In April, fed cattle prices passed the $100/cwt for the first time since July 2008. Since that time prices have remained in the upper $90’s/cwt. Stronger beef demand and tighter cattle supplies have given cattle feeders their first significant profits in nearly five years. Based on the ISU Estimated Returns March was the first month cattle were sold for a profit ($77/hd) since July of 2009. April profits are estimated to be $159/hd, the first triple digit profits since mid 2004. Profitability continues to look good for May and June. Although fed cattle prices are expected to remain in the mid to upper $90/cwt for the duration of the year, profitability in the feeding sector will be diminished somewhat as the price of feeder cattle has increased along with fed cattle prices.
Read on to find out projections for cattle and hog markets.