Tue, 01 May 2018
US - Last week, Federally Inspected production of both beef and pork remained over 500 million pounds in the AMS preliminary estimates. In the next few weeks, a seasonal ratchet-up in US beef output will occur, while pork declines, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
In the wholesale market last week, the Choice beef cutout value increased every day, averaging $115.11 per cwt. on Monday and $121.74 on Friday. Week-over-week that cutout value rose 3.2 per cent, reaching the highest level since the final week of March.
The pork cutout value slipped slightly last week, at $68.18 per cwt., it remained below $70.00 for the fourth consecutive week. Before the recent string of weeks, the last breach below the $70.00 per cwt. mark was for the week ending January 8, 2016 ($69.94).
A strong wholesale market supported late-week cash cattle prices, which in turn strengthened Live Cattle futures contract prices. The June Live Cattle contract closed Friday at $107.00 per cwt., the highest of any day in more than one month. For the week (using the average of daily closing prices), the June 2018 contract averaged $105.37, which was up $1.15 per cwt. or 1.1 per cent.
For the same week a year ago (week ending 28 April 2017) the June contract was $118.95 per cwt. The December 2018 contract at $113.39 crept higher by $0.57 (up 0.5 per cent) week-over-week. A year ago, that contract was $114.94.
Feeder Cattle futures strengthened week-over-week. Last week, the May 2018 contract averaged $140.89 per cwt. and Septembers was $147.72. Both contracts were the highest in six weeks.
Lean Hog futures prices were lower for the May 2018 through February 2019 contracts. For the week (using the average of daily closing prices), the May contract was $68.48 per cwt., falling $1.72 or 2.5 per cent week-over-week. The August contract ($77.99 per cwt.) declined by $1.52 for the week, and December dropped by $1.61, posting a weekly average of $60.53 per cwt.
Cash corn at Omaha, Nebraska, was $3.74 per bushel last week, that was the highest since the week ending 16 June 2016. Corn priced at the Texas Triangle region, a baseline for cattle feeders in the area, was $3.98 per bushel. Since early March, twice that weekly average has exceeded $4.00 per bushel. A year ago, the Omaha and Texas Triangle corn prices were $3.41 and $3.57, respectively.
In the futures markets, corn prices increased week-over-week. Last week the May contract averaged $3.84 per bushel. Both the September and December contracts averaged over $4.00 per bushel. The December contract settled on Friday at $4.14 per bushel.
Below is a production and cash price summary table, which was compiled from various reports released last week by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Market News Division (AMS). Note that all data are preliminary and prices for animals do not include late Friday transactions. Specifically, note that the Live Fed Steer price (5-market) had significant trade at higher prices Friday afternoon.