Packer bids remained $4 to $5 per hundredweight short of feedyard asking prices last week, but a few cattle moved in Kansas at $123 per hundredweight, $3 higher than the previous week. Most showlists were prices at $122 to $125 last week. A light trade of cattle from northern feedyards was quoted at $195 per hundredweight dressed.
Friday’s cattle on feed report was seen as bullish for cattlemen, with May 1 numbers at 11.11 million head on feed, down 1 percent from last year. Placements of 1.521 million head were well short of the previous year at 85 percent. Marketings tallied 1.815 million head, even with the 2011 number.
Fed cattle supplies are called even to slightly larger this week, with increasing supplies from now through July.
Boxed beef cutout values finished the week stronger than the previous week. Choice boxed beef traded Friday at $192.51, up $3.41 per hundredweight from the previous Friday. The Select price on Friday was $186.56 per hundredweight, an increase of $3.51 from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread was $5.95 per hundredweight, compared to $6.05 the previous week.
A light run of yearling feeder cattle sold steady to $3 per hundredweight higher last week at auction.
USDA Market News Reporter Corbitt Wall said, “reports from across the country noted that offerings were on the plainer side, yet prices still mostly trended in a positive direction which could lend extra support for the market.”
Salebarns north of Interstate-70, Wall said, “have almost completely gone to an abbreviated schedule of having maybe one or two sales per month. Farther south, the auctions are still held every week, but receipts are progressively becoming lighter and the number of cattle that would satisfy Northern orders have become scarce.”
Friday’s cattle on feed report also boosted bullish ideas for feeder cattle, Wall said. “Finally, after 23 straight months of year over year increases, the on-feed inventory was less than the previous year.”
Both the placements and marketings data were “much friendlier to the feeder cattle market than the experts could crunch and the wild bull that this report has released from the chute is carrying a little more than a touch-of-ear and has a colorful hair-coat,” Wall said.
Last week’s auction receipts totaled 164,700, compared to 175,000 the previous week and 187,700 last year. Direct sales of stocker and feeder cattle totaled 46,200 with video/Internet sales at 3,000. The weekly total was 213,900, compared to 226,300 last year.
Slaughter cows sold steady to $2 higher as demand for lean trimming remains strong. Corn prices were 43 cents per bushel higher for the week, with Omaha cash corn closing Friday at $6.60 per bushel.