The Cattle Range Home Page
The Cattle Range Home Page
www.cattlerange.com
.

.
The Cattle Range Weekly Market Summary provides market data for the informed cattleman. Current industry news & commentary as well as a comprehensive comparison of the past week's prices from around the country in comparison to the previous week, month, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, & 5 year average.  The data is compiled from a variety of sources and is organized to provide insight in determining market movement and trends.
.

On-Line Store
.

.

.
---
SAMPLE... Market Summary for the week ending December 5th:
.
  • Bullish: National economic data is supportive of consumers' abiltity to afford beef, should they deem it to be a value.
  • Bearish: Market factors are indicating that a top has been reached, at least for the near term.
.

.
The Cattle Range 10-Day Market Trend:
.
An indicator of overall cattle/beef market strength. The angle indicates direction & velocity of the trend.
.
.
The Trendline 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.
.

.
National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
.
RECEIPTS:   Auctions   Direct    Video/Internet  Total
This Week     275,600     49,400        21,000        346,000 
Last Week      96,800     29,000        23,500        149,300 
Last Year      268,000     45,400        27,200        340,600
.
Compared to two weeks ago, feeder cattle and calf markets were active following the Thanksgiving holiday week with many markets selling two weeks’ worth of receipts.  Price trends for calves were steady to 5.00 higher with many areas 10.00 to 15.00 higher.  Yearling feeders traded unevenly steady with most advances early in the week before the Board retreated mid-week.  Several major auctions held special value added sales this week as the OKC West-El Reno OK Livestock Auction sold over 8800 head of long timed weaned reputation calves for the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network and Integrity Beef Alliance on Wednesday.  The El Reno market quoted most feeders 4.00 higher and all selling with good demand on many reputation long-time weaned calves. 

Each week a larger percentage of the feeder offering has now been weaned for at least 30 days and starting to reach the desired timeframe of 45 days away from their mothers.  Very good demand was noted in the Northern Plains where on Wednesday at the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, SD 7150 head sold on a very active market with 253 head of value added steers averaging 513 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 335.43.  Then 679 head of their bigger brothers weighing between 600-650 lbs averaging 623 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 276.11.  In Bassett, NE on Wednesday sold a number of reputation sandhill calves with 160 head of fancy steers averaging 665 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 285.58 and 321 head of steers averaging 718 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 271.74.  On Thursday in Ogallala, NE sold 7100 head of feeders with several load lots of value added NHTC cattle selling on very good demand as 173 head of steers weighing 733 lbs dropped the gavel at 299.50 and a pot load of their bigger brothers weighing 796 lbs at 280.50. 

The feeder cattle market has had an astounding up movement this fall which has been stimulated by record fat cattle prices, low numbers and low corn prices.  Many farmer feeders continue to attend and buy cattle after a record corn crop; leaving them to look for additional profit opportunities with lower corn prices.  The feeder cattle market has had very few corrections and no one knows what the future holds but so far this feeder market has been pretty much bullet proof.  It’s worth noting that corrections can happen and usually do happen to good markets.  So far any corrections in the feeder cattle market have not induced any big moves lower and the downturns encountered so far have been pretty trivial.  Negotiated cash fed cattle traded 5.00 lower in Kansas mid-day Friday at mostly 168.00, while dressed sales in Nebraska were mostly 3.00 lower at mostly 264.00 for the week.

.
Stocker Steers: 
.
Feeder Steers:
.
.
Five Year Moving Average - Stocker Steers, Feeder Steers, & Slaughter Steers:
.
.
Cattle Futures: Cash losses extended this week’s CME cattle decline. Tumbling beef quotes apparently weighed heavily upon live cattle futures this week, since traders worried that the weakness would undercut the cash markets. That’s exactly what happened, so futures remained under downward pressure throughout Friday’s session. February live cattle dove 2.10 cents to 164.82 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while April plunged 2.15 to 164.30. January feeder cattle futures fell 1.07 cents to 234.87 cents/pound and March feeders dropped 0.82 to 231.22.
.

.
Selected Auction Reports:
"Click" on individual auction links for complete report
Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
Actual Receipts: 5173     Last Monday: 5941     Year Ago Monday: 3558
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers traded unevenly steady.  Feeder heifers were steady to 2.00 higher.  Steer and heifer calves mostly steady to 5.00 lower.

El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
Receipts:  8820    Last week:  Holiday    Year Ago:  8970
Compared to two weeks ago:  Feeder steers and heifers traded steady toweak.  Steer calves sold steady to 4.00 higher.  Heifer calves steady to 3.00 higher.

Joplin Regional Stockyards Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg - Carthage MO
Receipts:  4203    Year Ago:  3347
No recent Special Value Added Sale for a price comparison.  Compared toMonday's sale, steer calves under 600 lbs 5.00 to 10.00 higher, heifer calves under 600 lbs 5.00 to 15.00 higher, 600 weight steers and heifers steady to 5.00 higher, over 700 lbs steady.

Denison Wtd Avg Feeder Cattle Auction - Denison IA
Receipts:  2660    Two Weeks Ago:  2077
Compared to the sale two weeks ago, Steers 550 to 800 lbs were unevenly steady and 800 to 900 lbs were 5.00 higher. Heifers 450 to 800 lbs were steady to 5.00 higher.

Tri-State Livestock Auction Market - McCook NE
Receipts:  850    Last Week:  1450    Year Ago:  0
Not enough to show a comparison to last week. Trend had a higher undertone.

Huss Platte Valley Auction - Kearney NE
Cattle Receipts:  4425     Two weeks Ago: 4580     Last year: 4280
Compared to two weeks ago, steers and heifers sold unevenly steady.

Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
Receipts:  2801    Two Weeks Ago:  1910    Year Ago:  997
Compared to two weeks ago:  Feeder steers and heifers sold mostly steady to instances 4.00 lower.  Slaughter cows and bulls were steady.

Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
Cattle and Calves: 1972    Two Weeks ago: 2156          Year Ago: N/A
Compared to two weeks ago:  Feeder steers and heifers mostly firm except some fancier kinds and load lots over 600 lbs 1.00 to 2.00 higher.  Supply included mostly new crop value-added calves.  Slaughter cows and bulls steady to 1.00 higher.

Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
Receipts:  3516             Two Weeks Ago: 2981            Year Ago: 2729
Compared to last month:  No comparison with last month's Holstein Special due to limited comparable sales.  Compared to two weeks ago, feeder steers and heifers under 600 lbs mostly 4.00-5.00 higher, instances 10.00 higher on 400-500 lbs, over 600 lbs 1.00-2.00 higher.  Lower CME quotes early created a lower beginning but later sales rebounded to a higher overall tone.  Slaughter cows steady to 1.00 higher, no comparison on bulls due to limited receipts two weeks ago but a higher undertone noted.

Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
Receipts:  2100    Last Week:  Holiday    Year Ago:  1540
No trends due to market not reported last week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. However, a lower undertone was noted on stocker and feeder steers and slaughter cows and a higher undertone was noted on stocker and feeder heifers and slaughter bulls.

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
Receipts:  4301    Last Sale 11/20:  3942    Year Ago:  3295
Compared to last sale 11/20: Steers 500-700 lbs 9.00 higher; 700-1050 lbs 2.00-6.00 lower; 500 and under having higher undertones. Heifers 600-700 lbs 6.00 higher; 700-1000 lbs 5.00-7.00 lower; 600 lbs and under have higher undertones.

Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
Receipts:  2033    Last Week:  3646    Year Ago:  3070
Compared to last week:  Steer calves 450-500 lbs steady to 10.00 higher, 550-600 lbs 4.00 to 7.00 higher with instances of10.00 higher, 600-650 lbs steady to 2.00 higher, 650-800 lbs2.00 to 4.00 higher; yearling steers 850-900 lbs 2.00 to 3.00 higher.Heifer calves 500-550 lbs steady to firm, 600-650 lbs mostly 3.00 to5.00 higher with instances of 7.00 to 10.00 higher, 650-700 lbs 5.00 to 7.00 higher, 700-750 lbs sold firm in a narrow comparison; yearling heifers had few comparable sales with firm undertones noted.
.
Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
Receipts:  6911    Two Weeks Ago:  5302    Year Ago:  3761
Compared to two weeks ago:  Steer calves 450-500 and 550-600 lbs 10.00 to 15.00 higher, calves 500-550 and over 600 lbs steady to 5.00higher with exception of 700-750 lbs 7.00 to 10.00 higher.  Yearling steers were mostly steady.  Heifer calves 400-450 lbs steady, 450-650lbs 5.00 to 10.00 higher, 650-750 lbs steady to 5.00 higher.

Weekly Auction Summaries:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
Tennessee Weekly Auction Summary
Receipts on 9 TN Auctions 7,343 2 Last Week 1,200 11 Last Year 8,400
According to the Federal-State Market News Service, trends are not available due to the holiday schedule last week.

Mississippi Weekly Livestock Summary
Cattle Receipts:    8,916       Last Week:      0       Last Year:    8,180
Compared to last week, slaughter cows and bulls no trend. Feeder steers and heifers sold no trend.

Alabama Auctions Weekly Summary
Alabama livestock auctions for the week ending December 06, 2014.
Total estimated receipts this week 16,900, last week 0 and 16,847 last year. Compared to two weeks ago: Slaughter cows and bulls sold 3.00 to 4.00 higher. Replacement cows and pairs sold mostly steady. All feeder classes sold mostly 5.00 to 10.00 higher.

Georgia Cattle Auctions Weekly Review
Cattle receipts at 25 markets 13,096 compared to N/S last week and 11,458 year ago.
Compared to two weeks earlier, slaughter cows steady to 2.00 higher, bulls 2.00 to 4.00 higher, feeder steers steady to 2.00 higher, bulls mostly 1.00 to 2.00 higher, heifers steady to 3.00 higher, steer calves 1.00 to 4.00 higher, bull calves 2.00 to 5.00 higher, heifer calves 2.00 to 3.00 higher, replacement cows steady to 3.00 higher.

Colorado Auction Feeder Cattle Summary
Receipts:  3833         Last Week:  4915       Last Year:  1647
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on current FOB feeder steers for a market trend, but a weaker undertone was noted.  No feeder heifers reported.

Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
Confirmed: 5716 
Compared to last week, Holstein calves for April delivery mostly steady.

Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  3833         Last Week:  4915       Last Year:  1647
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on current FOB feeder steers for a market trend, but a weaker undertone was noted.  No feeder heifers reported. 

Eastern Cornbelt Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Reported sales this week: 129    Last Week: 0    Last year: 64
Compared to last week: No trend available for feeder steers and heifers due to limited comparable sales. 

Georgia Direct Cattle Summary (Fri)
Confirmed sales on 1,166 head

IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
Receipts:  260    Last Week:  0    Year Ago:  0 

Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts:  4166    Last Week:  3019    Year Ago:  3003
Compared with last week: Feeder steers and heifers not enough comparable sales on current FOB cattle for an accurate market trend. 

Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts:  0    Last Week: 0     Year Ago:  0
Compared to last week:  :  No trades reported. 

New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
Receipts:  1800    Last Week:  2700    Year Ago:  5800
Compared to last week:  Not enough current comparable sales of steers or heifers for a market trend.

Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Receipts:  5698    Last Week:  2346    Last Year:  2678
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers traded mostly steady to 3.00 lower on comparable sales. 

Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts:  7250    Last Week:  Holiday    Year Ago:  900
No trends due to the Thanksgiving Holiday last week and market not reported. 

South Dakota Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts: 2530         Last Week:  0          Last Year:  750
Compared to last week:  No trend available due to no recent comparable sales. No feeder heifers reported. 

Texas Weekly Direct Feeder Cattle Summary
Confirmed:  16,800      Last Week: 14,300       Last Year: 27,500
Compared to last week current FOB feeder steers and heifers were mostly 1.00-4.00 lower following the weakness that began late last week.

WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 1,153    Week Ago: 144     Year Ago: 240 
Not enough sales last week for an adequate market comparison. 

.
.

.
Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs:
.
  • Woodward, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Heifers 975-1050 lbs 5-7 months 2575.00-2700.00; 925-1025 lbs 3-4 months 2100.00-2375.00; 2-5 yrs 900-1175 lbs 2-4 months 2025.00-2200.00.  Medium and Large 2 Heifers 850-950 lbs 2-4 months 1700.00-2000.00, 7-10 yrs 1200-1400 lbs 2-6 months 1700.00-2000.00. 
  • El Reno, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1  4-7 yrs 1000-1350 lbs 2-6 months 2500.00-3000.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  2-8 yrs 950-1100 lbs 4-7 months 1650.00-2200.00; 7-10 yrs 1100-1375 lbs 2-7 months 1350.00-1700.00. 
  • Oklahoma City, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1  2-7 yrs 900-1300 lbs 5-6 months 2200.00-2950.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  3-10 yrs 1000-1525 lbs 3-7 months 1250.00-1750.00. 
  • Bowling Green, MO
    • Bred Cows;  Medium and Large 1 Heifers top quality blk/red angus 1020-1285 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 2775.00-3075.00, fancy blk and few red Angus 1130-1250 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 3150.00-3225.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  pkg 1035 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 2490.00.  Bred Cows: Medium and Large 1  3-6 yrs 1150-1525 lbs top quality blk/red Angus 2nd-3rd stage 2800.00-3050.00, several pkgs of fancy blks 2nd-3rd stage 3200.00-3250.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  5 yrs to short solid 950-1575 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 2200.00-2750.00; 7 yrs to aged 1100-1400 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1600.00-2100.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1  3-5 yrs fancy blk/red Angus 1125-1300 lbs w/baby to 200 lb calves 3300.00-3550.00 per pair, pkg 1200 lbs w/150-200 lb calves 3700.00 per pair; 3 yrs to short solid 1200-1550 lbs top quality mostly blk w/baby-300 lb calves 2950.00-3275.00 per pair, two lots aged cows blk 1300-1400 lbs w/250 lb calves 2700.00-2825.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  5 yrs to short solid 1050-1450 lbs w/baby to 250 lb calves 2400.00-2825.00.
  • Joplin, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short solid 900-1350 lbs 3rd stage 1800.00-2150.00, few blks 2200.00-2500.00, 1st stage 4-6 yrs 1060-1225 lbs 1750.00-1875.00, 7 yrs to short solid mouth 1175-1250 lbs 1420.00-1525.00; short solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1100-1285 lbs 1320.00-1650.00.  Large 1-2  4-5 yrs 3rd stage 1450-1585 lbs 2100.00-2500.00; short solid to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1365-1665 lbs 1640.00-1800.00.  Medium and Large 2  7 yrs to short solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1060-1085 lbs 1450.00-1600.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium Large 1-2  4-6 yrs couple pkgs. 1100-1285 lbs w/275-385 lb calves 3100.00-3250.00, few 1200-1295 lb cows w/140-170 lb calves 2150.00-2300.00. 
  • West Plains, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 1000-1465 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 2000.00-2600.00; Short-solid mouth 1100-1560 lbs 2nd to 3rd stage 1800.00-2250.00.  Medium and Large 2  2-7 yrs 925-1350 lbs 1st to 3rd stage 1650.00-2000.00; short-solid to broken mouth 970-1465 lbs 2nd to 3rd stage 1275.00-1800.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 880-1330 lbs w/175-250 lb calves 2250.00-2900.00; Short-solid to broken mouth 1250-1390 lbs w/150-250 lb calves 1900.00-2600.00.  Medium 1-2  3 yrs to short-solid mouth 730-1075 lbs w/150-250 lb calves 1700.00-1950.00.
  • Arkansas
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 850-1250 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 170.00-180.00 cwt; 1800.00-1900.00; first stage/open 130.00-140.00 cwt; 7-10 yrs 2nd-3rd stage 120.00-130.00 cwt; 1300.00-1400.00. 
    • Pairs: Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 yrs 800-1200 lbs w/100-200 lb calves 2100.00-2200.00, few to 2700.00. 
  • Billings, MT
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-4 yrs Mar-May calving period 2100.00-2175.00, 3-6 yrs March-May calving (Good quality) 2200.00-2425.00, Middle aged cows (solid mouth) March-May calving 1760.00-2125.00, May-June calving 1700.00-1825.00. Aged cows (Broken mouth) March-May (good quality) 1825.00-1875.00. 
.

.
Bred Cows & Heifers in 2nd & 3rd Stages of Pregnancy:
.
.
The average prices above are from USDA market reports which seldom reference breed or quality.
.

.
Canadian Cattle:
.
Alberta Beef Producers:  Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with live sales steady to 1.00 stronger than the previous week. Light volumes of western Canadian fed have traded south with prices at a slight premium over local sales. For the most part this week's showlist has been cleaned up.
.

.
Canadian Cattle Prices:
Prices have been converted to U.S. $/CWT.  Grades changed to approximate U.S. equivalents
Exchange Rate: Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.8796 U.S dollars
.
Prices for the week ending November 28th:
.
.
.
.

.
US Cow Slaughter Down Massively:
.
Beef and dairy cow slaughter are down sharply compared to a year ago, Beef - 17.9 per cent and dairy -10.5 per cent.

One of the first things to do when the market demands higher production levels is to stop liquidating the breeding stock.

Over time producers will seek to expand that stock, especially if demand is sustained but the immediate response is to stop culling. That has been the theme in the cattle market for much of this year, with beef and dairy cow slaughter down sharply compared to a year ago.

In the first 10 months of the year beef cow slaughter in the US was 2.146 million head, 468,800 head(- 17.9 per cent) lower than a year ago. Dairy cow slaughter at 2.343 million head also was 276,000 head (-10.5 per cent) lower than last year.

But there are constraints beyond the producers control in this matter. Weather may dictate that as much as you wish to hold on to all the cows you have, some of them have to be culled if there is not enough pasture to support all of them.

The drought of 2011-13 was a case in point when Texas producers had to reduce the cow inventory by a million head due to lack of available feed.

The beef cow inventory in Texas was 5.140 million head as of 1 January, 2010. It had dropped to 3.910 million head by 1 January, 2014. The decline in cow slaughter has impacted overall beef supplies, especially supplies of lean grinding beef.

Keep in mind that much of the beef harvested from beef and dairy cows becomes ground beef.

The supply hole created by the drop in cow slaughter has been filled in part by higher imports. Beef entries from Australia through the end of November were up almost 70 per cent from a year ago.

In part the lean beef shortage has been filled by more fed beef cuts going into the grinder. It should not be surprising that round and chuck primals have contributed the most to the rise in cutout values.

Going forward, it is unlikely we will see a rebound in beef and dairy cow slaughter. Hay supplies this year appear to be more than adequate to support the current stock over the winter. Costs of other feeds also are down thanks to a record corn crop.

Weekly cow slaughter was hovering around 110-115,000 head per week during the first quarter of 2014. It will be notably lower than that in the first quarter of 2015. This will continue to limit the supply of lean beef in the market and provide support to the beef cutout.

Beef imports are expected to remain strong as US prices currently are extremely strong relative to other markets. A strong US dollar has further bolstered US import competitiveness. Having said that, imports always are a wild card, as late spring and summer rains in Australia (somewhat of a long shot at this point) could crimp beef import availability.

But if imports decline, it could further bolster lean beef values in the US.

CME Daily Livestock Report

.

.
Cash Trades Lower, Futures Make New Lows:
.
Enough fed cattle traded yesterday afternoon in Nebraska and Iowa at $166-167 and $263-264, to establish a $3-4 lower cash trade this week while spot Dec LC has lost about the same, holding the week’s lows for a couple of hours this morning before succumbing to bearish cash news and making a new low for week and the break. There are scattered $168 bids in Kansas but no trade as of yet.

Packer Margins Worsen

Packer margins have worsened this week with the yesterday’s USDA boxed beef cutout showing losses of $2.98 on choice and $5.59 on select since last Friday. The seasonal decline in wholesale beef prices is underway with pressure expected well into mid-December. This week’s beef production is expected to come in about 9k head less than predicted on Monday, evidence of margin pressure and so-so demand. Two more 555,000 to 565,000 head kills are expected next week and the week after before the Christmas week kill rivaling last year’s 432,000 head.

Carcass Weights Drop

Yesterday USDA reported actual carcass weights and both steer and heifer weights dropped 5 pounds from the prior week’s all-time high. Though a decline is seasonally normal, moderate weather, affordable cost of gain and expensive replacement costs have been combining to push carcass weights to record levels and keep them there a few weeks longer than “normal”. It would appear the seasonal decline in weights, though likely slowly and maintaining record levels, has begun.

Feeders Stay Green

Shaking off weak fed cattle futures and cash prices and higher corn prices on the week, spot Jan FC are over $6 higher on the week. Out in the real world, cash feeder cattle prices have refused to break and the harsh discount of feeder futures to cash has narrowed, though there’s still about $9 of daylight between the two. Strong feeders have provided some support to deferred fat futures this week, a trend likely to continue until seasonal low in boxed beef and fed cattle prices is found later this month. In the meantime, feeders are keeping the long term bull flame burning in the midst of short term bearish fundamentals.

How Low Can Fats Go?

It’s a game of time and price as bearish short term fundamentals will be with the market for 2-3 more weeks. There is significant support for cash cattle prices from $163-164. Packers will do their best to muscle prices lower and will get by with buying as few as possible, trucking cattle from hither to yon, until the last week of the year when they will be forced to show their hand and replenish inventory for much larger January kills. Some analysts are predicting Feb LC could retrace to the $161 level, over $10 off of its contract high and also a check of the October low, in keeping with other major corrections seen this year, so not totally out of the question. Futures are already as oversold by some measurements as they were in August. So far, the November lows are intact.

The Beef

.

.
Photo of the Week:
.
  • Angus Cross Bred Heifers... Northwest AR*
  • .

    .
    Shootin' the Bull:
    .
    In my opinion, beef production has bottomed. The next three months are anticipated to show an increase in total beef production. Weights continue to be at the elevated levels and number of cattle on feed are increasing. This is perceived changing sentiment within the industry. The futures have jumped on this with both feet having pushed most contract months $6.00 to $7.00 off contract high. This is anticipated to continue with downside objective to the August low per respective contract month. 

    Feeder cattle traders are the last hold out. Although no new contract highs have been made, it is perceived they have been a little more resilient to the selling than in the fats. Nonetheless, the fundamentals are changing and input costs continue to be of more detriment to feed yards. Producers are urged to have price protection to the fullest extent of risk assumed. 

    Corn has traded sideways most of this week. Both ends have been tested. Today, December '15 corn began moving back towards the upper end of the sideways range and exceeded $4.20. On Thursday and Friday, I made the recommendation to buy December '15 corn with a sell stop to exit only at $4.05. **This is a sales solicitation.** Upside objective is $4.77.

    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.

    .

    .
    The Saga of Bart -- Trials & Tribulations of a Cattle Buyer
    .
    Bart and his wife were having problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

    Getting ready to go to bed, Bart realized his alarm wasn't working and he would need his wife to wake him at 4:00 AM so he could receive cattle at sunup at a ranch several hours away.

    Determined not be the first to break the silence, he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please set your cell phone alarm and wake me at 4:00 AM." 

    He left it where he knew she would find it.

    The next morning, Bart woke up, only to discover it was 7:00 AM and he had missed the delivery.

    Furious, he was about to go confront his wife about why she hadn't awakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper on his nightstand.

    The paper said, "It is 4:00 AM. Wake up."

    .

    .
    Submit a"Bart Joke"  If we use it, you'll receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate to The Cattle Range Mercantile.
    .

    .
    Updated Farm Income Forecasts:
    .
    USDA revised farm income data for 2013 and updated the forecast for 2014 last week. Much of the data that makes up the aggregate farm income statistics was not available because USDA was having “coding problems” with the historical data base. However, the new update shows net cash farm income falling to $108.2 billion in 2014 down from the revised 2013 level of $134.9 billion. In August USDA had put 2014 net cash farm income at $113.2 billion.

    The data for 2013 net cash farm income was revised up $3.6 billion from the report released in August with higher cashreceipts and lower cash expenses. Crop cash receipts for last year were raised $4.5 billion from August to November but they are down $15.8 billion from the record high of $236.4 billion in 2012. 

    Livestock cash receipts for 2013 went up just over $1 billion compared to the last forecast but they were $11.6 billion above the 2012 level. These increases were largely offset by a $5.6 billion cut in “farm-related” income, which includes custom work, machine hire, recreational activities, and other such income. 

    Cash expenses for 2013 were revised down from $315.3 billion in August to $311.3 billion in November, but the breakdown of expenses by category were not available.

    .

    .
    Margin between the Choice Boxed Beef Cutout & Feeder Steers:
    .
    5 Year Average: $44.62 -- This Week: $21.43
    .

    .
    Out of Kilter:
    .
    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, its because one market can't keep pace or pass on the costs of the other. 

    That is what occurred in the spring of 2012 with cattle and corn. The price of feed exceeded the livestock market's ability to pass on the costs.  Over the 2013 summer months, the gap was erased and corn went "Out of Kilter" last fall.  A correction started in January but ran out of steam in view of surging cattle prices and plummeting corn prices.

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

    .
    5 Year Moving Average:
    .
    .

    .
    Crude/Cattle Correlation:
    .
    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.

    .
    5 Year Moving Average:
    .
    .

    .
    Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Update:
    .
    Few things have been more contentious in recent years within the U.S. meat and livestock industry than mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL).  The debates around MCOOL have a long history now encompassing the originally implemented rule in 2009, the modified rule of 2013, and multiple rounds of WTO (World Trade Organization) assessment regarding international trade appropriateness.  The on-going dispute has centered in large part around diverse views on underlying economic impacts on stakeholders throughout the meat and livestock supply chain. 

    The U.S. filed an appeal this past week to WTO’s recent ruling against MCOOL which in turn re-ignites interest in information providing insight into the impacts of MCOOL.  Given this update, it is useful to take note of a November 2014 survey coordinated at Oklahoma State University. This survey provides the only known academic research on consumer awareness and response of details specific to the 2013 MCOOL rule. 

    To assess if stated consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP) varies across products with labels that changed in the 2013 MCOOL rule, survey respondents were randomly assigned to one of four treatments that differed in presented labeled products.  One fourth of participants were asked:  “What is the most you would be willing to pay for a 12oz boneless rib eye beef steak that was labelled as: Born, Raised, and Slaughtered in the U.S.?” Other respondents answered similar questions except the labels were changed to: Born in Canada, Raised and Slaughtered in U.S.; Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.; or Product of Canada and the U.S. Point estimates of WTP were highest on Born, Raised, and Slaughtered in the U.S. product consistent with past stated preference research. 

    A deeper assessment of whether WTP values across labels are statistically different is important.  Results show consumers do not distinguish between beef from animals born in Canada (then raised and processed in the US) and beef from cattle born and raised in Canada (then processed in the US).  Respondents also did not place different values on these two labeled products than ribeyes labeled as Product of Canada and the U.S. This lack of statistical difference in WTP is critical given the 2013 MCOOL rule led to the Product of Canada and the U.S. label being replaced with beef labels including Born in Canada, Raised and Slaughtered in U.S. and Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S. That is specific impacts of the 2013 MCOOL rule, relative to the existing 2009 rule, included introduction of born, raised, and slaughtered specificity and a removal of labels such as Product of Canada and the U.S.

    The November survey also found that only 22%, 28%, and 24% of respondents were aware that grocery stores are required by law to label fresh meat products with the country where the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered (respectively).  Finding the largest share of respondents indicating they did not know about these requirements is consistent with an earlier study and should be appreciated in analyses of demand benefits of MCOOL.  This limited awareness related to current MCOOL specific details is consistent with several studies finding the origin of meat products to be less important to U.S. consumers than several other values including price, safety, taste, and nutrition.

    It is hard to predict the future of any policy, making it difficult to assess the end-game following the U.S. announcement to appeal WTO’s recent decision.  The aim of this short article is to aide in highlighting recent academic research germane to the broader MCOOL issue.

    Glynn T. Tonsor, Kansas State University

    .

    .
    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
    .
    Slaughter cows 1.00-3.00 higher. Slaughter bulls 2.00-5.00 higher. 

    USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was 235.10 -- Down $0.16 from last Friday.

                  %Lean     Weight      Colorado          Oklahoma        Alabama 
    Breakers 75-80%   1100-1600  115.00-117.00  116.00-122.00  106.00-112.00
    Boners    80-85%   1000-1450  114.00-118.00  116.00-122.00  110.00-116.00
    Lean       85-90%   1000-1300  107.00-111.00  110.00-117.00  100.00-105.00
    Bulls       88-92%   1300-2500  133.00-135.00  135.00-143.00  124.00-131.00

    Negotiated Sale of Packer Cows & Bulls:
                              Confirmed  Week Ago  Year Ago   Week to Date    Week Ago      Year Ago
    NATIONAL            6,577         4,988          8,653         34,593             26,171           41,047
    S CENTRAL          1,475         1,504          2,642          7,656               6,748             8,376
    N CENTRAL            641            654             309          3,250               2,088             3,747
    EAST                   1,693         1,456          2,532          9,432                6,639           11,328
    WEST                  1,622            656          1,385          7,903                5,467            9,055
    MIDWEST            1,146            718          1,785          6,352                 5,229           8,541

    .


     
    .
    Weekly Hay Reports:"Click" on links for detailed report
    .
    .
    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
    .
    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending December 2, were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was mixed 27.50 lower to 9.00 higher, mostly 7.50 to 17.50 lower.  Cottonseed Meal was mixed 5.00 lower to 15.00 higher. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was steady to 30.00 higher. 
    • Canola Meal was steady to 7.50 higher.  Linseed Meal was 10.00 higher in a limited test.  Sunflower Meal was 15.00 higher. 
    • Crude Soybean Oil was 214 to 289 points lower.  Crude Corn Oil was steady. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mixed 25.00 lower to 55.00 higher.  Ruminant Blood Meal was 25.00 to 60.00 higher.  Feather Meal was steady to 30.00 lower.  Menhaden Fishmeal was steady to 25.00 higher. 
    • Corn Hominy was steady to 13.00 higher.  Corn Gluten Feed was 10.00 to 48.00 higher.  Corn Gluten Meal was mixed 5.00 lower to 25.00 higher. 
    • Distillers Dried Grains were mixed 9.50 lower to 25.00 higher. 
    • Wheat Middlings were steady to 20.00 higher.

    .
    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
    .
    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, December 06, 2014 was estimated at 948.9 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 12.8 percent higher than a week ago and 5.4 percent lower than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 4.1 percent lower compared to the previous year.
    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus:
    .
    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.

    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Cattle
    Last Updated: December 2nd
    .
    .

    .
    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Corn
    Last Updated: December 2nd
    .
    .

    .
    National Economic News:
    .
    Stocks rise on positive economic news: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index moved to record highs, helped by good economic data and a rebound in energy shares in the first half of the week. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was modestly lower. While mid-caps lagged, the small-cap Russell 2000 Index performed in line with the large-cap indexes. The small-cap benchmark remains more than 2% below the intraday highs it established earlier in the year, however.

    Jobs are being added at best clip since 1999: In contrast to the previous week, which ended on a somewhat mixed economic note, important economic data on Friday helped this week go out on a positive tenor. The Labor Department announced that employers had created 321,000 jobs in November, the most since the start of 2012, putting the economy on pace for its best yearly job gains since 1999. Stocks initially wavered on the news as investors worried about the implications for Federal Reserve policy, but the market appeared to gather momentum later in the day as investors reasoned a stronger economy could boost corporate profits.

    Expected sales surge does not materialize in stores, but does online:  While many had hoped that the recent drop in gas prices would boost holiday spending, retail sales during the Black Friday weekend initially proved disappointing. The National Retail Federation reported an overall drop in sales due to a sharp decline in in-store sales, although online sales increased. Stocks dropped Monday in response, but investors may have spent part of the day shopping -- share prices recovered on Tuesday following news of a sharp rise in online "Cyber Monday" sales.

    .

    .
    • U.S. economic activity increased in October and November, but lower oil prices were raising alarm in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, according to a summary of economic conditions released Wednesday. The Beige Book, a collection of anecdotes about the economy, said that contacts in a number of the 12 Federal Reserve districts remained optimistic about the outlook. This report, prepared by the Chicago Fed, scrapped the long-standing description of "modest" or "moderate" growth seen in Beige Books since the recovery. In a sign of the many conflicting ways that lower energy prices impact the economy, many contacts thought lower gasoline prices were boosting consumer spending. But mining equipment sales were down. Chemical producers said they were at a disadvantage because they relied on natural gas while their foreign competition relied more heavily on oil. The Beige Book is based on information collected before Nov. 24.
    • U.S. factory orders slumped 0.7% in October, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That was worse than the 0.2% decline forecast in an economist poll and came after a 0.5% decline in September. Excluding transportation, orders fell 1.4% in October.
    .

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

    .
    Looking Ahead:
    .
    • For the upcoming 5-day period (December 4-8), moderate precipitation (1-2 inches) is predicted from eastern sections of the southern Great Plains northeastward to the central Appalachians, while 0.5-1.0 inch amounts of precipitation are forecast across parts of the Four Corners region and northern Rockies. Anywhere from 3-7 inches of precipitation (liquid equivalent) is anticipated for the coastal ranges of the Pacific Northwest (including northwest California), as well as parts of the Sierras. 
    • For the ensuing 5-day period (December 9-13), above-median precipitation is favored for much of the West, southern Plains and Northeast, while modest probabilities for below-median precipitation are predicted for the northern and central Great Plains, and a large portion of the east-central CONUS.
    .

    .
    .

    .
    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
    .
    • Typical closeout for steers sold this week & hedged when placed on feed: ($69.62)
    • Typical closeoudot for un-hedged steers sold this week: $84.63
    • Projected closeout based on the futures & estimated Cost of Gain for steers placed on feed this week: ($132.04)
    .
    .

    .
    Slaughter Cattle:
    .
    Friday negotiated cash trade and demand was light to moderate in Kansas. Compared to last week, live sales sold mostly 5.00 lower with the bulk of sales at 168.00. In Nebraska trade was light to moderate on light demand. Compared to Thursday, dressed sales sold steady at 264.00. Few live sales sold from 165.00-168.00 however not enough sales for an adequate market test. In the Western Cornbelt trade was limited on light demand. The latest established market was on Thursday with live sales at 166.00 and dressed sales at 263.00. Trade was inactive on light to moderate demand in the Texas Panhandle and Colorado. Last week in Colorado live sales sold at 173.00. In the Texas Panhandle last week, live sales sold from 172.00-173.00 on a very light test. 
     
    Livestock Slaughter under Federal Inspection:
                                               CATTLE   CALVES       HOGS         SHEEP
    Friday 12/05/2014        (est)     105,000      2,000        426,000          6,000
    Week ago (est)                       107,000      2,000        418,000          7,000
    Year ago (act)                         114,000      3,000        429,000          6,000
    Week to date (est)                  543,000    10,000      2,142,000        39,000
    Same Period Last Week (est)  454,000      8,000      1,707,000        31,000
    Same Period Last Year (act)    596,000    14,000      2,175,000        40,000

    Saturday 12/06/2014      (est)    19,000         0              94,000            0
    Week ago (est)                        42,000         0             284,000          1,000
    Year ago (act)                          35,000         0             142,000          2,000
    Week to date (est)                  562,000     10,000      2,236,000        39,000
    Same Period Last Week (est)  496,000      8,000       1,991,000        32,000
    Same Period Last Year* (act)  629,000     16,000       2,317,000        43,000
    2014 Year to Date              27,843,000   525,000     98,562,000    1,956,000
    2013 *Year to Date             30,057,000   699,000   103,893,000    1,974,000
    Percent change                   -7.4%       -24.9%         -5.1%            -0.9%

    Negotiated prices paid for Slaughter Steers and Heifers:

    Live basis:             Steers                              Heifers
    Over 80% Choice    165.00-168.00 avg 166.89   167.00-167.00 avg 167.00
    65 - 80% Choice     165.00-168.00 avg 166.59   166.00-168.00 avg 167.02
    35 - 65% Choice     167.00-168.00 avg 167.88   168.00-168.00 avg 168.00
    0 - 35% Choice                -                                       - 
    Total all grades    165.00-168.00 avg 167.18   166.00-168.00 avg 167.53

    Dressed basis
    Over 80% Choice    264.00-264.00 avg 264.00   264.00-264.00 avg 264.00
    65 - 80% Choice     263.00-264.00 avg 263.63   264.00-264.00 avg 264.00
    35 - 65% Choice     264.00-264.00 avg 264.00   264.00-264.00 avg 264.00
    0 - 35% Choice                 -                                      - 
    Total all grades    263.00-264.00 avg 263.87   264.00-264.00 avg 264.00

     

    .

    .
    National Grain Summary:
    .
    Compared to last week, grain and soybean bids closed mixed.  Corn continues to rally on good demand.  Soybeans posted losses due to favorable growing weather in South America.  Wheat was mixed finding some support from worries of Russia possibly putting export restrictions.  However, bearish weekly export sales added pressure.  Weekly export sales for corn were good coming in at 46.1 mb (1,170,700 mt), with all for the 2014-2015 marketing year.  Export sales for soybeans were above estimates listed at 43.3 mb (1,179,700 mt) with all for the 2014-2015 marketing year.  Weekly export sales for wheat were bearish coming in at 11.5 mb (313,200 mt), with 11.7 mb (319,200 mt) for the 2014-2015 marketing year.

    Corn Futures Summary: The grain markets followed soybeans higher Friday. Little fresh news concerning corn emerged Friday, although strong export demand was rumored. Still, grain market bulls were clearly encouraged by the big soybean sale announced this morning. The strong U.S. Employment report was also encouraging, but the fact that it sent the dollar to fresh five-year highs may have limited gains. March corn futures closed up 5.25 cents at $3.95/bushel Friday afternoon, while July gained 5.25 to $4.10.

    Soybean Futures Summary: Strong export news boosted the soy complex. The USDA’s daily export reporting system indicated that 240,000 tonnes of U.S. beans were sold to an unknown destination yesterday. As one would expect, that sent bean and product prices higher, since it implies that foreign demand for U.S. soy remains quite robust. January soybean futures jumped 25.5 cents to $10.36/bushel at Friday’s CBOT close, while January soyoil rallied 0.38 cents to 32.08 cents/pound, and January meal ran up $8.6 to $366.2/ton.

    Wheat Futures Summary: Wheat futures rallied in soybeans’ wake as well. Wheat traders also lacked for fresh news today, so they were apparently happy to buy as the soy markets led the way higher. The global wheat situation still seems less than promising, but the fact that bears were unable to force the expiring December CBOT contract substantially below the $6.00 level suggests considerable underlying support. March CBOT wheat rose 4.25 cents to $5.94/bushel in closing Friday action, while March KC wheat moved up 3.75 cents to $6.3925/bushel and March MWE wheat climbed 4.5 cents to $6.23.

    .

    .
    .
    .
    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat
    .
    .
    .

    .
    Your Suggestions:
    .
    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.
     
  • Submit Your Suggestion

  • .
    Although the information contained in this Market Summary is from sources believed to be accurate and timely, THE CATTLE RANGE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY OF ANY OF THE CONTENT PROVIDED, OR AS TO THE FITNESS OF THE INFORMATION FOR ANY PURPOSE.
    .
    Copyright © TM - The Cattle Range - All Rights Reserved
    .