Cattle prices stay busy during the shutdown

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The government furlough will leave some gaps in 2013 cattle market data, but data late last week shows cattle prices remained strong while D.C. took some time off.

The government shutdown will show only a little over a week’s worth of records in October 2013. Feeder cattle prices improved by $2-$5 since the last full week of September. USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall says the charge was led by market activity in the Southern Plains where demand was high for true yearling feeders and 5 weight calves prepped for wheat pasture.

Producers across the livestock industry are celebrating cheaper feed prices and feeders are happy seeing generous profit margins as fed cattle remain near all-time highs and live cattle are between $129 and $131.

According to Wall, yearling sales also warranted mention this week like the nearly 320 head of 800-850 pound yearling steers in Green City, MO that averaged 822 pounds at $170.76. 

Last week’s auction receipts totaled 135,000 with an additional 67,900 from direct sales. Video/Internet records were unavailable. The total last week added up to 202,900.

Boxed beef prices increased from levels recorded at the end of September. Choice cuts were recorded at $196.29 while Select cuts were $179.98. The Choice/Select spread was $16.31 at the end of the week.

Cattle slaughter last week totaled about 32,000 head. Steers and heifers on a live basis were between $128 and $131, dressed steers in the Midwest were mostly $204. The cutter cow carcass cut-out Friday morning was $157.06.



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