Yearling feeder cattle sold $2 to $4 per hundredweight higher last week as supplies continue to dwindle. Steer and heifer calves traded steady to $3 per hundredweight higher.
“The strength of (last) week’s feeder market was rather surprising with fed cattle markets continuing to struggle and giving up ground every week,” says USDA Markets News reporter Corbitt Wall.
“Most feedlot closeouts are now reportedly losing $150 to $200 per head while packers are enjoying profits ranging from $50 to $100 per head, but captive supplies continue as such that cattle feeders cannot gain enough leverage to stop the bleeding. Still, feeder cattle buyers continue to battle in the ultra-competitive yearling market, especially in the Southern Plains where heavy-weight feeder offerings have been liberal but are starting to tail- off,” Wall says.
Last week’s auction receipts totaled 146,200 compared to 175,600 the previous week and 153,300 last year. Direct trade totaled 49,900 with video/Internet at 5,400, for a total of 201,500, compared to 210,400 last year.
Last week’s fed cattle market was called steady to softer in a light test. Prices ranged from $120 to $122 per hundredweight, with the higher prices found in the North. Cattle sold on a dressed basis collected $192 to $194 per hundredweight.
Boxed beef prices traded steady to higher from the previous week, with Choice boxed beef down $0.14 from last Friday at $199.39. Select boxed beef was up $2.43 for the week to close at $186.22. The Choice-Select spread was $13.17.
Slaughter cows and bulls sold $1 to $3 per hundredweight higher. USDA’s cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $157.34, up $0.51 from last Friday.