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The Cattle Range Weekly Market Summary provides market data for the informed cattleman. Current industry news & commentary as well as a comprehensive comparison of the past week's prices from around the country in comparison to the previous week, month, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, & 5 year average.  The data is compiled from a variety of sources and is organized to provide insight in determining market movement and trends.
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SAMPLE... Market Summary for the week ending September 19th:
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  • Bullish: With the exception of slaughter cattle, other classes of cattle inched higher as corn continued to plunge.
  • Bearish: The stronger dollar is making U.S. beef less competitive on the world market and dressed beef loses more ground.
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The Cattle Range 10-Day Market Trend:
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An indicator of overall cattle/beef market strength. The angle indicates direction & velocity of the trend.
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The Trendline is based on daily market factors for the last 10 days.
Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 10 major market indicators compared to the previous trading day.
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National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
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RECEIPTS:   Auctions    Direct    Video/Internet   Total
This Week     191,500     36,700        79,600        307,800 
Last Week     201,100     44,700        26,500        272,300 
Last Year       189,200     37,500      101,700        328,400
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Compared to last week, available supplies of yearling feeder cattle sold fully steady to 5.00 higher with most gains seen in the Northern Plains. Demand is extremely good but availability of grass yearlings is running out and buyers are pushing the market where they are available in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming this week.  This week’s feeder receipts in some of the major markets at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Joplin Regional Stockyards and Ozarks Regional Stockyards in West Plains, Mo. reported a majority of the receipts as new-crop spring born calves trading steady to 5.00 higher in most areas.  In the Southeast, calf markets were trading unevenly steady from 5.00 higher to 5.00 lower. 

Yearling demand remains at its peak with a large number of buyers in the auction markets, especially in the northern part of the country.  Silage cutters are chopping away at an impressive crop of corn throughout the Midwest and Northern Plains, along with plenty of hay and late fall grass pastures should allow plenty of opportunities to put relatively cheap gains on the lighter weight cattle.  Calf demand seems equally as good (best on weaned vaccinated calves) throughout the country as increased addition of farmer feeders and feedlot buyers spreading out in search for headcounts amid tight supplies.  This has in many cases created a fierce competition in the salebarn markets.  This week on Wednesday attitudes were very optimistic at the Hub City Livestock Market in Aberdeen, SD with some very impressive sales of thin fleshed yearlings coming right of grass selling with very good demand as 385 head of steers averaging 837 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 239.76.  Included in this long list of impressive sales were 464 head of thin fleshed steers averaging 873 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 235.53 and 700 head of steers averaging 935 lbs at a weighted average price of 227.32. 

Order buyers want possession and when quality and conditions are very good, it’s not to say they won’t pay even more when they see it on these good native yearlings.  The potential for tight demand keeps cattle buyers active, but then there is the question of how strong beef demand will be throughout the fall season.  Boxed Beef prices have been trending lower this week as Choice product on Wednesday closed at 245.91 the lowest close since the end of June.  Friday’s Cattle-on-Feed report was pretty much neutral with inventories slightly higher than expected at 99.2 percent of last year, while placements were also slightly higher at 97.1 percent and marketing’s slightly lower at 90.4 percent.  Both marketings and placements were the lowest since data series started in 1996.  A few early dressed sales reported in Nebraska at 245.00-246.00, which would be 3.00-4.00 lower than last week.  This week’s reported auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs and 38 percent heifers.
 

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Stocker Steers:
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Feeder Steers:
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Five Year Moving Average - Stocker Steers, Feeder Steers, & Slaughter Steers:
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Selected Auction Reports:
"Click" on individual auction links for complete report
Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK...
Actual Receipts:  7821   Last Monday:  9886   Year Ago Monday: 6951
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers steady to firm.  Steerand heifer calves mostly steady to 5.00 higher.  Very few true yearlings onoffer with the majority of the supply consisting of un-weaned calves.  As aresult, the most advances have been recorded on larger packages of weaned cattle.

El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
Receipts:  4176    Last Week:  5747    Year Ago:  5746
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold steady to 2.00 higher.  Steer and heifer calves traded steady to firm.

Valentine Livestock Auction Market - Valentine NE
Receipts:  3220    Last Week:  4140    Year Ago:  0
Compared with last week steers traded 3.00 to 6.00 higher with theexception of 950 lb steers trading 4.00 lower, heifer offerings traded 2.00 to as much as 9.00 higher.

Tri-State Livestock Auction Market - McCook NE
Receipts:  1850    Last Week:  4000    Year Ago:  0
Compared to last week, steers and heifers under 700 lbs were 4.00 – 8.00 higher. Not enough over 700 lbs to show a comparison.

Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
Receipts:  1253    Last Week:  1412    Year Ago:  1103
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold steady to 2.00 higher on comparable sales.  Scattered showers in the area this week and forecasted throughout the weekend as some areas have already received several inches of rainfall.  Slaughter cows and bulls were steady on a light test.

Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
Cattle and Calves: 961        Week ago: 1249        Year Ago:  1298
Compared to last week:  Feeder cattle and calves steady to firm.  Slaughter cows and bulls 1.00-2.00 higher.

Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
Receipts:  1406              Week Ago: 1523              Year Ago: 1161
Compared to last week:  Stocker and feeder steers and heifers 5.00-10.00 higher on a very attractive offering. Slaughter cows and bulls mostly 3.00 lower on limited receipts.

Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
Receipts:  1800    Last Week:  1870    Year Ago:  1715
Compared to last Thursday at same sale, stocker and feeder cattle steady to firm.  Trade active with good demand.  Slaughter cows and bulls 4.00-5.00 higher.

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
Receipts:  2868    Last Week:  3298    Year Ago:  1831
Compared to last week: Steers 800-1000 lbs 1.00 to 2.00 lower, 800 lbs and under lower undertones noted in a limited supply. Heifers 400-1050 lbs not enough for a market test lower undertones noted.

Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
Receipts:  6250    Last Week:  728    Year Ago:  3476
Compared to last week:  Feeder cattle were very lightly tested last week in contrast to this week's very large offerings.  Steers 800-850lbs were mostly 2.00 higher with instances to 5.00 higher; heifers 750-800 lbs 1.00 to 2.00 higher.  All other weights and classes sold on firm to higher undertones.

Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
Receipts:  1932    Last Week:  1957    Year Ago:  1291
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers 3.00 to 6.00 higher.This week saw several consignments of new crop, spring born calves offeredalong with large strings of yearlings both off grass in light flesh and feedlot backgrounded yearlings in moderate to moderate plus flesh.

Weekly Auction Summaries:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
Kentucky Weekly Livestock Summary
Receipts This Week 20,557 Last Week 11.058 Last Year  12,400
Compared to last week steers under 700 lbs sold 5.00 to 15.00 higher with very good demand; yearling steers sold steady to 3.00 higher with good demand.  Heifer calves under 500 lbs sold 5.00 to 12.00 higher with very good demand over 500 lbs sold steady to 3.00 higher with good demand.  Quality was good through attractive.  Slaughter cows and slaughter bulls sold steady with very good demand.

Tennessee Weekly Auction Summary
Receipts on 11 TN Auctions 10,021  11 Last Week 8,600  9 Last Year 6,700
Trends:  According to the Federal-State Market News Service, comparedto the same sales one week ago, slaughter cows steady to 2.00 lower.Slaughter bulls 2.00 to 4.00 lower. Steers/bulls 1.00 to 3.00 higher.  Heifers steady to 4.00 higher.

Mississippi Weekly Livestock Summary
Cattle Receipts:    9,420       Last Week:     9,434       Last Year:   9,936
Compared to last week, slaughter cows and bulls sold steady. Feeder steers under 400 lbs 5.00 to 10.00 lower over 400 lbs steady and heifers sold steady.

Alabama Auctions Weekly Summary
Total estimated receipts this week 17,600, last week 19,631 and 18,018 last year.
Compared to one week ago: Slaughter cows mostly steady, bulls 3.00 higher. Replacement cows and pairs sold mostly steady. All feeder classes sold mostly steady to 3.00 lower.

Georgia Cattle Auctions Weekly Review
Cattle receipts at 25 markets 11,734 compared to 13,075 last week and 11,807 year ago.
Compared to one week earlier, slaughter cows mostly steadyto 2.00 lower, bulls steady to 1.00 higher, feeder steers and bulls steady  to 3.00 higher, heifers steady to 1.00 higher, steer calves and bull calves unevenly steady to 3.00 higher, heifer calves mostly steady to 1.00 higher,replacement cows mostly steady.

Colorado Auction Feeder Cattle Summary
Receipts: 1222       Last Week: 975        Last Year:  1545
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers for an adequate market trend.

Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:
"Click" on individual links for complete report
AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
Confirmed: 1,500 
Compared to last week, Trade and demand moderate.  Holstein steers for January delivery traded at mostly steady prices. 

Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
Receipts: 1222       Last Week: 975        Last Year:  1545
Compared to last week: Not enough comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers for an adequate market trend. 

Eastern Cornbelt Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Reported sales this week: 55    Last Week: 263    Last year: 67
Compared to last week: No trend available for feeder steers andheifers due to limited comparable sales.  Farmers busy getting ready to harvest corn. 

Georgia Direct Cattle Summary (Fri)
Confirmed sales on 1,821 head

IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
Receipts:  0    Last Week:  357    Year Ago:  510

Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts:  3049       Last Week:  3390        Last Year:  3069
Compared with last week:  Feeder steers unevenly steady.  Feederheifers 2.00-3.00 higher.  Demand good but country sales quiet for themost part as many are busy picking up previously contracted cattle.  Sales confirmed on 1799 steers and 1250 heifers. 

Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts:  1700    Last Week: 0    Year Ago:  0
Compared to last week:  No recent comparable sales on feeder steers or heifers. 

New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
Receipts:  3900    Last Week:  3900    Year Ago:  775
Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold steady to firm on current comparable sales. 

Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Receipts:  3,216        Last Week:  2,367        Last Year:  4221
Compared to last week:  Feeder cattle lightly tested and few steady.

South Dakota Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
Receipts: 137         Last Week: 400          Last Year: 0 
Compared to last week:  No market trend available due to limited comparable sales. 

Texas Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
Confirmed:  17,500      Last Week: 28,500       Last Year: 18,000 
Compared to last week the current FOB feeder steers and heifers were mostly unevenly steady to 4.00 higher, however some weakness was starting to show up in later week sales. 

WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
Receipts: 1058         Week Ago: 788        Year Ago: 1360
Compared to last week comparable sales sold steady on a light test.

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Cattle Futures:
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Cattle futures posted a mixed close Friday. Cattle futures fluctuated widely this week as traders tried to get a handle on the short-term cash outlook. The likely result of this week’s country trading was still unclear at Friday’s close, which partially explains the mixed CME close. October live cattle futures inched up 0.02 cents to 155.62 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December futures lost 0.22 to 158.70. Meanwhile, October feeder futures jumped 1.02 cents to 228.72 cents/pound, and January feeders surged 0.97 to 220.67.
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Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs:
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  • EL Reno, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  Heifers 900-1250 lbs 4-8 months 2200.00-2450.00, 3-5 yrs 1050-1200 lbs 3-4 months 1900.00-2400.00; 4-8 yrs 1200-1350 lbs 3-6 months 1800.00-2080.00, 7-10 yrs 950-1400 lbs 2-7 months 1435.00-1800.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-4 yrs 900-1250 lbs w/375-425 lb calves 2875.00-3200.00, 3-4 yrs 1050-1150 lbs w/200-275 lb calves 2450.00-2675.00, 3-5 yrs 1050-1400 lbs w/175-375 lb calves 2700.00-3100.00.
  • Woodward, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs 900-1100 lbs 4-7 months 2400.00-2800.00; 2-7 yrs 950-1300 lbs 2-5 months 2150.00-2550.00; 7-10 yrs 950-1400 lbs 3-5 months 1350.00-1950.00.
  • Oklahoma City, OK
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-4 yrs 1070-1105 lbs 3-5 months 1825.00-2025.00; 3-6 yrs 1000-1350 lbs 3-7 months 1650.0-2025.00, lot 4 yrs 1530 lbs 7 months 2450.00, 7-9 yrs 1350-1375 lbs 6-7 months 1900.00-1975.00. 
  • Joplin, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short solid 1100-1350 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1700.00-2050.00, 1st stage 1245-1300 lbs 1600.00-1800.00; broken mouth to aged 3rd stage 1200-1275 lbs 1400.00-1600.00.  Large1-2  7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 1455-1765 lbs 2035.00-2125.00, short solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1350-1445 lbs 1600.00-1625.00.  Medium and Large 2 short solid mouth 2nd stage 1000-1060 lbs 1200.00-1500.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium Large 1-2  2-5 yrs 940-1350 lbs w/baby-220 lb calves 2400.00-2550.00.  Large 1-2  broken mouth pkg. 1500 lbs w/baby calves 2100.00.  Medium 1-2  2-4 yrs 800-1030 lbs w/baby to 300 lb calves 1800.00-2375.00.  Medium 2  6 yrs to short solid mouth 700-900 lbs w/baby to 300 lb calves 1300.00-1550.00.
  • Springfield, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 950-1430 lbs 1st-3rd stage 1900.00-2250.00.  Medium and Large 2  2 yrs to short solid 950-1525 lbs 1st to 2nd stage 1425.00-1860.00.  Medium 1-2  2-5 yrs 835-895 lbs 1st stage 1510.00-1850.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  few 2 yrs to short solid 900-1350 lbs w/baby to 340 lb calves 2125.00-2775.00; few blk 3 yrs to 4 yrs  935-1000 lbs w/300-475 lb calves in 1st stage 3100.00-3350.00; few broken mouth 1000-1150 lbs w/200-225 lb calves 1750.00-1785.00.
  • West Plains, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 950-1450 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 1950.00-2450.00.  Medium and Large 2  2-6 yrs 873-1295 lbs 2nd to 3rd stage 1650.00-2050.00; short-solid to broken mouth 985-1280 lbs in 1st to 2nd stage 1350.00-1750.00.  Medium 2  4 yrs to short-solid mouth 820-1015 lbs 1st to 2nd stage 1000.00-1450.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yrs 785-1270 lbs w/150-250 lb calves 1950.00-2600.00, pkg 3-4 yrs 1020 lbs w/300 lb calves 3000.00.  Medium and Large 2  5 yrs broken-mouth 780-1100 lbs w/150-300 lb calves 1400.00-1700.00.
  • Booneville, MO
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  5 yrs to short solid mouth 1250-1500 lbs 2nd and 3rd stage 2075.00-2285.00; couple 4-5 yrs 925-1350 lbs 1st stage 1800.00-2000.00.  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short-solid mouth 850-1075 lbs 2nd few 3rd stage 1730.00-1975.00; few broken mouth 1050-1250 lbs 2nd stage 1400.00-1490.00, 2 yrs-broken mouth 950-1100 lbs 1st stage 1420.00-1780.00. 
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2 few 4-5 yrs 1100-1375 lbs w/baby to 200 lb calves 2450.00-2600.00. 
  • Bassett, NE
    • Spring Pairs Medium and Large 1 Young 1015-1400 lbs w/100 lbs calves 2100.00-2325.00, 1260-1705 lbs w/100 lbs calves 3200.00-3500.00; short/Solid 1455-1565 lbs w/100 lb calves 1900.00-2525.00; Broken Mouth 1485 lbs w/100 lbs calves 2025.00.
  • Arkansas
    • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yrs 850-1250 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 155.00-165.00 cwt; 1650.00-1750.00; first stage/open 115.00-125.00 cwt; 7-10 yrs 800-1200 lbs 2nd-3rd stage 125.00-135.00 cwt; 1600.00-1700.00.
    • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 yrs 800-1200 lbs w/100-200 calves 1900.00-2000.00; few to 2600.00; w/200-300 lb calves 2100.00-2200.00.  Small 1 and Medium 2  7+ yrs 750-900 lbs w/100-200 lb calves 1550.00-1650.00. 
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Bred Cows & Heifers in 2nd & 3rd Stages of Pregnancy:
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The average prices above are from USDA market reports which seldom reference breed or quality.
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Top Sales of the Week on The Cattle Range - Reported SOLD by Seller
  • Angus & Black Baldy Bred Heifers @ $3,050.00 -- North Central
  • F1 Braford Cows @ $2,650.00 -- Southeast
  • Brangus & Brangus Baldy Bred Heifers @ $2,850.00 -- South Central
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Canadian Cattle:
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Alberta Beef Producers:  Alberta direct cattle sales Thursday saw light trade develop with live sales fully steady with the previous week. Tentatively cash to futures basis levels did strengthen this week. There still is a chance we could see some clean up trade by this afternoon but for the most part showlist volumes have been cleaned up.
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Canadian Weekly Cattle Report:
Provided by CanFax

Fed cattle firm

  • Fed steers averaged $163.13 per hundredweight, down 37 cents, and fed heifers were $164.52, up $3.77.
  • Purchased cattle were being scheduled for slaughter during the first half of October.
  • Packers are mostly meeting their needs with contracted cattle, allowing them to become a bit more disciplined in their cash buying.
  • Prices are still about $44 per cwt. higher than last year at this time, but the cash-to-cash and cash-to-futures basis levels have weakened, moving closer in line with historical levels.
  • Over the past couple of weeks, western Canadian fed steer prices have fetched a $5-$10 per cwt. premium over Ontario prices.
  • Weekly fed exports to Aug. 30 totalled 9,055 head, the most since mid-May. Most of those heading south are forward contracted or formula priced.
  • Procurement will be hand to mouth, and packers will have to manage kill levels to keep cooler inventories from backing up.
  • Fed prices this week could edge lower but trade in a tight range.
Cows steady
  • D1, D2 cows ranged $118-$132 per cwt. to average $124.13, while D3s ranged $102-$120 to average $111.70.
  • Rail grade cows ranged $235-$240.
  • Alberta slaughter bulls were $137.33, down $2.08 per cwt.
  • Western Canadian non-fed slaughter to Sept. 6 fell 11 percent to 4,627 head. Prices will likely edge lower as demand for hamburger seasonally softens.
Feeders stronger
  • Early special feeder sales and strong prices attracted many feeders to market, but prices rose sharply.
  • Quality calves in Alberta saw strong interest, and calves lighter than 400 pounds soared $18-$20 per cwt.
  • Feeders 500-700 lb. rose $2.25-$3.25. Feeders heavier than 700 lb. surged $6-$10 higher.
  • Eastern buyer interest and American demand enhanced competition for larger steer calves.
  • The Chicago feeder futures market notched a new record high Sept. 9, partly on falling corn prices that will enhance the profitability of feeding cattle.
  • Weekly Alberta auction volume soared about 160 percent to 59,182 head, which was 25 percent larger than the same week last year.
  • Auction volume is up five percent this year at 865,803 head.
  • Weekly exports to Aug. 30 rose 68 percent to 5,873.
  • Exports are up 40 percent this year at 249,606 head.
  • Auction volume this week will likely be smaller and remain so until the fall calf run.
  • Strong local demand is anticipated for light calves that can be backgrounded into the new year in the hope of reaping even better returns.
  • Interest from Eastern Canada and the United States will support prices for all feeders, and larger lots are expected to command premiums.
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Canadian Cattle Prices:
Prices have been converted to U.S. $/CWT.  Grades changed to approximate U.S. equivalents
Exchange Rate: Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.9102 dollars
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Prices for the week ending September 12th:
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September 19 - Cattle on Feed Report:

United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent

  • Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 9.8 million head on September 1, 2014. The inventory was 1 percent below September 1, 2013.
  • Placements in feedlots during August totaled 1.72 million, 3 percent below 2013. Net placements were 1.65 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 410,000, 600-699 pounds were 280,000, 700-799 pounds were 395,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 635,000. For the month of August placements are the lowest since the series began in 1996.
  • Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.69 million, 10 percent below 2013. August marketings are the lowest since the series began in 1996. 
  • Other disappearance totaled 66,000 during August, 32 percent above 2013.
Cattle on Feed Inventory in 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots as of September 1st
Millions of Head
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Number of Cattle Placed on Feed in 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots in August
Millions of Head
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Number of Cattle Marketed from 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots in August
Millions of Head
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Cattle on Feed by State
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Carcass Weights Post Another Record:
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The USDA released its weekly carcass weight data yesterday and steer weights were stunningly record heavy. We understand the equation of what is behind the weights, but we’re a good 6 weeks away from the seasonal timing for the peak in weights, and there’s no doubt the corresponding increase in production will have a dampening impact on prices. 

Kill Cut Talk

Packers are using the news of “big cattle” as one more bearish talking point, as they strive to break the cash fed cattle market. With packer margins worsening daily this week, there is also talk this morning of last minute cuts to this week’s kill, which had been expected to come in at 581,000 head. Now some are saying we’ll only kill 575,000 head this week and will be lucky to slaughter 570,000 next week. Until boxed beef bottoms, which normally occurs in October, red packer margins will make negotiations with packers unpleasant. 

How Low This Time?

Still, the question remains, will cash prices hold the late summer 5-Area average low just above $153? Here’s one argument for limited downside in cash prices over the next few weeks. Perhaps the market needs the packer to stay red (as he typically is now) so the industry won’t “use up” fed cattle inventory that will be needed when end users return for their holiday seasonal bookings. There will be a limited number of ribs and tenderloins to satisfy domestic fourth quarter demand and both the packers and end users are fully aware.  If cash prices get too cheap now, packers’ will kill too many. So the front end basis tightens, and we start building premium in the deferreds. Seems like the market’s doing its job this week. 

The Beef

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U.S. Beef Exports Slow & Imports Gain in July:
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U.S. beef imports surged during July, bringing this year’s cumulative total through July to 1.627 billion pounds, 15 percent higher than a year earlier. Imports from Australia totaled 97.0 million pounds during July, 71 percent higher than July 2013 and the highest single month total from Australia since April 2009. Imports have also increased notably this year from New Zealand (up 8 percent), Canada (up 11 percent), and Mexico (up 11 percent) (see figure). Demand for imported processing beef has been strong this year due to declining U.S. beef production. Through August 30, 2014, federally inspected cow and bull slaughter is down 13 percent from a year earlier, leading to lower domestic supplies of lean beef. Imports were up only 1 percent during the first quarter but have increased steadily since March.

Higher imports have been facilitated by higher production this year in Australia. Drought has persisted in Australia’s cattle-producing regions, leading to an 11 percent increase in cattle slaughter through July. Beef production has increased 9 percent, offset somewhat by lower weight animals. Pasture conditions have improved in New Zealand this year, leading to a reduction in cattle slaughter. However, New Zealand beef exports are up 6 percent year to date, with the United States accounting for just over half of exports. The forecast for U.S. beef imports in 2014 was raised to 2.684 billion pounds, an increase of 100 million pounds. The forecast for 2015 was also raised to 2.700 billion pounds. Strong import demand is expected to continue throughout the forecast period due to lower U.S. beef supplies and strong U.S. beef prices expected to draw supplies from abroad.

After increasing in each of the first 6 months of 2014, U.S. beef exports cooled during July. Exports fell 13 percent from the previous year’s level, largely due to lower shipments to Canada (down 26 percent) and Hong Kong (down 32 percent). July’s downturn in exports indicates that higher U.S. beef prices are beginning to impact trade (see figure). The average price of boxed beef was almost 30 percent higher in July 2014 than a year earlier. Exports to Canada in particular have fallen this year (down 22 percent), further impacted by a weaker Canadian dollar. 

Despite considerably higher prices, U.S. exports through July are still marginally above last year’s level. Demand has been robust from Asia, including higher cumulative-year exports to Hong Kong (up 36 percent), South Korea (up 22 percent) and Taiwan (up 9 percent). Shipments are also up 24 percent to Mexico, making it the second largest market for U.S. beef. Japan remains the top market, although shipments have been lower than a year ago. Japanese imports of beef from all countries are down almost 9 percent this year, but the United States has increased its market share at the expense of imports from Australia. The forecast for U.S. beef exports in 2014 is 2.620 billion pounds, 1 percent higher than 2013. Exports are expected to decline in 2015 to 2.525 billion pounds as high prices are expected to weaken export demand.

USDA

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Photo of the Week:
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  • Angus Cows... Central OK*^
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    Shootin' the Bull:
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    In my opinion, fat futures wound up at literally the same price most contract months started out at this week.  The feeders have gained significant ground over the fats and with corn not having moved down that much, is perceived to have either decreased projected profit margins or increased projected losses.   Cattle continue to hold their own.  This week and last weeks price movement has not been perceived as enough in either direction to warrant taking any further actions. I apologize for the brief comments, but with the potential for exaggeration from the cattle on feed report Friday, and little having materialized new in the past week, there is little to comment on. 

    Corn set new contract lows on Friday.

    Christopher B. Swift is a commodity broker and consultant with Swift Trading Company in Nashville, TN. Mr. Swift authors the daily commentaries "mid day cattle comment" and "Shootin' the Bull" commentary found on his website @ www.shootinthebull.com

    An investment in futures contracts is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for persons who can assume the risk of loss in excess of their margin deposits.  You should carefully consider whether futures trading is appropriate for you in light of your investment experience, trading objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

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    The Saga of Bart -- Trials & Tribulations of a Cattle Buyer
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    Bart stormed into the office at the County Road Department and demanded to see the foreman. 

    "I live on County Road 44," fumed Bart, "And I want you to move the "Deer Crossing" sign that's on that sharp curve near Oak Creek." 

    The foreman asked, "Just why do you want the sign moved?" 

    "Every time I come home after dark, I nearly hit a deer on that curve because you can't see them until it's almost too late," explained Bart. 

    "I guess I don't understand," said the foreman, "How will moving the sign help?" 

    "Not too sharp, are you?" snarled Bart, "If you move the damned sign to a straight part of the road, I'll be able to see the deer in plenty of time."

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    Submit a "Bart Joke"  If we use it, you'll receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate to The Cattle Range Mercantile.
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    USDA Report Summary: More Corn, Less Meat:
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    Last Thursday, USDA released the September Crop Production report along with the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.  The market was closely watching to see what USDA thinks about what is shaping up to be a corn crop for the record books.

    USDA’s national average corn yield estimate came in at 171.7 bushels per acre.  This was right at a bushel higher than the average pre-report estimate.  It will be, if realized, a record national average yield.  A number of key states are expecting phenomenal yields this year.  Most notable is Illinois, for which the state average yield estimate was pegged at 194 bushels per acre.  Among major producing states, record yields are currently projected for Indiana (184 bushels/acre), Iowa (185 bushels/acre), and Nebraska (179 bushels/acre).  These yields correspond to an aggregate production estimate of 14.395 billion bushels, which will be the second consecutive year of record-high corn production following last year’s 13.925 billion bushel crop.

    With the increased availability of corn, use is expected to increase.  Estimates of feed use, ethanol use, and exports were all increased modestly from last month’s report.  Higher use do not fully offset the higher production estimate, though; and corn carryover at the end of the 2014/15 marketing year is currently projected at just over 2 billion bushels – corresponding to a stocks-to-use ratio of 14.7%.  This will be the highest level of carryover (in terms of stocks-to-use) since 2005/06.  The record U.S. corn crop is expected to accompany record global wheat and oilseed crops this year.  Overall, global grain and oilseed markets appear to be completing, with this year’s crops, a transition to a relative abundance following almost a decade of relative shortage.  Demand for feedgrains and oilseeds remains strong globally, and that is not likely to change in the near future; but global capacity has also been increased as well.  It now appears that with this year’s crops, world feedgrain and oilseed production will have exceeded use in three of the past four years. 

    The September WASDE paints a bit different picture for meat supplies.  Estimates of U.S. red meat and poultry production for both 2014 and 2015 were revised down a bit from last month.   To be more specific for 2014, beef and pork production estimates were revised downward from last month; the 2014 estimate of broiler production was revised upward but not enough to offset to lower pork and beef numbers.  Beef production in 2014 is now projected to be 5.4% below last year’s level, reflecting relatively tight fed cattle supplies and reduced female slaughter.  Looking ahead to 2015, beef production is currently forecast to decline by a further 2.8%.  On the other hand, pork and broiler production are both projected to expand by around 2.5% in 2015.  If these forecasts hold, for pork this will mark the end of a couple of years of contraction.  For broilers, it will mark the third year of increasing production. 

    Further tightening of beef supplies will continue to keep pressure on beef retail prices, which have surged to record levels this year.  This will be balanced, though, by higher combined meat availability as pork production rebounds and poultry production continues to expand in 2015.  In this environment, beef prices (retail and wholesale) will likely encounter stiff resistance to anything like the kind of price increases that have characterized 2014.

    The Markets

    Several weeks ago, fed cattle prices rather unexpectedly made a six or seven dollar jump to get back close to the highs for the year.  Last week, the market was a little softer but still managed to hold onto most of those gains from two weeks ago.  Last week’s 5-Area weighted average price worked out to $160.84, down less than 50 cents from the prior week’s weighted average – though in some locations (e.g., Kansas) prices were more like $1 to $2 lower.  Wholesale beef prices were higher last week.  The weekly average Choice cutout was $3.46 higher than the prior week, although it may be worth keeping in mind as we look ahead that the lowest prices of the week were on Friday last week.  Strong fed cattle prices and weak corn prices are a potent combination for the calf market.  Feeder and stocker cattle prices were higher again last week, with the National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary report calling the market for yearlings $3 to $8 higher and for stockers steady to $5 higher than the prior week. 

    Livestock Marketing Information Center

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    NASDA Members Say “Withdraw” to EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule:
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    At the Annual Meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), NASDA Members unanimously called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule. The action item, submitted by North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring, also urges the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers to collaborate with state departments of agriculture and other stakeholders on the appropriate scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

    “As it stands, this proposed rule dramatically expands EPA’s jurisdiction and creates too much uncertainty for our farmers and ranchers. This rule must be withdrawn,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara Glenn. “It is critical that the agencies engage state regulators and stakeholders to work together to find a path forward before the agencies move towards implementation or further rulemaking.”

    NASDA previously submitted comments expressing concerns about the highly controversial Interpretive Rule for Agricultural Conservation Practices.

    “Conservation and environmental protection are among our members’ chief responsibilities as state regulatory agencies. We feel the agencies’ proposals will dissuade the use of critical conservation practices needed to preserve American farmland,” said Glenn.

    NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. 

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    Margin between the Choice Boxed Beef Cutout & Feeder Steers:
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    5 Year Average: $45.72 --- This Week: $17.54
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    Out of Kilter:
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    A good way to determine if something is, “going on” in a market is by noticing when market relationships are out of kilter. Cattle and grains typically have a positive correlation. They tend to move in tandem. Moderately increase the price of corn and the cattle will follow suit. The opposite is also true as the cost of feed declines, so does the cost of production. However, when this relationship breaks down, its because one market can't keep pace or pass on the costs of the other. 

    That is what occurred in the spring of 2012 with cattle and corn. The price of feed exceeded the livestock market's ability to pass on the costs.  Over the 2013 summer months, the gap was erased and corn went "Out of Kilter" last fall.  A correction started in January but ran out of steam in view of surging cattle prices and plummeting corn prices.

    Normally, the value of 25 bushels of corn is approximately equal to the price per cwt. for feeder steers.

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    5 Year Moving Average:
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    Crude/Cattle Correlation:
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    The chart below shows a fairly consistent correlation between the price for a barrel of crude oil and the per cwt. price for slaughter cattle.  Since it is unlikely the price of cattle affects the price of oil on the world market, it might be assumed the price of crude oil affects the price of cattle, but that is unlikely as well.  It is more likely that economic factors affecting demand for crude oil have a similar effect on demand for beef.

    Accordingly, in the absence of geo/political events disrupting or distorting oil supply, since price trends occur slightly sooner in the crude oil market, crude oil has been a good indicator of the direction of near term cattle prices. However, with increased supplies of crude oil and decreased supplies of slaughter cattle, an "Out of Kilter" situation between the two commodities has developed.

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    5 Year Moving Average:
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    EPA Water Bill Not Out of Hot Water Yet:
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    The White House has issued a veto threat for a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from chugging ahead with a rule that would redefine its jurisdiction over streams and ponds saying its “strongly opposes” the bill. Advisers are recommending that President Obama vetoes the bill if it makes it to him, Timothy Cama reported for The HIll.

    Obama administration officials think the bill will add ambiguity to the current regulations laid out in the Clean Water Act. In March, the bill was proposed to clarify the bodies of water that will need permits from the EPA for certain activities that might cause pollution. People involved in agriculture are concerned that this will give the government too much power. The EPA has stated that the bill wouldn’t increase the government’s power much.

    The full House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday. Its future is uncertain.

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    Submit Comments to Stop EPA’s WOTUS Rule:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) have proposed a rule to expand federal authority over non-navigable waters, defining almost all waters, regardless of size or continuity of flow, as “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

    This proposed rule usurps state authority, infringes up on the property rights of farmers and ranchers and amounts to one of the largest ever land-grabs by the federal government.

    "Click Here" to help “Ditch the Rule” by submitting comments to EPA and the Corps opposing the proposal.

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    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
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    Slaughter cows and bulls mostly steady. 

    USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was 234.88 -- Down 0.65 from last Friday.

                %Lean     Weight      Colorado         Oklahoma        Alabama 
    Breakers 75-80%    1100-1600   120.00-125.00   123.50-129.00   112.00-116.00
    Boners    80-85%    1000-1450   123.00-127.00   122.50-130.50   112.00-113.00
    Lean       85-90%    1000-1300   115.00-118.00   112.00-116.00   105.00-106.00
    Bulls       88-92%    1300-2500   138.00-142.00   141.00-147.00   127.00-132.00

    Negotiated Sale of Packer Cows & Bulls:

                      Confirmed     Week Ago  Year Ago  Week to Date   Week Ago  Year Ago
    NATIONAL          6,013        5,982        8,116         34,506         32,727        42,015
    S CENTRAL       1,292         1,532        2,137          7,415           8,113          9,504
    N CENTRAL          596           387           448          1,887           2,041          2,572
    EAST                 1,937        2,021         1,967         10,780          9,724        11,684
    WEST                1,149           844         1,814          8,192           6,837       10,099
    MIDWEST          1,039        1,198        1,750          6,232            6,012          8,156

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    Weekly Hay Reports:"Click" on links for detailed report
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    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
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    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending September 16, were mixed. 
    • Soybean Meal was 7.40 to 80.40 lower. Cottonseed Meal was steady to 5.00 to 15.00 higher.   Canola Meal was not available.  Linseed Meal was 30.00 higher in limited trade.  Sunflower Meal was steady to 10.00 lower. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was 5.00 lower to 15.00 higher, mostly steady to 5.00 lower. 
    • Crude Soybean Oil was 54 to 147 points higher.  Crude Corn Oil was steady. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was steady to 20.00 lower.  Ruminant Blood Meal was steady to 75.00 to 175.00 lower.  Feather Meal was mixed 20.00 lower to 25.00 higher, however was mostly steady. Menhaden Fishmeal was steady. 
    • Corn Hominy was mixed, 5.00 lower to 20.00 higher. Corn Gluten Feed was mixed, 5.00 lower to 15.00 higher.  Corn Gluten Meal was mixed, 30.00 lower to 15.00 higher. 
    • Distillers Dried Grains were mixed, 10.00 lower to 10.00 higher however were mostly steady. 
    • Wheat Middlings were mixed, 5.00 lower to 10.00 higher however mostly steady to 5.00 lower.

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    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
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    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, September 20, 2014 was estimated at 903.7 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 1.8 percent lower than a week ago and 5.1 percent lower than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 4 percent lower compared to the previous year.
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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus:
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    The theory behind the "Bullish/Bearish Consensus" indicator is when the public reaches a consensus, they are usually wrong:
    • They get too bullish after prices have risen, and too bearish after they have already fallen.
    Because of this tendency, there are often extremes in opinion right before major changes in trend:
    • When the public reaches a bullish extreme, i.e., a great majority thinks prices will keep rising, then prices often decline instead. 
    • And when they become too bearish, then prices tend to rise.
    So when Public Opinion moves above the red dotted linein the chart, it means that compared to other readings over the past year, you're seeing a statistically extreme value.  You also want to look at the absolute level of Opinion, too - if it's at 90%, then there's no question we're seeing an historic level of bullish opinion.  Watch for readings above 80% (or especially 90%) to spot those dangerous times when the public is overly enthusiastic about a commodity.

    Conversely, when Public Opinion moves below the green dotted line, then the public is too pessimistic about the commodity's prospects for further gains compared to their opinion over the past year.  Looking for absolute readings under 20% (or especially 10%) often indicates an upturn in the market.

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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Cattle
    Last Updated: September 16th
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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus - Corn
    Last Updated: September 16th
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    National Economic News:
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    Stocks return to record highs: The major indexes were mixed for the week. The large—cap indexes regained the previous week's losses and set record highs by early Friday. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, back by its heavy allocation in technology—software giant Oracle fell following the resignation of its founder and CEO—and biotechnology. Smaller-cap shares suffered losses for the week, due largely to a sell—off on Monday.

    Investors relieved that Fed signals no policy changes: The week's large—cap gains partly reflected a relief rally, as investors were encouraged that Federal Reserve policymakers made no substantive changes to their policy stance following their scheduled meeting on Wednesday. While some had anticipated that recent economic strength would encourage Fed officials to warn of an eventual increase in short-term interest rates, the Fed's post—meeting policy statement repeated that officials intended to leave rates near 0% "for a considerable time."

    Inflation remains very low: Room for patience on the Fed's part also seemed to be revealed in inflation data released during the week. The Labor Department reported that consumer prices had declined by 0.2% in August, due largely to a sharp drop in energy prices. 

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  • Federal Reserve officials don't see a key short-term interest rate rising in 2015 and 2016 much faster than the central bank predicted before the summer started. The Fed raised its estimate for the fed funds rate in 2015 to 1.23% from 1.20%, and it increased its target to 2.55% in 2016 from a prior estimate of 2.50%. for 2017, Fed officials predict short-term rates will average 3.79%. The fed funds rate has been near zero since 2008.
    • U.S. households and nonprofits added $1.4 trillion in net worth in the second quarter due to continued higher prices for stocks and real estate, according to Federal Reserve data released Thursday The gain in net worth to $81.5 trillion was driven by a $1 trillion rise in corporate equities and a $230 billion gain in the value of real estate. Debt outside the financial sector rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.8% in the second quarter, slightly lower from 4.3% in the first quarter. Household debt grew 3.6%, the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2008. Consumer credit like car and student loans surged by 8.1%, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2001. Mortgage debt increased 0.4% after two straight quarterly declines.
    • Industrial production declined 0.1% in August to mark the first decline since January, and a series of revisions left output in July lower than previously estimated, according to data released Monday. Economists expected a 0.3% gain. The 0.1% drop in output came as manufacturing output fell 0.4%, while mining output gained 0.5% and utilities output rose 1%. Motor vehicle and part output fell 7.6% after a 9% jump in July, and excluding this segment, factory output rose 0.1% in both July and August. Capacity utilization fell to 78.8% from 79.1%, as motor vehicle and part utilization fell back, to 81.4% from 88.2%.
    • A gauge of confidence among home builders rose in September to the highest level since November 2005, increasing four points to 59, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Wednesday. Readings above 50 signal that builders, generally, are optimistic about sales trends. September marks the third consecutive month of above-50 readings.
    • Construction started on new U.S. homes tumbled 14.4% in August, pulling back after a surge in July, signaling some shakiness in the housing market's recovery, according to government data released Thursday.
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    "Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the last 12 weeks
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    Looking Ahead:
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    • During the September 17- 22, 2014 time period, the remnants of Tropical Storm Odile are expected to bring heavy precipitation and flooding to the Southwest, particularly in southern Arizona and New Mexico. Beyond that event, precipitation is expected from the Southwest, through the Plains, and into the Ohio River Valley. At the same time, above normal temperatures are expected along the northern tier of the nation with warmer than average minimum temperatures across the nation with the exception of the East Coast.
    • For the ensuing 5 days (September 23-27, 2014), the odds favor normal to above-normal temperatures across the western U.S. and along the Gulf of Mexico Coast. Below-normal temperatures are favored around the Great Lakes and into New England. Above-normal precipitation is likely along the Gulf of Mexico Coast and in the Four Corners area of the Southwest. Below-normal precipitation is expected in the Plains and throughout much of the West. Alaska is likely to see above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation over much of the southern part of the state. 
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    The Bigger Picture:
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    A view of the beef markets, or any markets for that matter, can be a multidirectional one and the various perspectives merge and sometimes diverge leading to the ultimate arbitrator of differences --- price. Our domestic beef market certainly does not behave in a vacuum. Influencing beef demand are many factors and forces, most known but a few unknown. Analysts are constantly reminding us of the importance of job growth, disposable income, inflation and exchange rates.  They all are important but weighing each is frequently difficult.

    Few factors are more important than our exports. Exports and imports are driven by the absolute value of our beef products but more importantly by the exchange rates of our currency. The ICE Dollar index, that had stagnated at close to 80 for most of the year, has recently in the past month moved the dollar value upward to 84. Few cattle operators track this index and futures contract but it has a major impact of the volumes of our exports and imports. The rise of the value of the dollar from 80 to 84 is 5%. These means without any change to beef prices our exports are $8 cwt. higher on a live steer selling for $160. Alternatively, our imports are cheaper by 5%.

    While those exports of beef products are more expensive, we are finding more demand from more areas of the world. Beef exports for the last reporting month of July were down 14% from prior year.  But the good news is the appearance and increasing demand from sources that will likely chart the future of our export market. Japan continues to be our number one trade partner but in the top five we are finding some new names. Hong Kong comes in at #4 and is demonstrating the largest growth in use of our beef which of course, headed to China. Taiwan is #6 just behind Korea.

    The recent change in the dollar is negative for beef prices but other factors are not negative. The economy continues to improve and the jobless rate continues to decline. Today's high priced beef is not eaten only by rich people, it is generally part of every household budget. Since June, a 19% fall in gasoline prices is extremely positive for the food budget and beef.

    Beef's relative position to other meats has been surprising to some analysts. Production of pork and poultry is not skyrocketing but is on the increase but beef continues to be a favorite on the supermarket shelf. Demand for ground beef appears to be stable and durable and there is little evidence that turkey burgers are taking market share. Beef will be in short supply for the next year but increasing supplies are on the horizon.

    Ag Center Cattle Report

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    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
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    • Typical closeout for steers sold this week & hedged when placed on feed: ($151.54)
    • Typical closeoudot for un-hedged steers sold this week: $251.17
    • Projected closeout based on the futures & estimated Cost of Gain for steers placed on feed this week: ($50.52)
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    Slaughter Cattle:
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    Trading was mostly inactive in all regions early Friday on light demand. A limited number of cattle in Iowa-Minnesota and Nebraska have traded at 244.00-246.00 dressed, but not enough for an adequate market test. Trading has now turned light to moderate mid-afternoon in Kansas on moderate demand with live sales at $159.00, which is 2.00 to 3.00 lower than last week. The latest fully established market was last Friday with live sales in the Southern Plains at 161.00-162.00. Live sales in Nebraska and Colorado were at 163.00, with dressed sales in Nebraska at248.00-250.00. Live sales in Iowa-Minnesota last week were 158.00-160.00, with dressed sales at 248.00-250.00.
     
    Livestock Slaughter under Federal Inspection:
                                          CATTLE   CALVES   HOGS         SHEEP
    Friday 09/19/2014        (est)     106,000     2,000       369,000          6,000
    Week ago (est)                       113,000     2,000        402,000         5,000
    Year ago (act)                         122,000     3,000        424,000         6,000
    Week to date (est)                  562,000    10,000     2,016,000       39,000
    Same Period Last Week (est)  574,000    10,000     2,031,000       38,000
    Same Period Last Year (act)    610,000    14,000     2,147,000       41,000

    Saturday 09/20/2014      (est)      9,000         0             34,000         0
    Week ago (est)                        18,000         0             22,000         0
    Year ago (act)                          21,000         0             31,000         0
    Week to date (est)                  571,000    10,000     2,050,000        39,000
    Same Period Last Week (est)  592,000    10,000     2,053,000        38,000
    Same Period Last Year* (act)  631,000    15,000      2,178,000       41,000
    2014 Year to Date              21,674,000   424,000   74,815,000   1,517,000
    2013 *Year to Date             23,304,000   537,000   79,036,000   1,527,000
    Percent change                  -7.0%       -21.1%        -5.3%         -0.6%

    Negotiated prices paid for Slaughter Steers and Heifers:

    Live basis:            Steers                              Heifers
    Over 80% Choice    155.50-155.50 avg 155.50   155.50-155.50 avg 155.50
    65 - 80% Choice     152.00-152.00 avg 152.00         -
    35 - 65% Choice            -                                      -
    0 - 35% Choice             -                                       -
    Total all grades     152.00-155.50 avg 154.88   155.50-155.50 avg 155.50

    Dressed basis
    Over 80% Choice   244.00-246.00 avg 244.59   245.00-246.00 avg 245.42
    65 - 80% Choice    244.00-244.00 avg 244.00   244.00-244.50 avg 244.06
    35 - 65% Choice     244.00-244.00 avg 244.00         -
    0 - 35% Choice             -                                       -
    Total all grades   244.00-246.00 avg 244.22   244.00-246.00 avg 244.95

     

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    Corn Crop Condition:
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    National Grain Summary:
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    Grains all closed lower to end the week.  The markets attention has now turned to the record harvest at hand pressuring prices.
    • Corn Futures Summary: Dollar strength and harvest prospects depressed the crop markets. Weakness spilling over from the wheat and bean markets, as well as U.S. dollar values at 4.5-year highs, is probably exaggerating ongoing losses in corn futures, despite an early announcement of a big sale to Mexico. December corn futures closed 6.75 cents lower at $3.34/bushel Friday, while May sagged 6.25 to $3.53.
    • Soybean Futures Summary: The soy complex also felt the pressure Friday. The USDA announced another big bean sale to China Friday morning, but that did little to halt the ongoing slide. Anticipation of a bin-busting harvest, grain weakness and U.S. dollar strength combined to undercut prices once again. November soybean futures fell 14.5 cents to $9.57/bushel in late Friday action, while October soyoil skidded 0.26 cents to 32.46 cents/pound, and October soymeal slumped $4.7 to $324.1/ton.
    • Wheat Futures Summary: Wheat prices fell once again. Thursday’s export news was quite disappointing for wheat bulls, since it confirmed the noncompetitive nature of current U.S. quotes on the global market. U.S. dollar values at 4.5-year highs are discouraged traders as well. December CBOT wheat dropped 14.0 cents to $4.745/bushel at Friday’s settlement, while December KC wheat tumbled 9.5 cents to $5.6025/bushel, and December MWE wheat dove 14.75 to $5.355.
    Cargill vs. Syngenta:

    Cargill Inc's lawsuit against Syngenta AG over rejections of genetically modified U.S. corn by China may be just the start of legal challenges against global seed makers over trade with one of the world's biggest markets.

    Trading giant Cargill said in court documents last Friday that it had lost more than $90 million because Syngenta sold Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, to U.S. farmers without first obtaining import approval from China, which has turned away boatloads of U.S. crops containing the variety over the past year.

    The lawsuit will be a test case of who is ultimately responsible for such rejections that damage international trade: the seed companies that develop unapproved GMO traits or the merchants who sell grain that may be contaminated with it.

    Storage Concerns:

    There is real concern about storage capacity for this year’s big crops. Corn and soybean crops are expected to total more than 18 billion bushels and storage capacity is estimated at 13 billion bushels. The crop totals do not include production of wheat, sorghum, barley and other crops. Complicating the problem is the rail car backup in the Northern states. Some elevators in North Dakota have waited 12 weeks or more to get rail cars to move out parts of the 2013 crops, and now the 2014 crops are flooding in. There is not much policymakers can do to fix the problem in the short term and the excess production could cause unusually poor basis levels this fall and into winter.

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    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat
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    Your Suggestions:
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