Yearling feeder cattle markets saw continued strong demand during the first week of the year. Compared to pre-holiday sales three weeks ago feeder cattle weighing over 700 pounds sold firm to $5 per hundredweight higher, with instances of $7 per hundredweight higher. Calves were reported selling $5 to $10 per hundredweight higher.

“There are no superlatives left to describe the demand for calves,” says USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall. “Buyers entered the new year full of orders and optimism as possession was nine-tenths of the job and crowds remained active right up to the end.” 

This week’s offering of cattle at auction is expected to be heavy, driven by ideal weather and excellent prices. “The pure desire to own feeders continues to drive the market,” Wall says.

Last week’s auction receipts totaled 210,200, compared with 104,900 the previous week and 288,900 last year.  

Cash fed cattle traded mostly $1 lower last week, with northern cattle at $122 per hundredweight and southern cattle at $121. Dressed sales in the North were $5 to $6 per hundredweight lower at $195 to $198 per hundredweight.

Choice boxed beef cutout prices closed the week at $190/10 per hundredweight, down $4.63 from the previous Friday. Select prices were $179.13, up $6.37 from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread was $10.97, down $4.32 per hundredweight from the previous week.

Omaha cash corn traded at $6.34 per bushel last week, up 4 cents from the previous week.