Beef Byproduct Values Holding; Hides Weak

Beef byproduct values have improved slightly in the last weeks, but remain in a relatively tight range where they have been for most of the year and are close to last year’s numbers.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides values per cwt on a weekly basis.  The Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver creates a simple average of these values to create a monthly time series for cheek meat, hearts, livers, tripe, tongue, meat and bone meal, edible tallow, rendered bleachable tallow and hides.

Two weeks ago, byproduct values were available through November and were highlighted in the LMIC’s newsletter to Extension agents called Livestock Monitor.

Year-to-date values show many by-products had year-over-year increases for 2019 when compared to the prior year, the LMIC said.




However, hide values were struggling, and they provide the biggest component of byproduct value, the Livestock Monitor said.  Hide values were down 32% from a year ago from January through November.

On a per-hundredweight basis, January through November 2019 hides averaged $47.85 per cwt compared with $70.37 in 2018, the LMIC said.  This year’s values will be the lowest annual average for hides since the start of this data set in 1992.

Year-to-date, meat and bone meal also were below a year ago, down 14% compared with 2018, the LMIC newsletter said.  One of the largest increases, was in tripe and tongue values, up 34% and 25%, respectively.

Smaller gains were made in hearts, which were up 10%, the LMIC said.  Edible tallow and rendered bleachable tallow for the first 11 months of 2019 were up 8% each from last year.

Cheek meat values rose 5% over that timeframe, averaging $168.69 per cwt.




Most of those products are consumed in overseas markets, making exports a large part of the discussion, the LMIC said.  Trade data available through USDA’s Foreign Ag Services has been released through October.

Several categories have seen larger volumes shipped overseas in 2019 compared with 2018, the newsletter said.  One of the largest gains was in kidneys, up 13% from a year earlier.

South Africa was the largest destination for US bovine kidneys, and purchases in 2019 were up 26% year-over-year, the LMIC said.  Sales to Egypt, who buys more than half of total livers exported, through 10 months of the year were up 3%.

The largest tongue market, Japan, bought 1% more than last year in the first 10 months of 2019, and Mexico, the second largest market for US tongue, bought 35% more in that timeframe, the newsletter said.

In 2019 cattle hides sold as parts were down 74% and those sold whole were down 5% over the Jan-Oct interval, the LMIC said.




Cash cattle trading was reported last week at $120 to $121 per cwt on a live basis, with a few up to $122.50 late, mostly up $0.50 to $2 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was seen at $192 per cwt, up $2 to $4.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.87 per cwt at $211.57, while select was up $3.61 at $204.64.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.93 from $8.67 with 72 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

No new deliveries were tendered against the Dec live cattle futures contract on Tuesday.  Six steer contracts were retendered for delivery at 1, and six were reclaimed at 1.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday was $145.82 per cwt, down $0.16 from the previous day.  This compares with Tuesday’s Jan contract settlement of $143.57, up $0.05.