Although seasonal pressure tends to weigh on cattle prices after Labor Day, 2010 is showing substantial strength in the export market and cattle feeders have done an excellent job managing the fed supply. The increase in export business and the size of cattle currently available to be slaughtered may be enough to temper seasonal tendencies this year.
Labor Day is the unofficial end to the summer grilling season. As outdoor temperatures cool and as children return to school, the number of meals prepared outside on the grill falls. This seasonal trend in retail sales is a major factor in the seasonal decline of cattle prices in September into October. This year we have notable strength in the export markets to help offset the seasonal decline. Recent USDA reports show July 2010 exports up 23% from July 2009. Also helping to offset the seasonal price decline is the average weight of cattle available for sale to packers.
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