May Cattle Exports Rise, Imports Fall

   The U.S. exported 219.1 million pounds of beef during May. That is 13.8 percent more than a year ago and the most for any month since October 2014. Beef imports during May totaled 275.3 million pounds. That was down 9.9 percent year-over-year. May beef imports equaled 13.6 percent of production and exports equaled 10.8 percent of U.S. beef production.
   During the first 5 months of 2016, beef imports were down 12.2 percent with big declines in imports from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Beef exports during the first five months of the year were up 2.6 percent with large increases in shipments to South Korea, Japan and Mexico.
   January to May cattle imports from Canada were down 10.9 percent and from Mexico down 10.4 percent compared to a year earlier.
   USDA weekly crop progress report said that 12 percent of U.S. pastures were in poor or very poor condition as of July 3. That is up 2 points from the week before and 3 points higher than a year ago.
   Fed cattle sales volume was light this week. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $120.38/cwt, down $2.10 from last week’s average and down $31.05 from a year ago. The 5-area dressed steer price averaged $190.66/cwt, down $5.28 from the week before and down $49.61 from a year ago.
   This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $209.86/cwt, up $1.20 from the previous Friday, but down $29.17 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout this morning was $196.97/cwt, up $3.39 from last week, but down $39.07 compared to last year. The choice-select spread, $12.89/cwt this morning, remains high, but is down from record levels in June.
   Because of Monday’s holiday this week’s cattle slaughter totaled only 513,000 head, down 14.6 percent from last week and down 7.7 percent from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on June 25 was 864 pounds, down 3 pounds from the week before, down 8 pounds from a year ago, and below the year-ago level for the eighth consecutive week.
   Because of the Independence Day holiday on Monday, there was no feeder cattle auction at Oklahoma City this week. Feeder cattle prices at Missouri auctions this week were higher in light volume. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $158.50-$189, 450-500# $154-$181.75, 500-550# $151-$183, 550-600# $147.50-$174.25, 600-650# $140-$172.50, 650-700# $137.50-$169, 700-750# $137-$164, 750-800# $138.75-$163.50, 800-900# $134.50-$149.35 and 900-1000# $126-$146.25/cwt.
   The August live cattle futures contract settled at $112.22/cwt today, down 75 cents for the week. October fed cattle settled at $112.32/cwt, down 95 cents from the previous Friday. The December contract ended the week at $113.75/cwt.
   Corn futures were lower again this week, which helped feeder cattle futures. August feeder cattle futures ended the week at $143.45/cwt, up $1.00 from a week earlier. October feeder cattle closed the week up 92 cents at $141.47/cwt. ∆
DR. RON PLAIN AND DR. SCOTT BROWN: Agricultural Economists, University of Missouri
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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