The Uruguay Weekly Cattle Report for October 1, 2014
By Patrick Archer & Eduardo Blasina
The sense last week that Uruguay cattle prices had reached a post-harvest peak was confirmed this week. The fat cattle market began to cool off, and the industry is now paying a few cents lower than the peak prices we saw last week.
Simultaneously Uruguay cattle growers, helped by the wonderful climate and abundance of pastures, feel little pressure to sell.
The adjustment in cattle prices proposed by the industry coincides with the spring auctions which began with average prices below last year’s harvest and with fewer sales. Of note were the sales in Kiyu where average prices were US$4,000 this year compared to US$$6,000 last year. For example, the average price for Herefords slipped from US$5,896 last year to US$4,936 this year.
While bull auctions are off to a slow start, all signs in the fat cattle market reinforce a defensive attitude among producers. Last week’s peak price of US$3.70 per kilo for the best steers is now closer to US$3.60, although special steers are fetching US$3.68. The industry is more flexible regarding cow prices which are now US$3.45 on average. Supply lines remain short and usually do not last the whole week.
Total cattle slaughter of 32,860 head last week was 3.4% higher than the previous week and 13.4% higher than the same week in 2013. The top five abattoirs were Tacuarembo (3,019 animals), Pulsa (2,731), Inaler (2,438), BPU (2,303) and Las Piedras (2,249).
Demand remains strong and prices remain firm in the Uruguay sheep market. Heavy lambs rose from US$4.10 per kilo to US$4.15 while sheep are selling on average for US$3.65. Total sheep slaughter last week fell to 25,693 head with San Jacinto-Nirea leading the pack (6,972 animals) followed by Somicar (4,496) and Las Piedras (4,352).
The National Meat Institute’s (INAC) average steer price fell from US$3.742 to US$3.709 per kilowhich is 4.7% higher than a year ago. The average cow price rose from US$3.391 to US$3.405 which is 4.4% higher than a year ago. INAC’s average lamb price slipped from US$4.241 to US$4.176 per kilo which is 10.7% higher than one year ago.
The average price of Uruguay beef exports fell from US$4,353 to US$4,081 per ton. The average price over the past four weeks is US$4,144 per tonwhich is 8.8% higher than this time last year.
The average price of Uruguay sheepmeat exports rose from US$4,726 to US$5,162 per ton. The average price over the past four weeks is US$4,990 per ton which is 27.9% higher than one year ago. (Full Report in Spanish)