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Cow Prices Seen Rebounding From November Lows

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Cow prices have been sliding this fall, but that's not unusual for this time of year, said Kansas State University agricultural economist James Mintert.

"Cow prices typically run below average in September, October, November and December before recovering in early winter," said Mintert, who is the livestock marketing specialist for K-State Research and Extension.

He cited weekly boning utility cow prices in the Dodge City market, which averaged $35.73 per hundredweight in mid-November, down about 11 percent since late September, and about in line with the typical price decline for this time of year.

In some markets, cows with low dressing percentages have sold well below the reported averages.

"Drought conditions have likely exacerbated the differences between the lowest price, lower quality, cows and average prices reported at most markets," Mintert said.

Slaughter cow prices are likely to recover substantially from the lows established in November, he added. Typically, prices rise about 17 percent from November to February.

"This year, declining beef production could lead to a slaughter cow price increase that is even greater than usual," the economist said.

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