Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 12/5/2016
OVERVIEW OF U.S. CATTLE IMPORTS FROM CANADA

To follow up on the previous monitor article, we will review live cattle imports from Canada. Preliminary weekly data are used which are collected by USDA-APHIS and published by USDA-AMS.


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CATTLE AND VEAL INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS

Commercial calf slaughter (typically Holstein bull or steer calves intended for veal) has been on the rise since May of this year. Based on the USDA-NASS monthly livestock slaughter report, through October, commercial calf slaughter was up 6% (up 22,800 head) compared to the same timeframe in 2015. In fact, the monthly October calf slaughter number was the highest for any month since July of 2014. Since 2009, calf slaughter has been declining about 10% each year, why the recent uptick?


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HAY PRICE COMMENTS AND FEEDING OPTIONS

Alfalfa hay prices and to some extent, grass hay prices, have tracked considerably below their year ago levels for the majority of calendar year 2016. A combination of fairly stable hay production, two years of relatively mild winter conditions, and favorable conditions for spring and summer grazing lowered the need of livestock producers to purchase hay. Although, unfortunate for hay producers, relatively lower feed costs has been a welcome situation for cattle producers who have dealt with extremely tight margins this year. 


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