Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update:
•This week in markets – Fed cattle were nearly $4.50 higher this week with feeder cattle trading $3 to $7 higher this week. Despite a slow start to the week, cattle futures gained momentum later in the week. Live cattle futures contracts are $2.50 higher while the current feeder cattle contract trade $1.50 higher this week. The Choice boxed beef was down $1.00 this week and now sits 9 percent below year-ago levels. On the hog side, cash hog prices traded higher every day this week, and ended up $3.25. The current lean hog futures contract traded $3.50 higher for the week. Pork cutout value was $1.50 higher for the week, led by strength in both bellies and hams. However, it is still more than 14 percent lower than last year’s levels.
•Monthly Trade Data – April red meat exports showed very good strength. Total exports for beef were 15.2 percent higher than last year. The value of beef shipments to Japan were 23 percent higher than year ago. The value of beef exports to South Korea were 74 percent higher than a year ago. Total exports of pork were 18.4 percent higher than last year. Much of the growth was associated with a nearly 43 percent jump in Mexican pork imports. Combined beef and pork exports were the highest ever in April at 802 million-pounds. For the first four months of the year, the beef industry exported 36 percent of its production growth, pork exported 43 percent, and chicken only 16 percent.
•Farrow-to-Finish returns for May – came in at at loss of $.80 a hog. While it is still a loss, it is a vast improvement from March and April. However, May is typically a more profitable month so it could be worrisome for producers for the balance of the year.
•Tariff and trade talk – Scott and Meghan talk about the volatility surrounding the uncertainties in trade.
•Weather – Much of cattle country continues to get drier. However, in the Corn Belt, crop conditions continue to improve and that could be beneficial to producers as margins continue to shrink.
•Reports next week – WASDE, Retail prices, and Consumer Confidence
•Next week’s reports – Monthly trade data report comes out next week.
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