Increasing fall runs of feeder cattle and cull cows typically drag the cattle markets lower. This year proves no exception, despite earlier thoughts that tight supplies and seasonally improving demand would produce a fall rally. That may still happen in the cash fed-cattle market, and that segment cer-tainly needs a rebound. But feedyard buyers will remain cautious bidders even as breakevens begin to produce positive margins.
Female prices during September were mostly lower, yet young cows saw steady to stronger bids at auctions around the country. Cow culling this fall may continue to pressure the slaughter cow mar-kets, but declining cow inventory numbers coupled with cheaper feed and fuel costs will support prices for young and middle-aged breeding cows.
Calves and yearlings sold at lower prices during September, and analysts predict those prices will trend sideways to lower through the fourth quarter as supplies increase.
Cattle feeders believe fed-cattle prices are due to improve. Tighter supplies this fall will help, but the market needs a boost from consumer demand.