Steve Kay's Friday Market Update


The cash live cattle trade Friday morning was light up north and inactive down south. USDA’s mandatory price reporting service reported Friday that Nebraska sold 12,639 head at $187.38 per cwt dressed or $117.83 live for a weekly total of 33,723 head. Iowa-southern Minnesota sold 1160 head mostly at $187.03 dressed for a weekly total of 13,217 head. Kansas sold 203 head for a weekly total of 13,949 head. Texas sold no cattle for a weekly total of 7238 head. The MPR totals include negotiated cash and grid sales. Live cattle futures closed sharply lower after the stock market’s negative response to the Brexit vote in the UK. June closed down 205 points at $114.70 per cwt (versus $116.72 last Friday), August closed down 297 points at $110.87, October closed down 275 points at $110.87, December closed down 245 points at $111.95, February closed down 205 points at $111.87 and April closed down 175 points at $111.40.

The week’s cattle slaughter was an estimated 608,000 head (versus 558,521 head last year), with Friday’s kill 112,000 head and Saturday’s kill 44,000 head.

This was the largest weekly slaughter total this year and the second week in a row over 600,000 head. Year-to-date cattle slaughter is an estimated 14.132M head, 389,000 head or 2.8% above the same period last year. Weekly hog slaughter totaled an estimated 2.103M head. Year-to-date hog slaughter is an estimated 55.273M head, 73,000 head or 0.1% below the same period last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. The Choice cutout declined $1.60 per cwt from the day before to $213.86 per cwt (versus $221.83 last Friday) and the Select cutout declined $0.51 to $197.83 (versus $199.61 last Friday). The Choice-Select price spread was $16.03 versus $22.22 last Friday. The reported spot boxed beef trade for the week was 567 loads of fabricated cuts, 4.8% higher than the 541 loads the week before. Packer margins for the week were positive by $77.83 per head, compared to a positive $63.49 the week before, according to


USDA released its monthly Cattle on Feed (COF) report Friday afternoon. The numbers for U.S. feedlots 1000 head or larger were:

COF 1 June 1: 10.799M head, 102.2% of a year ago Placed in May: 1.884M head, 109.6% Marketed in May: 1.794M head, 104.9%

Analysts regarded the report as neutral to slightly to the nearby market but somewhat negative to the late fall market. All three categories came in extremely close to average forecasts but the larger May placements were heavily skewed to the heaviest two categories. A total of 230,000 more cattle 700 lbs and over were placed than last year. The May marketing number reflected one extra slaughter day than a year earlier, so marketings were up 0.5% on last year. The large May placements put the June 1 COF total up 228,000 head on last year. The biggest increase in COF numbers came again on the Southern Plains.

Texas stayed ahead of Nebraska as having the most cattle on feed, 2.610M head, up 110,000 head on last year. Nebraska had 2.340M head, down 60,000 head, and Kansas had 2.160M head, up 140,000 head. Nebraska, California, Iowa and Washington had fewer cattle on feed for the third month in a row. Texas placed 13% more cattle than last year while Kansas placed 22% more. Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Washington placed fewer cattle than a year ago. The weight breakdown showed all the increase in placements in the heaviest two categories for the third month in a row. The under 600 lb category saw a 55,000 head decrease and the 600-699 lb category saw a 10,000 head decrease. The 700-799 lb category saw a 90,000 head increase and the 800 lbs and over category saw a 140,000 head increase. Arizona, Iowa and Nebraska marketed fewer cattle in May than last year.

Have a good week,

Steve Kay




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