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CME: Beef Prices Slightly Volatile During Holiday Week

03 December 2019

US - While beef prices tend to be a bit volatile during the holiday week, they don’t face the same sort of constraints as pork, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

In the very near term weather remains a significant factor for producers and packers. Fed cattle weights have been trending higher in the last two months and we think for the week prior to Thanksgiving fed cattle weights (this is a wt. avg. of steer and heifer weights) were 887 pounds, 1.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Winter weather is always a challenge this time of year but this does not mean it has the same impact. Last year conditions deteriorated significantly in December and continued to affect the market well into the spring and summer.

The supply of cattle on feed on 1 November was modestly higher than a year ago but at this time markets are trying to understand if current Feb/Apr premiums are adequate. Further adding to the uncertainty is demand in outside markets and the impact this has both on US beef going to export as well as on beef coming into the US.

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