After an April market that saw female prices surge higher, May prices faltered with the uncertainties of soft beef demand and a declining fed-cattle market. Open-female prices were $4 to $6 per hundredweight lower during May, except for aged, open cows, which found bids mostly steady with April. Heiferettes saw averages decrease $4 per hundredweight, while young and middle-aged open cows were $6 per hundredweight lower. Bred females provided May’s largest price declines, with bred heifers trading $303 per head lower. Young and middle-aged bred cows saw bids average $73 per head lower. Aged, bred cows dropped $55 per head.
Prices paid for cow-calf pairs were softer across the board. Cows and small calves posted a $35-per-pair loss, and cows with large calves found bids down $124 per pair. Small or aged cows with calves were $30 per pair lower.
Slaughter cow averages were steady to slightly lower during May. Utility and commercial cows averaged 42 cents per hundredweight lower. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of 27 cents lower.