Week Begins With Light Fed Cattle Trade



   A Monday evening fire at Cargill’s beef packing plant in Dodge City caused a temporary shutdown of operations. The plant is expected to resume operations in full on Monday.
   USDA says there were 445 million pounds of beef in cold storage at the end of November. That was up 1.1 percent from the month before and up 0.7 percent from a year ago.
   The fed cattle trade was very light until late in the week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a dressed basis averaged $210.00/cwt, $2.57 higher than last week and $10 higher than a year ago. Trade reports for Friday indicate a very hot market with record prices. Friday sales on a live weight basis were as high as $132-$134/cwt in the southern plains and $135-$136/cwt in the Nebraska.
   This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $197.08/cwt, up $1.08 from the previous Friday and up $3.65 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout is $190.98/cwt, up $3.81 for the week and up $10.68 from the same day last year.
   This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 429,000 head, down 30.0 percent from last week and down 10.1 percent from the corresponding week last year.
   The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on December 14 was 872 pounds, down 5 pounds from the week before and down 8 pounds from a year earlier.
   There was no feeder cattle sale at Oklahoma City this week, nor at many other locations due to the Christmas holiday.
   The December live cattle futures contract closed at $133.85/cwt today, up $1.33 from last week’s close. February fed cattle settled at $134.95, up $1.05 for the week. April settled at $135.62/cwt, up $1.12.
   The January feeder cattle futures contract ended the week at $167.00/cwt, up 3 cents for the week. March feeders closed at $167.80/cwt, which was 88 cents higher than the previous Friday.∆
DR. RON PLAIN AND DR. SCOTT BROWN: Agricultural Economists, University of Missouri
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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