Marketing

Weighing The Market

Avian Influenza adds market uncertainty Supply fundamentals remain bullish despite recent pressure on Cattle Futures tied to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle (see below). Cattle price expectations continued to rise in March as cattle numbers decline. Compared to the previous month, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased ...

Surging cull cow prices

Cull cow prices have surged in recent weeks, along with calf and feeder prices. Southern Plains auction prices for 85-90 percent lean cows jumped from $85 per cwt to $105 per cwt over the last two weeks. National average cutter quality cows hovered around $100 per cwt. Cull cow prices ...

Managing feeder cattle price risk

Futures prices have rallied to around $265-270/cwt. However, weather, global conflict, or other factors could negatively impact the 2024 market. Prices were relatively high throughout 2014 in response to a drought-induced decline in cow numbers, but during the fall of 2015 prices declined rapidly. While market fundamentals may currently be stronger in 2024 ...

Weighing the Market

Cattle prices crawl higher Tightening cattle supplies continue to boost cash cattle and futures prices to their highest levels since last fall and the highest of this year.  USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) increased the forecast weighted average five-area direct fed steer price for the remainder of this year, in ...

January Placements Above Expectations, but Total On-feed Inventory is Dropping

The feeder cattle market has been on a run since late 2023. For perspective, I am writing this on March 1st and the March CME© feeder cattle futures contract has increased in value by more than $25 per cwt since the first of the year. As has been the case a ...

Reviewing the January Cattle-on-Feed Report

January has brought a steady stream of reports for livestock market analysts to digest. This began with hay stocks the second week of the year and culminated on January 31st, with USDA release of their inventory estimates for 2024. As I write this week’s article two days ahead of that ...

Risk Management Strategies

We make important decisions about our cattle operations and don’t always immediately know the result of those decisions. The time it takes to observe the result of our decision is referred to as a time lag, and it is driven by the biology involved in raising livestock and growing forages. ...

Beef export forecast lowered slightly

October beef exports totaled nearly 242 million pounds, almost 21 percent lower year over year and 11 percent below the 5-year average. Monthly exports to nearly every major market were lower year over year with the exception of Taiwan and Mexico. October exports to Taiwan were nearly 11 percent higher ...

Weighing the Market

Cattle markets entered the new year with a sense of renewed optimism as wholesale beef prices and Cattle futures appeared to etch a bottom, moving beyond the year-end estimates of increased production and lower 2024 prices. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) lowered forecast feeder steer prices (750-800 pounds, Oklahoma City) ...

Lower prices and higher volatility

Guiding principles for managing price risk are to act when prices are high or profitable, when volatility is low, and before it is too late. These will be addressed in reverse order based on recent conditions. Hedgers sometimes have little choice about when they ultimately market cattle. Pastures can run ...