Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 7/14/2014
FEEDLOT BREAKEVEN SALE PRICES INCREASING

Even though feedstuff costs, especially corn, have decreased rapidly during recent weeks, estimated breakeven sale prices for cattle placed into feedlots have been increasing. As calculated by the LMIC, the breakeven is the sale price per cwt. that a finished steer must bring to cover all costs of production in a Southern Plains commercial feedlot, including: yardage, death loss, and an interest charge on the animal. Breakeven prices have increased because the cost of feeder cattle (e.g. 700-to 800-pound steer) have shot-up more than the cost of feedstuffs have ratcheted down.


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RED MEAT TRADE UPDATE

U.S. beef, pork, and lamb imports showed strong growth in the recently released monthly trade data for May. Additionally, beef exports are still surpassing expectations. Overall, the import numbers reflect the domestic situation of strong demand combined with tight supply and high prices across all animal protein markets. Exports continue to indicate strong demand by foreign consumers in spite of the increase in beef and pork prices.


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HIGHER BUTTER PRICES

Butter has been the last major dairy product to experience significant price run up this year. Wholesale butter markets have moved above $2.20 per pound. This is still far from record highs set during the era of Federal dairy sector subsidies, but is close to price highs of the last decade. The highest price for wholesale butter in the last ten years was April 2004 when butter sold for an average price of $2.305 per pound.


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