It appears that there was not enough demand this week to overcome the wave of hides coming from the large kills prompted by very positive packer margins. Prices this week slipped $1 to $2 on most trading with volume reported to be less than a week’s worth of production. It should be noted that a reporting issue for last week’s export sales and shipment numbers could inflate this week’s numbers on the USDA export report next Thursday if any missed numbers are carried over. In a falling market, pinpointing prices is a moving target and this week was no exception which saw prices changing as the week progressed. Packer HNS, for instance, sold for $67 at the beginning of the week and slipped to $65 toward the end, BBS went from $64 to $62, and HTS from $61 to $60 FOB plant—and there are some unconfirmed reports with much wider ranges. Several people noted that the lack of volume sales made it difficult to get a good feel for prices on some selections.
The week’s estimated cattle slaughter was 637,000. The previous week’s kill was 546,000 and the corresponding week last year it was 598,164. Year-to-date slaughter at 16,678,862 is up 5.2% from 2016.