Compared to last week, yearling feeder cattle sold fully steady to 3.00 higher. Yearling supplies remain tight in most areas and values remain constant. Calf prices were unevenly steady in most areas ranging from 5.00 higher to 5.00 lower. The biggest losses on calves were those weighing over 500 lbs in most cases with gains more prevalent on lighter weight calves under 500 lbs in the Southeast. Despite the beginning of the fall season where temperatures can be volatile there were a good number of new crop calves in the offering this week. These unweaned calves can have a number of health issues as separation anxiety and shipping fever can take its toll on new purchases. But, where corn producing farmer feeders are participants they have been active buyers.
The Huss Platte Valley Auction in Kearney, NE on Wednesday sold 196 head of steer calves right off the cows weighing from 602-639 lbs with an average weight of 623 lbs sold for an average price of 273.57/lb. Feeder cattle prices continue in most cases to hold gains day after day when there seems to be a number of reasons why they shouldn’t. The feeder cattle market continues to show much strength when compared to the fat cattle market.
Boxed Beef continues to retreat in prices this week as Choice Boxed Beef has traded lower 10 of the past 12 sessions to fall below 240.00 at 239.13 on Wednesday of this week, but with very good volume movement of 281 total loads. When you look at the price of corn when compared to the last two years the talk about corn harvest is the record high yields. With lower corn prices ahead and in many areas falling well below 3.00/per bushel, cattle feeders have a tremendous incentive to feed cattle. Also, to feed slaughter cattle to heavier weights as this will likely continue to see heavier weights throughout the fall. Tight supplies and low feed cost should support price levels throughout the fall and winter season.
At the Torrington, WY Livestock Commission on Wednesday a 159 head of fancy black steers weighing 860 lbs sold for 235.50/cwt. Live Cattle futures on Friday made new highs for the week with October and November trading up the limit and the front three months of Feeder Cattle futures closing limit higher. Possibly looking at shortages to come in the future? The markets seem to be trying to decide if it’s bearish or bullish as both sides are looking at the facts and figures; which makes for a roller coaster ride. Feedlot trade remains inactive at this time as packers continue to try to buy cattle lower. This week’s reported auction volume included 47 percent over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.