The export value per head of fed slaughter for beef in August averaged $253.87, up $46.16 from last year. Beef exports accounted for 11% of muscle cuts and 13.6% of total production, both up roughly 1 percentage point.
Analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service explained Friday that fed cattle prices shattered the previous all-time record high achieved in May by trading at $131-$134/cwt. and at mostly $208 on a dressed basis.
“Though the high absolute price levels for stocker calves is scary for buyers and their lenders, the combination of high price levels and relatively little price rollback means that the value of putting weight on feeder cattle remains very high."
The disconnect between farmers and consumers makes it easy for folks with an agenda to concoct messages they know will have the most effective emotional impact, themselves knowing the fiction and intent underlying such messages.
Cash cow costs plus pasture jumped from about $550.00/cow five years ago to nearly $800 in 2013, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center. That’s $100 more than last year, based on 14 cost categories.
“We’re still going to find a price that makes transactions go forward, but the cost of that price discovery system, at least in the short term, has gone up," says Glynn Tonsor, livestock economist at Kansas State University. "Everybody is adjusting to find this information somewhere else, and maybe it’s not as efficient. Not everybody has the same network. Not everybody has access to the same private data sources.”
Calves and feeder cattle prices continued higher at auction, driven by tight supplies and falling corn prices. Cattle futures reflected the bullish dynamics, too, though the lack of market information spawned by the government shutdown is creating uncertainty.
Grazing and growing cattle is essential to achieving the primary mission of the ranches Jay O’Brien, 2013 BEEF Stocker Award winner, owns and manages: to care for the land and create a sustainable profit.