The equity drain on feedyards over the past two years has affected the price of all classes of cattle and contributed to an overall pessimistic attitude. Yet, while cash prices have remained relatively flat most of the summer, there is optimism the year’s lows have been posted.

Female prices during July were steady to slightly higher, but analysts expect additional culling this fall will pressure prices. Longer-term, declining cow inventory numbers coupled with cheaper feed and fuel costs will support both replacement and slaughter cow prices.

Calves and yearlings sold at steady to slightly higher money during July, but historical trends suggest the highs are in for the year. Analysts believe prices will trend sideways to lower through the fourth quarter as supplies increase.

Fed-cattle prices are due to improve, if only because they have been stagnant in the low $80s all summer. But tightening supplies of market-ready cattle coupled with improving seasonal beef demand should generate a mild rally. Analysts expect the tightest numbers are targeted toward December marketings.