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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

LATEST

The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report issued on Feb. 22 was delayed a month because of the federal government shutdown. The report showed December placements at 98 percent of one year earlier and marketings at 99 percent of last year, leading to a Jan. 1 on-feed total of 11.69 million head, 101.8 percent of the prior year.

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With USDA data flowing again, the final numbers for 2018 will begin to emerge soon as well as current numbers for 2019. The annual Cattle report will be released after a one-month delay in late February.

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The forecast for 2018 beef production is increased by 25 million pounds to 26.9 billion pounds. This minor adjustment is based on greater expected steer and heifer slaughter, which is partially offset by anticipated lighter steer and heifer carcass weights and lower expected cow slaughter in the fourth quarter.

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While the partial government shutdown remains in force, market reports are no longer happening, but some market experts are able to give some insight as to what 2019 might have in store for the U.S. cattle market.

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Large supplies, record exports and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that dominated the beef headlines in 2018. Amidst all of these factors, U.S. calf and yearling prices have showed relatively consistent strength throughout the year.

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The forecast for 2018 beef production was lowered by 30 million pounds to 26.9 billion pounds. The mild revision is based on numbers at the closeout of the third quarter along with fourth-quarter expectations of slightly fewer steers and heifers to be slaughtered and fewer bulls in the slaughter mix.

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