2011 was a banner year for cattle and beef markets, and new annual record-high prices were posted in Drovers/CattleNetwork’s (DCN) stocker-feeder database.
Steer calves weighing 400 to 500 pounds sold at auction for an average of $163.53 during December, according to Drovers/CattleNetwork’s 50-market auction summary. That produced an annual average of $148.67 for that class of calves. The 2011 annual average is $25.29 higher than the 2010 annual average, and $15.13 higher than the previous record of $133.54 set in 2005.
Steer calves sold in December 2011 $30 higher than the same steers in December of last year at $133.08.
Yearling steers weighing 600 to 700 pounds posted a 2011 annual average price in the DCN database of $130.69 per hundredweight, $22.66 higher than last year’s annual average and $17.99 higher than the previous record high of $112.70 in 2005.
December monthly average prices for steer calves 400 to 500 pounds was $163.53, and yearling steers 600 to 700 pounds was $138.02, both record highs for monthly averages in the DCN database.
During 2011, both classes of steers saw price gains during 8 months of the year, and price declines during 4 months of the year (May, June, August and September).
The year began with steer calves at $143.65 in January and yearling steers at $124.25. The December averages mean steer calves advanced slightly more than 12 percent during the year, and yearling prices advanced 10 percent during the year.
Heifer calves weighing 400 to 500 pounds ended the year with an annual average price of $132.27 after December’s monthly average price of $139.65.
Yearling heifers weighing more than 600 pounds ended the year with an annual average price of $116.78 after December’s monthly average of $124.10.
Drovers/CattleNetwork collects auction price reports from 50 public auctions across the nation on a weekly basis to calculate a national monthly average price for stocker and feeder cattle.