Scott Brown Weekly Livestock Update, July 23 2018

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Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update:

– This week in markets – Fed cattle are down on the week on light trade volume. Feeder cattle ended the week steady to $3 higher. Choice box beef price fell $2.20 for the week – with weakness in loins. Current live cattle futures are $4.25 for the week and feeder cattle futures gained $2.75. Cash hogs are down $3 for the week. August lean hog futures were down $3.75 for the week. The current lean hog futures contract has lost $9 over the last two weeks. Pork cutout value is down $1.40 lower for the week – led by the sharp declines in loins and bellies. Friday was a particularly tough day for the bellies as they lost $11.60. Ham prices are still 30% below year-ago levels.
– Livestock slaughter – For the first half of 2018, beef production is up 3.8% and pork is up 3.4%. Weights were higher across the board for cattle and hogs, up 0.8%. Beef cow slaughter is 11% higher for the first six months for the year. Box beef values are still up for the first 6 months of the year, however pork cutout values are down 9% from the same period in 2017.
– Cattle Inventory Report – No real surprises in the report all cattle and calves are up 1 percent. Heifers for beef cow replacement was down 2.1 percent in the report, which is a smaller decline than was anticipated.
– Cattle on Feed – Cattle placements came in at up 1.3% relative to a year ago. That was right at the midpoint of pre-report estimates. On feed numbers came in at 104.3 – which is the largest July 1 on-feed number since the survey began in the mid-90’s. The percentage of heifers on feed is now 36 percent, which is very near the 2002 to 2014 average of 36.9%.
– Monthly Trade Data – US shipments of beef in May were 19.6% above previous year. While pork exports in May were nearly identical to year-ago levels.
– Reports next week – Cold Storage on Monday.

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