Declining Packer Need Pressures Market

Packers enjoyed a comfortable inventory last week. ( Consolidated Beef Producers )

Several packers have shuttered their Saturday harvest. Due to the lack of production packers were sitting on a comfortable inventory, which allowed them to drive the market down a dollar last week in the south.  Despite the ups and downs in the board the south could not command any more than $111 per cwt.

The north continues to demand a premium over the south. Cash sales were reported from $113-$117 depending on location, with $185 being the common number for dressed trade.

The north may begin to see a few more market ready cattle in the month of August, but the number of market ready cattle will still be historically low for the north. The south should also see more numbers coming to the market as we make it through the dog days of summer.

Margins for the packer are very profitable.  Packers could take advantage of these positive margins, and harvest could remain at higher than anticipated.  If this trend continues, cattle feeders could benefit from need for market ready cattle that should keep the cash market at near steady levels for some time.