Feeder cattle higher, fed cattle soft in light trade

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Yearling feeder cattle remain the lone bright spot for cattle markets. Heavy feeder cattle found bids $3 per hundredweight higher last week, and the market has seen gains of about $7 per hundredweight compared with pre-Memorial Day markets.

The Southeastern calf market was called steady to $3 per hundredweight lower, with calves in other regions steady in a very light test.

“Heavy yearlings over 800 pounds dominated receipts again this week, especially in the Southern Plains where cattle growers have held cattle in anticipation of higher prices,” says USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall. “The full advance is most evident in the Northern Plains where feeder supplies have deteriorated and many Northern feedlot orders have ventured south to get filled.”

Feedlot replacement cattle have found higher bids the past few weeks as the fed cattle market falters.

“Most industry members are expecting the availability of yearling feeders to be extremely tight late this summer and into the fall,” Wall says. “Feedlots want to be prepared if rains continue to fall across the Midwest and eastern Corn Belt which should promote cheaper feed costs and a rush for feeder cattle.”

Last week’s auction receipts totaled 175,600 compared to 149,900 the previous week and 164,800 last year. Direct trade totaled 55,200 with video/Internet at 61,000, for a total of 291,800, compared to 228,000 last year.

Fed cattle traded $2 lower last week in a light test at $120 per hundredweight. Dressed sales occurred at $195 to $196 per hundredweight, also $2 lower. Supplies of market-ready cattle will increase from now through mid-summer.

Boxed beef prices traded lower on the week, with Choice boxed beef down $2.04 from last Friday at $199.53. Select boxed beef was up $0.42 for the week to close at $183.79. The Choice-Select spread was $15.74.

Slaughter cows and bulls sold unevenly steady. USDA’s cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $157.49, up $0.94 from last Friday.



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