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Agricultural News

Jim Robb Says Cattle Prices Bouncing Back After December Downturn

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 17:02:39 CST

Jim Robb Says Cattle Prices Bouncing Back After December Downturn

As we begin the New Year, we get insight from Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center. He serves as Executive Director of the group that works with land-grant institutions across the country. He joined Eric Atchinson of Agriculture Today about the momentum seen in the cattle market for much of 2014. Robb sees that continuing in the early days of 2015. Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Robb on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

“We actually gained some momentum, we had some winter weather that fed into the story, along with a holiday shortened processing schedule by packers,” Robb said. “We had slaughter down 14 percent year to year. Again, don’t read too much into that in terms of holiday shortened week. Importantly though USDA also reported that dressed steer weights fell rather precipitously in mid - December and we’re down in one week by seven pounds and we are now down to the steer dressed weights that we posted back in mid-September. So we are also getting the seasonal and maybe some weather induced pull back in steer weights, which is probably a bit of a supportive factor in this cattle market too on the fed cattle side.”

Feeder cattle trade was limited for late December as most auction barns shut down for the Christmas holiday. The first taste of those markets for the New Year were reported Monday. The Oklahoma National Stockyards with 6,300 head got pummeled in mid-December with those limit down feeder cattle futures with several days in a row sharply down over $10 a hundred weight. A lot of that has been regained in a single day, compared to mid-December yearling steers were $6 - $10 higher, over 800 pound steers were up to $15 higher and calf trade $5 - $6 higher.

With the wholesale boxed beef trade, Robb said the cut out value has run in tandem with the fed cattle market. The fed cattle market was up $4 per hundred weight last week, back to $166 a hundred weight. In mid-December the market was at $156, so there is a $10 per hundred weight ramp up. The cutout on the choice side last week was up $5 per hundred weight. Robb said we’re at levels we have not seen since the debacle in mid-December with the wholesale beef market too. He said we should not read too much into that with some weather impact with the very cold temperatures and processing schedules being pulled back because of holidays. Overall fairly firm footing for this cattle market as we begin 2015.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Jim Robb of LMIC
right-click to download mp3


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