Feeder Cattle Review: Fed cattle support feeder cattle frenzy

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Compared to last week, the feeder cattle market continued its rally and just when we thought prices couldn’t make another 5.00 jump – they jumped 10.00.  Calves and yearlings throughout the mid-section of the country and in close proximity to the major grazing regions and the 5 area feeding district sold fully 5.00-10.00 higher with the full advanced on yearling feeders headed straight to the feedlot. 

Last week’s milestone of 2.00/lb for 800 lb steers was no big deal by Wednesday of this week, following two days of sharp advances on the CME cattle futures. 

On Wednesday, the OKC-West El Reno, OK Livestock Market was selling okie-type put-together and backgrounded 800-900 lb steers up to and over 200.00, just like last week when the level was reached on one-iron home-raised fancy steers off short grass in Nebraska.  El Reno did quote a string of fancy 975 lb steers for 189.25, which may be the most impressive mark for the week. 

All the 8 weight steers for late summer delivery off Flint Hills or Osage pastures now have asking prices that begin with a 2.  The best of these cattle are starting to be sopped-up at that level with buyers agreeing to prices that only a few days earlier had ticked them off.

Southeastern markets were not quite as active with most areas selling calves merely 2.00-3.00 higher than last week. Temperatures are starting to heat up and even though demand is still outstanding, there’s not much call in straightening up shipped-ins through summer heat.  Most stock cattle are turned-out and in the prime of their grass grazing season with pasture conditions (as a whole) the best in recent memory. 

Feed and forage are plentiful this year and analysts are expecting another record breaking corn crop of 13.935 billion bushels and a record yield of 165.3 bu/acre, according to this week’s (WASDE) World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates. 

Superior Livestock Video Auction held their Corn Belt Classic this week and among the top sales was 115 head of non-hormone/drug free fancy steer calves from the Vermillion ranch near Rock Springs, WY.  The calves are projected to 425 lbs at November delivery and brought a whopping 301.00.  Who knows, maybe these record prices will be the norm in the future, who would have guessed 20 years ago that a fully equipped pickup truck would cost $65,000. 

Fed cattle are finally supporting the feeder cattle frenzy and sold 3.00-5.00 higher this week from 148.00-150.00 which is very near the record high.  This week’s reported auction volume included 47 percent over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.

Source: USDA-MO Dept of Ag Market News Service, St. Joseph, MO



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