Some highlights from this week’s Weekly Livestock Market Update:
•This week in markets – Fed cattle prices were $.75 higher this week, while feeder cattle prices were steady to $4 higher on the shortened trading week October live cattle futures were up $1.25 this week and October feeder cattle futures closed nearly $ higher. The Choice Box Beef price fell $2.75 this week with weakness in loins and chucks. Barrow and gilt prices were up $.75 this week. While the October lean hog futures contract was up $4.65 on export demand speculation. The pork cutout value was up $2.60 on strength across the board, but led by bellies.
•African Swine Fever – The number of cases have increased and there is concern China can’t control the spread of the disease.
•Restaurant Performance Index and Jobs report – The July Restaurant performance index came in at 101.1. Showing expansion still underway. Customer traffic was down 1 percentage point in July, causing the current situation index to slow as less traffic came through the doors. The expectation index came in at 101.4, still suggesting long-term optimism. The US economy added 201,000 jobs in August, exceeding pre-report estimates. The unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent. The biggest surprise in the report was that average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent year over year.
•Export demand – Beef exports has established a record pace in both volume and value, up 10 and 20 percent respectively. Japan hit a post-BSE volume high, up 15 percent from a year ago and South Korea also saw a volume increase of 51 percent. On the pork side, pork exports remain 2 percent above year-ago levels, while value has been up 3 percent. While volume hasn’t been impacted as much by trade and tariff complications, value has and it is a significant contributor to its slower pace. July exports to Hong Kong were down 31 percent from a year ago and pork variety meat volume was down 49 percent. Pork exports to Mexico were down 4 percent in July, but pork value fell 25 percent.
•Next week’s reports – WASDE, Retail Prices, Consumer Confidence
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