Warmer temps bring more fed cattle to auction markets
Prepared and written by Jeff Swenson, DATCP Livestock and Meat Specialist. The Market Update draws information from several sources, including trade publications, radio broadcasts, agricultural news services, individuals involved in the industry as well as USDA NASS and AMS reports.
DATCP invites Wisconsin meat processors to apply for meat processor grants through March 17, 2023. The program aims to grow Wisconsin’s meat industry and improve the long-term viability of the state’s livestock industry. DATCP will award grants for up to $50,000 for projects that are up to two years in duration and help expand capacity or increase throughput. Recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process
. A recorded webinar to address frequently asked questions and assist in completing applications can be found at the DATCP website. The grant application and materials are available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Growing_WI/MeatAndLivestockDevelopment.aspx.
USDA report raises projected cattle prices
Cash cattle finished last week $1 to $1.80 higher and are mostly steady with those prices this week. Warmer temperatures in the Midwest were bringing more fed cattle to auction markets this week, but those packers who harvest cows are reporting lower numbers. The lower supply has pushed cow prices higher, and production schedules are being cut back.
The Choice beef cutout was $3.30 lower last week, finishing Friday at $264.74, but was working higher through the middle of this week. The harvest estimate for last week came in at 641,000 head, putting it 18,000 head below the previous week but still 6,000 head higher than the same week last year.
The USDA released a World Supply and Demand Estimate report this week and raised its projected prices for beef breed fed steers to an average of $159/cwt for the year. The average price is expected to peak during the fourth quarter at $162/cwt. Cattle feeding margins were estimated at $60 in the black per head the week ending Feb. 4, 2023, an improvement of about $45 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
USDA lowers pork production projections
Pork wholesale prices continue to work higher with the carcass cutout value finishing at $79.09 last week and was $79.29 Wednesday of this week. The USDA lowered its pork production projections in the week’s WASDE report based on expected lower carcass weights during the first half of the year.
Hog weights have been decreasing in recent weeks, and higher harvests indicate that market hogs are being pulled ahead. Last week’s estimate of 2.575 million was 39,000 hogs more than the previous week and 139,000 above the same week last year.
The average price of barrows and gilts was lowered in the WASDE report with a projected average of $66.50 for the year. Prices are expected to peak during the third quarter of 2023 with an average price of $73/cwt. Farrow-to-finish hog producers saw losses of $21 per head last week, about $10 per head less than the previous week. Pork producers saw positive margins of about $33 per head the same week a year ago.
Sheep/lamb numbers released
Sheep and lamb harvest levels continue ahead of a year ago. Last week’s estimate of 34,000 head was 1,000 head higher than the previous week, and 4,000 more than the same week last year. Fed lamb prices were mostly steady last week. The gross lamb carcass cutout value dropped $4.97 to finish last week at $538.41.
WI auction market roundup
Fed cattle prices at Wisconsin and surrounding state auction markets were steady. High-yielding, high-grading cattle brought $133 to $152/cwt. Groups of high Choice and Prime lots sold from $153 to $162/cwt with packages selling higher.
The Holstein steer market was mostly steady this week, ranging from $113 to $142/cwt with a few packages selling to $147. Silage fed, under finished or heavy dairy breed steers brought $77 to $113/cwt. Dairy x Beef steers were bringing $107 to $150/cwt.
Cows were $3 to $5 higher. A bulk of the cows brought $60 to $80/cwt with some selling into the mid $90s. Doubtful health and thin cows were bringing $60/cwt and down. Dairy breed bull calves were higher, bringing $50 to $175/cwt with heavier, well-cared-for calves higher this week, selling up to $225/cwt.
Beef and Beef Cross calves were higher, selling to $400/cwt. with reports of some higher. Market lambs brought $132 to $148/cwt. There were reports of small groups of light lambs selling to $200/cwt. #