Glynn Tonsor: Fed cattle prices set record Feb. 28-March 4 | TSLN.com
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Glynn Tonsor: Fed cattle prices set record Feb. 28-March 4

Driven by tight supplies and strong demand, fed cattle prices had another record-breaking week Feb. 28-March 4, but feeders’ profits aren’t as high as some might expect, according to Kansas State University ag economist Glynn Tonsor.

Average prices for cattle in U.S. feedlots hit $112-$113/cwt. March 2 – a $1 to $2 increase over the previous week’s record-setting prices, according to the USDA. That was $19 to $20/cwt. higher than the average price of about $93 a year ago and about $25/cwt. higher than the five-year average.

“Fed cattle prices are expected to generally increase throughout this year, but profits won’t necessarily rise or set historic records because of higher corn and feeder cattle prices,” said Tonsor, who spoke at K-State’s Cattlemen’s Day in Manhattan March 4.



Based on CME live cattle futures, Tonsor said second quarter prices are expected to average about $115/cwt., third quarter expectations are around $117, and fourth quarter prices are projected to average $119/cwt.

With regard to beef supplies, Tonsor, who is a livestock marketing specialist, noted that many cow-calf producers will likely continue to respond to high prices by selling off cows. The shrinking cowherd ensures beef supplies will continue to tighten for months to come, until at least 2013, he said.



Driven by tight supplies and strong demand, fed cattle prices had another record-breaking week Feb. 28-March 4, but feeders’ profits aren’t as high as some might expect, according to Kansas State University ag economist Glynn Tonsor.

Average prices for cattle in U.S. feedlots hit $112-$113/cwt. March 2 – a $1 to $2 increase over the previous week’s record-setting prices, according to the USDA. That was $19 to $20/cwt. higher than the average price of about $93 a year ago and about $25/cwt. higher than the five-year average.

“Fed cattle prices are expected to generally increase throughout this year, but profits won’t necessarily rise or set historic records because of higher corn and feeder cattle prices,” said Tonsor, who spoke at K-State’s Cattlemen’s Day in Manhattan March 4.

Based on CME live cattle futures, Tonsor said second quarter prices are expected to average about $115/cwt., third quarter expectations are around $117, and fourth quarter prices are projected to average $119/cwt.

With regard to beef supplies, Tonsor, who is a livestock marketing specialist, noted that many cow-calf producers will likely continue to respond to high prices by selling off cows. The shrinking cowherd ensures beef supplies will continue to tighten for months to come, until at least 2013, he said.


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