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Beef Numbers Predicted To Slide

  Feeder cattle prices have strengthened this fall to the highest levels of the year.

For 2014, cattle slaughter is expected to decrease roughly 7%, year over year, leading to decreased beef production of over 6.5% for the year, according to Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist.

"Both cattle slaughter and beef production are expected to decline for the remainder of 2013, bringing fourth quarter cattle slaughter down over 5.5%, year over year, and beef production will decrease over 5%," he says.

Though beef production is down only 1.1% for 2013 to date, it is down an average of 2.9% the last four weeks. Cattle slaughter year-to-date is down 1.7%, but is down an average of 3.6% in the last four weeks.

"The fourth quarter of 2013 provides insight into the general expectations for 2014 markets," he says. "The counter-seasonal behavior of cattle markets this fall indicates the transition occurring in beef and cattle markets."

To read more predictions on U.S. beef cattle numbers, click here.

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