Fed-cattle prices between $92-$94 cwt. Feeder cattle between $103-$105. And calf prices averaging near $115. Those were the 2008 average cattle price projections from Cattle-Fax in its always-anticipated executive summary presented last week at the 2008 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Reno.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Cattle-Fax officials also told more than 5,000 producers, feeders, allied-industry reps and others attending the event that corn prices averaging more than $4/bu. will likely be the norm for this year.
In summarizing the Cattle-Fax report, the fed-cattle projection of $92-$94 includes a range of $85-$102. Highest prices are expected in the fourth quarter of 2008, with most of the price risk expected in May to June.
Feeder-cattle prices for 750-lb. steers should see a range of $94-$115, with most price risk expected in the first quarter of the year, CattleFax says. Most price potential is in the third quarter, and excessive feedyard capacity will continue to support feeder cattle values.
Calf prices are expected to see a range of $108-$123 for 550-lb. steers. With high costs of gain in feedyards, Cattle-Fax says producers should look for strong stocker demand to keep calves on grazing programs longer.
Market cows should see prices that average $54, with a range of $47-$58. Cow slaughter is expected to be down 3%. Cattle-Fax says look for bred-female prices to average $50-$100/head. less than in 2007.
The corn market is expected to be demand-fed this year, with spot corn futures prices projected to trade in the $3.85-$5.60 range, with an annual average of $4.30. A surging demand, with ethanol, potential for more grain exports and concerns over reduced production will keep pressure on corn prices to remain high, CattleFax says.
Prices for hay, which averaged near $130/ton in 2007, are expected to remain strong due to an expected reduced acreage and other factors.
Additional info on the Cattle-Fax and its role in helping promote beef production and marketing is available at www.cattlefax.com. Officials say the Web site will receive a fresh upgrade later this year.