dread. The massive discounts, a return trip to the recent futures lows, new lows in the cash fed cattle market for the year have made this week a very difficult one for the cattle industry. Optimism has been extinguished. No one wants to watch another rally fail.

    The cash trade for this week wrapped up yesterday, generally $3 lower and $9-10 lower than a mere 2 weeks ago. The velocity and magnitude of the decline has left most feeling shell-shocked and wondering multiple times daily where the downtrend will end. Lots of cattle were sold for the second half of May at what would be the equivalent of $120-121. Cattle feeders can’t seem to get May and even June cattle sold fast enough.

    Packers have found their job easy as the market moves effortlessly into their lower bids as they fill up kill schedules for May. Black margins at a higher production schedule are padding packer coffers. Bigger kills mean more beef to sell and the cutout is uncharacteristically weakening into May, led by the select cutout. There have been very few times in history when the boxed beef cutout value has made a new low for the year in May; it happened a couple of times in the mid-1990s. Beef production increases in May and June but so does demand. Demand is still expected to increase seasonally but this year with futures telegraphing sharply lower prices and the cash trade weaker, the cutout may indeed behave counter seasonally.

    Even though it feels like the market is down hard for the week, futures are slightly above last Friday’s settlement. Technically, there is no indication that the bottom is in and only definitive upside follow-through next week (if the market closes well today) would begin to alter the technical landscape.

    Many would like to ring the bell now and put this week to bed. Jun LC will become the lead month Monday as the pre-roll gets underway. At $9.50 discount to Apr LC, it would seem that the weaker cash cattle market is “priced”. At some point, one would think that the bigger kills than a year ago occurring with regularity in 2016 would result in an improvement in currentness and bargaining position. Thus far, that has been quite far from the truth.

    Cassie Fish -- cassandrafish.com

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    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
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    Typical closeout for un-hedged steers sold this week:
    • Placed On Feed 150 days ago = December 1st
    • Projected Profit/(Loss) based on the futures when placed on feed: ($0.61)
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    Cost of 750 lb. steer delivered to the feedyard @ $168.94 per cwt. 
    $1,267.05
    Cost of gain* for 600 lbs. @ $81.29 per cwt.
    $487.05
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% on cattle cost for 150 days
    $27.34
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% of the feed cost for 150 days
    $5.26
    Total Cost & Expense
    $1,787.39
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    Sale proceeds: 1,350 lb. steer @ $124.00 per cwt.
    $1,674.00
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    This week's Profit/(Loss) per head
    ($113.39)
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    Profit/(Loss) per head for previous week
    ($101.74)
    Change from previous week
    -$11.65
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    Sale price necessary to breakeven
    $132.40
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    Projected closeout for steers placed on feed this week:
  • Projected Sale Date @ 150 days on feed = September 26th
  • Cost of 750 lb. steer delivered to the feedyard @ $143.75 per cwt.
    $1,078.13
    Cost of gain* for 600 lbs. @ $81.87 per cwt.
    $491.22
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% on cattle cost for 150 days
    $24.37
    Interest** @ Prime + 2% of the feed cost for 150 days
    $5.55
    Total Cost & Expense
    $1,599.27
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    Sale proceeds: October Live Cattle Futures @ $112.32 per cwt.
    $1,516.32
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    Projected Profit/(Loss) per head
    ($82.95)
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    Projected Profit/(Loss) per head for previous week
    ($102.66)
    Change from previous week
    +$19.71
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    Sale price necessary to breakeven
    $118.46
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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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    Feedyard Close-Outs for the weeks ending:
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    Typical closeout for steers sold this week and hedged when placed on feed: ($0.61)
    Typical closeout for un-hedged steers sold this week: ($113.39)
    Projected Profit/(Loss) based on the futures & estimated Cost of Gain this week: ($82.95)
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    ..

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    Slaughter Cattle:
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    Friday trading has been very limited on very light demand in all major feeding regions. In Kansas a few live sales sold at 124.00 and in Nebraska a few live sales sold at 123.00. Not enough sales in any feeding region for a full market trend. The last reported market in the Southern and Northern Plains was on Thursday.In the Southern Plains and Nebraska live sales sold at 124.00. Nebraska saw the bulk of dressed sales selling at 196.00. In Colorado live sales sold from 124.00-125.00. In the Western Cornbelt the last fully reported market was last week with live sales at 126.00 and dressed sales at 200.00.

    Livestock Slaughterco under Federal Inspection:
                                     CATTLE    CALVES    HOGS         SHEEP
    Friday     (est)           112,000      1,000       387,000         7,000
    Week ago (est)        112,000      1,000       421,000          7,000
    Year ago (act)          107,000      2,000        413,000         6,000
    Week to date (est)   559,000      8,000    2,079,000       39,000
    Last Week (est)       556,000      8,000     2,157,000      36,000
    Last Year (act)         557,000      8,000     2,117,000      38,000

    Saturday     (est)        31,000         0                60,000         0
    Week ago (est)         31,000         0                84,000         0
    Year ago (act)              7,000         0                34,000         0
    Week to date (est)  590,000       8,000     2,139,000      39,000
    Last Week (est)      587,000       8,000     2,241,000      36,000
    Last Year* (act)       564,000       7,000     2,151,000      38,000
    2016 YTD             9,437,000   146,000   38,357,000   649,000
    2015 *YTD           9,312,000   151,000   38,593,000    675,000
    Percent change        1.3%         -3.2%       -0.6%            -3.9%

    Negotiated prices paid for Slaughter Steers and Heifers:
    Live basis              Steers                                      Heifers
    Over 80% Choice   123.00-124.00 avg 123.75   124.00-125.00 avg 124.23
    65 - 80% Choice    123.00-124.00 avg 123.35   123.00-124.00 avg 123.86
    35 - 65% Choice            -                                        122.00-122.00 avg 122.00
    0 - 35% Choice             -                                                      - 
    Total all grades    123.00-124.00 avg 123.47   122.00-125.00 avg 123.96

    Dressed basis
    Over 80% Choice   192.00-192.00 avg 192.00   194.00-194.00 avg 194.00
    65 - 80% Choice    188.00-192.00 avg 190.07   190.00-190.00 avg 190.00
    35 - 65% Choice    190.00-194.00 avg 192.50   194.00-194.00 avg 194.00
    0 - 35% Choice             -                                                      - 
    Total all grades    188.00-194.00 avg 191.16   190.00-194.00 avg 191.85

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    Corn Crop Planted:
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    National Grain Summary:
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    Compared to last week, grain and soybean bids traded mixed.  Corn saw support from heavy rain across the corn-belt which will delay planting and concerns of 
    drought loss in Brazil.  Soybeans saw pressure from a weaker cash basis as country movement increased.  Favorable weather in other growing wheat regions of the world also pressured wheat.  Weekly export sales for wheat were neutral coming in at 29.6 mb (806,600 mt), with 12.9 mb (351,900 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year.  Corn export sales were bullish coming in at 102.4 mb (2,600,600 mt) with 85.1 mb (2,160,600 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year.  Sorghum showed 2.0 mb (50,500 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year which was bearish.  Soybeans export sales were bullish showing a total of 34.8 mb (946,400 mt) with 8.3 mb (226,000 mt) for the 2015-2016 marketing year.

    Corn Futures Summary: Corn prices settled 1/2 to 3 1/4 cents higher through the December contract. For the week, July corn futures ended 16 1/2 cents higher, while December corn firmed 14 cents. Typically, weather would be the primary market driver at this time of year. But speculative money flow has been the key "fundamental" recently. The driver of the fund buying has been the fall in the U.S. dollar. As long as the dollar is weakening, funds have a reason to pump money into the long side of the market.

    Soybean Futures Summary: Soybean futures ended the day mixed, with old-crop around 2 to 3 cents higher and new-crop down marginally to 1 3/4 cents. For the week, May beans posted a gain of 34 cents and November beans rallied nearly 25 cents. Bulls clearly have momentum on their side heading into next week. Today's close is impressive given the fact funds aggressively extended their long exposure to the market this month and prices avoided a sharp round of profit-taking.

    Wheat Futures Summary: Wheat futures favored the upside for much of the day and at the close. Most contracts of all three flavors posted gains of 3 and 5 cents today. One notable exception was the May HRS wheat contract that settled a dime higher. For the week, the SRW wheat market edged out moderate gains. Losses in the U.S. dollar index were in no small part behind this week's bounce in the wheat market at a time when many assumed that commodity prices were headed lower over the near-term.

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    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat
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    Your Suggestions:
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    Our goal is for the Weekly Market Summary to provide a condensed, yet comprehensive, overview of the week's cattle market.  If you have a suggestion that would enhance the summary, use the link below to submit your suggestion. If we implement it, we'll send you a Cattle Range Knife as a token of our appreciation.
     
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