Compared to last week, available supplies of yearling feeder cattle sold fully steady to 5.00 higher with most gains seen in the Northern Plains. Demand is extremely good but availability of grass yearlings is running out and buyers are pushing the market where they are available in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming this week. This week’s feeder receipts in some of the major markets at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Joplin Regional Stockyards and Ozarks Regional Stockyards in West Plains, Mo. reported a majority of the receipts as new-crop spring born calves trading steady to 5.00 higher in most areas. In the Southeast, calf markets were trading unevenly steady from 5.00 higher to 5.00 lower. Yearling demand remains at its peak with a large number of buyers in the auction markets, especially in the northern part of the country. Silage cutters are chopping away at an impressive crop of corn throughout the Midwest and Northern Plains, along with plenty of hay and late fall grass pastures should allow plenty of opportunities to put relatively cheap gains on the lighter weight cattle. Calf demand seems equally as good (best on weaned vaccinated calves) throughout the country as increased addition of farmer feeders and feedlot buyers spreading out in search for headcounts amid tight supplies. This has in many cases created a fierce competition in the salebarn markets. This week on Wednesday attitudes were very optimistic at the Hub City Livestock Market in Aberdeen, SD with some very impressive sales of thin fleshed yearlings coming right of grass selling with very good demand as 385 head of steers averaging 837 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 239.76. Included in this long list of impressive sales were 464 head of thin fleshed steers averaging 873 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 235.53 and 700 head of steers averaging 935 lbs at a weighted average price of 227.32. Order buyers want possession and when quality and conditions are very good, it’s not to say they won’t pay even more when they see it on these good native yearlings. The potential for tight demand keeps cattle buyers active, but then there is the question of how strong beef demand will be throughout the fall season. Boxed Beef prices have been trending lower this week as Choice product on Wednesday closed at 245.91 the lowest close since the end of June. Friday’s Cattle-on-Feed report was pretty much neutral with inventories slightly higher than expected at 99.2 percent of last year, while placements were also slightly higher at 97.1 percent and marketing’s slightly lower at 90.4 percent. Both marketings and placements were the lowest since data series started in 1996. A few early dressed sales reported in Nebraska at 245.00-246.00, which would be 3.00-4.00 lower than last week. This week’s reported auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs and 38 percent heifers.

Source: USDA