Canfax report

There is no Canfax report this week.

In the United States, live cattle prices rallied between Christmas and New Year’s because packers needed supply for the post holiday period.

Cash cattle sold in Kansas and Nebraska at US$166-$169 per hundredweight, as much as $7 higher than the previous week.

Christmas week kill in the United States was lower than expected at 391,000 head, the lowest weekly slaughter in many years. The New Year’s week kill was also lower than expected at 452,000.

The slower pace of slaughter helped packers push beef cutouts higher.

The U.S. Choice wholesale beef price mostly rose around Christmas and New Year’s to $248 per cwt. Jan. 2.

Select rose eight straight days to $238.97. The Chicago live cattle futures contract was 23 percent higher at the end of 2014 than it was at the end of 2013.

The feeder futures contact was 32 percent higher than at the end of 2013.

It was the sixth consecutive yearly gain for the Chicago live cattle futures contract, bolstered this year by the smallest herd in 63 years after producers culled herds for several years because of high feed prices and lingering drought.

Of the 19 commodities listed by the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, CME live cattle was the second strongest performer for 2014 behind coffee, which was up 50.5 percent.



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