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Today's Prices (Fri pm)


CME LIVESTOCK:   Live Cattle: $164.125 (+0.30); Feeder Cattle: $186.10 (+0.175); Hogs: $86.475 (+0.475)


CME GRAINS:  Corn: $6.775 (+2.25); Soybeans: $15.32 (-2.25); Wheat: $7.5675 (-4.25); Cotton: $85.43 (-0.96)

STOCK UPDATE:  Dow 30: 33,926.01 (-127.93); Nasdaq: 12,006.95 (-193.87); S&P 500: 4,136.48 (-43.28)


ENERGY PRICES:  Crude Oil: $73.22 (-2.66); Heating Oil: $2.7817 (-0.115); Natural Gas: $2.397 (-0.059) (Natural gas falls to new contract low)


BOXED BEEF:  Choice: $264.74 (-0.36); Select: $251.61 (-2.05); Ch/Se Spread: 13.13; Total Loads: 76 compared to 150 on Thursday


To view the most recent prices and news, please visit the U.S. Cattle Report Channel.



Highlights (Cattle Report Channel)

  1. April LC reach contract highs at $163.925
  2. Cattle inventory has only been under 90 million head 3 times in last 70 years (2023, 2014, 2015)
  3. Henry Hub drops 42 cents to $2.66
  4. Best 2 weeks for beef exports since May
  5. Drought improves, now 10% better than last year
  6. Mar FC up $2.675 on Thu, up $2 from Monday
  7. Stocks Rally And Bond Yields Fall On Speculation Rate Hikes Nearing An End
  8. Thu cattle slaughter at 125K head, WTD at 500K, down 4K
  9. Bitter cold and dangerous wind chills to enter northern Plains and Upper Midwest 
  10. Cash trade at a standstill
  11. OKC West:  Feeder steers and heifers traded mostly steady, few trades $2-3 higher 
  12. OKC West receipts at 1,377 head, compared to 3,052 last week and 4,754 last year
  13. Top steer strings average $182.08 on Wed
  14. Daily drop down 7 cents on Thu to $13.52
  15. Cow slaughter continues to run high with hay supplies scarce and prices nose-bleed high (Beefread)
  16. Natural gas drops under $2.50

Beef production down 3% from last week 

Total beef production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, February 4th, 2023 was estimated at 529.1 million lbs. according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was down 3.0 percent from a week ago and 1.3 percent lower than a year ago. Cumulative beef production for the year to date was 1.7% percent lower compared to the previous year.

U.S. Beef Exports:  Sales over 25K mt in back-to-back weeks

Net sales of 25,200 MT for 2023 were primarily for South Korea (7,100 MT, including decreases of 400 MT), Japan (6,800 MT, including decreases of 700 MT), China (4,300 MT, including decreases of 100 MT), Mexico (3,300 MT, including decreases of 100 MT), and Canada (2,100 MT, including decreases of 200 MT). Exports of 18,900 MT were primarily to South Korea (5,300 MT), Japan (4,900 MT), China (3,500 MT), Mexico (1,800 MT), and Taiwan (1,000 MT).

National Drought Monitor 

We recently saw drought relief in California with a deluge of Atmospheric Rivers. We're now seeing drought relief in eastern Oklahoma and Texas with perilous ice storms. Drought relief comes in different (sometimes dangerous) forms. Meanwhile, precipitation from winter storms brought improvements to parts of the Midwest and the East Coast (except central/south Florida). As of January 31, 2023, 35.67% of the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 42.65% of the lower 48 states are in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

61.59% of the contiguous U.S. in drought (D0-D4) this week, compared to 62.92% last week and 72.21% last year

CATTLE TRADE: A few dressed sales at $250

So far for Friday negotiated cash trading has been slow on light demand in Nebraska and Western Cornbelt. In both regions a few dressed purchases have traded at 250.00. In the Western Cornbelt a few live purchases have traded at 160.00. In Kansas negotiated cash trade has been mostly inactive on very light demand. However, not enough purchases in these regions for a full market trend. In the Texas Panhandle negotiated cash trade has been at a standstill. Last week in the Southern Plains live purchases traded at 156.00. In Nebraska last week, live and dressed purchases traded from 153.00-156.00 and at 248.00, respectively. Last week in the Western Cornbelt live and dressed purchases traded from 152.00-157.00 and at 248.00, respectively.


Cattle inventory down 2.8 million head in 2023

All cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2023 totaled 89.3 million head, 3 percent below the 92.1 million head on January 1, 2022.   The cattle inventory in Texas was at 12.5 million head in 2023, down 200K head from 2021.  The cattle inventory in Nebraska was at 6.5 million head in 2023, down 300K head from 2021.  he cattle inventory in Kansas was at 6.25 million head in 2023, down 250K head from 2021.

National Cattle Tracker:  Top 10 Sales By String Size

The largest steer and heifer string sold on Thursday was 205 heifers (486#) from Ogallala, Nebraska at $228.00.   The second largest string was 200 steers (727#) from Ogallala, Nebraska at $186.50.   The average price paid for the largest steer and heifer strings sold on Thursday was $204.40.  The CME March feeder cattle futures closed on Thursday at $185.925, Up $2.675.

Cattle on Feed:  Inventory down 3%;  Placements down 8%

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.7 million head on January 1, 2023. The inventory was 3 percent below January 1, 2022. The inventory included 7.03 million steers and steer calves, down 4 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 60 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.65 million head, down 1 percent from 2022.   Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.80 million head, 8 percent below 2021. Net placements were 1.75 million head. During December, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 455,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 435,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 415,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 304,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 105,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 90,000 head.   Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.74 million head, 6 percent below 2021.  Other disappearance totaled 54,000 head during December, unchanged from 2021.

CATTLE SLAUGHTHER:   Weekly cattle slaughter reported at 641K head, compared to 659K last week and 635K last year. YTD slaughter at 3.17 million head, up 0.2% from last year

THE BEEF READ:   Back At It... CME cattle futures took back off like a shot today, storming to new all-time highs, even in spot February LC. Everyone knows the saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and this market is certainly showing itself a bull market to be reckoned with (The Beef)

DAILY DROP:   The hide and offal value was estimated at $13.52, unchanged from Thursday

Rob Cook, RobCookKC@gmail.com


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