Compared to last week, coming back after a long Holiday weekend and a very bumpy three weeks of feeder cattle trading lower, feeder cattle broke out of their recent downturn. Yearling feeders sold mostly 5.00-8.00 higher with instances up to 10.00 higher, while calves on light trading sold fully steady to mostly 5.00 higher. Feeders this week traded at some of their highest levels since early August. Labor Day caused many Monday auctions to be closed, including the Oklahoma National Stockyards and Joplin Regional Stockyards. Plus a number of Tuesday salebarns operating on light receipts.
But, a number of salebarns kicked off the start of the fall season with some very impressive sales. The Torrington, WY Livestock Commission Company held their annual Labor Day Special on Monday with nearly 5500 head on offer.
Included in their long list of impressive sales, over 300 head of 750-800 lb yearling steers with a weighted average weight of 787 lbs sold with a weighted price of 232.26 and 450-500 lb steer calves averaging 478 lbs traded with a weighted average price of 319.78. In Bassett, NE on Wednesday at the Bassett Livestock Auction 300 head of 920-940 lb steers averaging 928 lbs sold with a weighted average prices of 224.76. In St. Joseph, MO on Wednesday at the St. Joseph Stockyards 235 head of 700-750 lb steers with a weighted average weight of 722 lbs sold with a weighted average prices of 244.92. Then in Valentine, NE on Thursday at the Valentine Livestock Auction sold 278 head of 820-850 lbs steers averaging 834 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 236.84. Over the past several weeks it’s been hard and often uncomfortable to discuss the price retreat from all-time record highs and wondering if we had hit our highs for the year. But it’s also the law of nature that prices would fall back after this awesome run that feeder cattle have had.
Coming back after this Labor Day Weekend, cattle buyers came out in full force and very aggressive to purchase large strings of yearling cattle on offer this week. Live and feeder cattle futures have had strong triple digit gains the past several trading sessions since late last week and continuing this week. If the futures markets continue their rally to the upside this could get very interesting. This was greatly influenced by the strength in cash prices paid late last week for slaughter cattle which traded mostly 2.00-3.00 higher.
Strength in the fat cattle market carried over this week as sharply higher futures put feedlot managers in a bullish frame of mind as fat cattle prices exploded higher with trade in Kansas on Friday 8.00 higher than last week at 163.00 live. In Nebraska some early sales on Friday traded 5.00-7.00 higher than last week at 162.00-163.00. Boxed Beef is also coming of two solid weeks of very good to heavy volume movement. There is simply a large desire to own levels of feeder cattle as the shear tightness in supply have buyers scrambling to purchase additional numbers of feeder cattle. With corn yields looking very good and cheaper cost of gains many of these big yearlings in the Northern Plains have good weighing conditions and a purchasing fury to own these good cattle. This week’s reported auction volume included 49 percent over 600 lbs and 40 percent heifers.