Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 10/6/2014
FEED PRICE RATIOS IMPROVE FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS

Corn and soybean prices continue to fall as the 2014/2015 harvest is underway. This means that for the majority of livestock producers margins are strong and for some they are improving. USDA-NASS releases a feed price ratio estimate (price received for an animal divided by feed costs for that animal) for broilers, eggs, hogs, milk, steers and heifers, and turkey on a monthly basis in the Agricultural Prices report. Each ratio uses a generic feed formula applicable for creating rations of mostly corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and wheat for the species.


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RECORD HIGH STEER DRESSED WEIGHTS

Record breaking numbers are nothing new this year on the price side of the cattle market, but records are also now being broken with regards to steer dressed weights. According to weekly USDA-AMS data the first three weeks in September reported dressed weights for steers at 889, 889, and 887 pounds, respectively. These weights are between 17 and 22 pounds above 2013’s, and 25 to 29 pounds over the five-year average, for the same time period. Prior to this the record, steer dressed weight had been 880 pounds, posted in late 2012, and just recently in the third week of August.


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MORE U.S. PORK PRODUCTION IN 2015

Forecasts based largely on the latest USDA-NASS Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report (released September 26th) are for year-over-year increases in U.S. pork production to begin in the second quarter of 2015.  PED virus has dramatically impacted the industry this year. Due to that disease, commercial hog slaughter this year will be about 107 million head, the smallest since 2006. For the year, slaughter is projected at 4% to 5% below 2013’s. Due to dramatic increases in carcass weights, pork production will not drop as much as slaughter. At 22.9 billion pounds, U.S.


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