Calf prices hot and cold, feeder cattle steady to $3 higher

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Cash fed cattle traded $1 higher in another week of moderate trading. Southern feedyards sold cattle at $125 per hundredweight, while prices in the North were $125 to $125.50 live with the dressed trade at $193. Packer demand was again called moderate but supplies of market-ready cattle remained tight.

Boxed beef prices were up modestly for the week. Choice beef traded at $191.67 on Friday, up $1.68 from the previous week. Select traded at $177.04, down $0.84 from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread was $14.63.

Calf prices were uneven again last week with the best demand found in the Oklahoma wheat pasture country and the Northwestern Plains. USDA Market News quoted calf prices in those areas $3 to $8 per hundredweight higher, “with the full advance on steer calves weighing from 400 to 550 pounds down south, and 300 to 450 pounds up north.”

Market News reporter Corbitt Wall said, “The farther calves were sold from these two hot spots, the progressively lower the trends became with Southeastern markets $1 to $3 lower (east of the Mississippi River) and as much as $8 lower in North Carolina. Calves were also hard to sell along the I-70 corridor from Colorado across to Missouri with trends unevenly steady to as much as $5 lower and stiff discounts for unweaned/fleshy types weighing over 550 pounds, especially heifers.”

Last week’s auction receipts totaled 257,600 compared to 229,100 last week and 245,000 last year. Direct sales of stocker and feeder cattle totaled 35,800 with video/Internet sales at 27,100. The weekly total was 320,500, compared to 302,800 last year.

Slaughter cows and bulls sold unevenly steady for the week. USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was $158.85, down $0.22 from the previous Friday. Omaha cash corn was 23 cents per bushel higher for the week at $7.88 per bushel.



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