Cattle Slaughter Hits 5-Year High Ahead of Memorial Day Grilling

5/24/18 Cattle Feeders Remain Aggressive Sellers
Beef production is on the upward climb, as more cattle supplies start to fill up feedyards. ( Drovers )

A record amount of beef is on the way to consumers ahead of the start of summer grilling season.

Drovers editor Greg Henderson told AgDay TV that 660,000 head of cattle were slaughtered last week, the largest of any week in five years.

Why are cattle moving so fast and furious? The disparity in the current cash price and June live cattle prices. That wide basis has more cattle moving to the feedyard, and packers are willing buyers.

Earlier this week, John Nalivka of Sterling Marketing reported packer profit margins are approaching $300 per head.

Aggressive marketing has also led to lower dressed carcass weights at an average of 849 lb., nearly 6% below the first week of January.

Will this support prices through the summer? If demand continues to move beef supplies and feeders continue to remain aggressive sellers, it’s possible.