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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 29 January 2014

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Wednesday 29th January 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

How Long Can Prices Stay Strong?

High US cattle and beef prices have not abated over the past week, although analysts are asking how long the current high can continue amid small losses since the weekend.

On Friday 24 January, boxed beef was reported at $50 higher than a year ago, of this, $37 has been made this year and $6.52 since the previous Friday.

Once again, record highs were surpassed last week. The five-area average for liveweight slaughter steers was $148.45/cwt for the week ending 24 January.

The observations appeared in Professor Ron Plain’s weekly analysis, which pointed out that this is $14/cwt above the peak before this month.

Questions over nearing a price top depend on a response from consumers when record numbers are seen at the retail end, Professor Plain explained.

He reminded readers that the annual fed cattle and boxed beef surge often comes in April.

This analysis came the day Friday’s Cattle on Feed report delivered bearish news to the market.

The report revealed an inventory of 10.6 million, down over 5.4 per cent year on year, but not as much as pre-report estimates of 6 per cent.

This figure is over 500,000 lower than a year ago but above the September lows of 9.9 million. Nevertheless, it is well adrift of the 2009-13 average, in excess of 11.3 million.

Report expectations differed around feedlots buying animals amid lower feed values and recent beef price action, reported Dr Steve Meyer and Len Steiner in their daily livestock report this week.

Tight supplies were explained by steer and heifer slaughter being 461,000 head - 5.7 per cent - down on the week before. 

However, cow and bull slaughter has risen. The pair explained that this was expected as part of the New Year marketing of cows. 

Firm prices have supported sales, although this is not expected to help come spring. Beef and dairy cows are expected to be kept in reaction to high calf prices and vastly improved milk production margins. 

The report sees this impinging overall beef supply and supporting beef prices in the coming months. 

Following the feedlot report, futures edged back slightly. Tuesday’s close was reported at half a cent lower at $142.55 for the February contract.

Live feeder cattle futures reported losses of around half a cent for March and April, settling at $168.35 and $168.90.

Elsewhere yesterday, choice cutout values for 600-900 pound animals was $235.80 with the choice select spread at $2.13, both lower.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Managing the Costs of Metritis: Using Feeding Behaviour to Facilitate Disease Detection and Improve Dairy Cattle Welfare
Metritis is treated quicker after early detection, which can require close monitoring of cattle in the two week run up to calving, Canadian based researchers have found.

Weed Management Is Important for Maintaining Healthy Pastures
A University of Arkansas Professor says that canopy cover is the best prevention against encroaching weeds.

Genetic Testing Discovers Reason Behind Fleckvieh Bull Infertility
German scientist have discovered a genetic mutation that, when present in both male and female sires, can leave bulls with fertility rates under two per cent.

How Do Resources Influence Control Measures During a Simulated Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Australia?
In this work from Australia using modelling, a stamping-out policy was found likely to be the most effective in eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), were there to be an outbreak with the current resources. With fewer resources, the model indicated other methods would be more effective.

Market Reports

Dairy Australia - Grain and Hay Report - Week Ending 24 January
EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 24 January 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Livestock Slaughterings December 2013
USDA Cattle on Feed - 24 January 2014
USDA Livestock Slaughter - 23 January 2014
USDA Cold Storage - 22 January 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

Cattle Futures: Bulls Still Have Market, Tuesday
Wrong Picture Painted over Antibiotic Use
Will Beef Prices Have Trouble Sustaining Current Levels?
Alliance Launches New Interactive, Mobile-friendly Website
NFU Board Calls on Congress to Pass 2014 Farm Bill This Week
Tips for Livestock Farmers as Weather Turns Harsh
Cattle Futures: Major Market Top Could Be Ahead If More Selling Pressure Builds, Monday
Packers, Processors Attempt to Hold Farm Bill Hostage
Initial Read of Farm Bill Conference Report Pleases Union
USDA Cattle-on-Feed Report Deemed Slightly Bearish
Hay Supplies To Remain Tight While Price Relaxes
Weekly Cattle Summary: Sky High Beef Smashes Record Highs
Cattle Futures: Market Still With Bulls, Thursday
Study Pins Ranch Losses to Montana Wolves
Novus Receives Best of NAMA – Region II Awards
Dry Weather Promotes Fieldwork, Slows Winter Forage Growth
NFU Reiterates Farm Bill Priorities, Urges No Changes to COOL
Cargill to Pay $2.2M over Hiring Discrimination Charges
CME: Low Beef Inventories in December
Phase II of Surveillance Project Kicked Off in Colorado
Cattle Futures: No Let Up In Bullish Trade, Wednesday
Indian Welfare Outrage As Plastic Bags Endanger Cattle
Feedlots Expected to Be Down 6 Per Cent
Webinar Looks To Help Judicious Antibiotics Use
Why The Spike In US Beef?
Croney to Head Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science
Cattle Futures: April Live Cattle Finish At $140.22
Explosion Wrecks Animal Feed Plant
Allendale Inc. Releases Cattle on Feed, Cold Storage Estimates


Livestock Insurance To Reduce Risk in Western Canada

   New Zealand

Grazing, Preparation and Endophyte Choice Key To Good Pasture
No Place For Lapses in Animal Welfare


Farm Minister Meets To Sign Foot and Mouth Action Plan


Rotting Zebra Bacteria Can Kill Anthrax


Australia Supplied Almost Half Of Chinese Red Meat Imports
Livestock Handling Reports Tighten Up Exports
MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary


Brazilian Beef Plants Under Egyptian Scrutiny

   Russian Federation

Russians Find Banned Steroid in Australian Meat

   United Kingdom

Farm Payment Advice Reminders for Saturated South
New High Sugar Grass Mix for 2014
Scottish Cattle Prices Up
Obese Cows Could Warrant Slimming Pre-Calving Diet


Agriculture Sector Grew in 2013 Despite Typhoons


Buyers Criticised For Bull Beef 'Crisis'


Angus Genetics Get Chinese Screening

   European Union

Agricultural Commodity Prices Expected to Remain Firm
Vaccine Has 'Strong' Link With Bleeding Calf Syndrome
Trends in Initial Evaluation of Veterinary Medicines in 2013


Less Food Waste Leads to Higher Consumer Welfare


Glimpse of China's Meat Consumption
China Reports Drop in Food Price


Good Practices Feed Manual Published in French
Denieul Elected President of SPACE


Effective Danish Effort to Reduce Use of Antibiotics


Hardy Buffalo Herd is 'Production Advantage' For Colombia


How Can Global Food Security be Achieved?
Date Set for US-Canada COOL Hearing


Resilient Farming Systems to Eradicate Hunger
Call for Agricultural Action to Fight Global Hunger
Biofuels Benefits Highlighted at Berlin Green Week
Water Stewardship – Key to Food Security


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