The winning streak continues for feeder cattle and calf prices. Compared to the previous week, yearling feeder cattle sold $2 to $5 higher while calves traded $5 to $10 higher with the full advance on lightweight steers under 500 pounds.
“Independent farmer-feeders are fully engaged in the purchasing frenzy as yearling demand continues to be the best in the high corn production areas, while Nebraska Snadhills supplies were much lighter than normal this year,” says USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall. “At the sale barn in Fairview, IL, where seed-corn caps outnumber cowboy hats by at least 10 to 1, a fancy load of 752-pound steers brought $167.50 per hundredweight on local demand, while the Wednesday sale at the ol’ St. Joseph, MO, Stockyards saw a three-load string of top quality 705-pound heifers sell for $159.50 bound for a Nebraska feedlot.”
Wall says calf sales have been just as impressive, “mostly in response to unseasonably wet weather throughout the Southern Plains, with additional flash flooding seen in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma this week. Backgrounders are digging just as hard as cattle feeders to replace their headcounts, but unlike the feedlots, cattle growers have experienced handsome profits on recent sales to replenish their investment equity.
Last week’s auction receipts totaled 165,800, compared to 140,100 the previous week and 159,700 last year. Direct trade totaled 45,900 with video/Internet at 6,600 for a total of 209,300, compared to 370,900 last year.
Cattle feeders and packers haggled all week, but prices finally moved $2 higher late in the week. In the South cattle sold at $123 per hundredweight, $2 higher than the previous week. Sales in the North occurred at $199 to $200 per hundredweight dressed.
Boxed beef prices traded $4 to $5 higher compared to the previous week, with Choice boxed beef up $5.40 from the previous Friday at $194.39. Select boxed beef traded $4.39 higher at $186.39. The Choice-Select spread widened to $8.01.
Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to $3 higher. USDA’s cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $163.23, up $2.62 from last Friday.