Despite a late-October rally in feeder cattle markets, most classes of females continued to trend lower in pre-Thanksgiving trading. Replacement females sold at auction for $30 to $110 per head less than during October, with the notable exception of a $20 per head gain in bred heifer prices.
Open female prices declined $8 to $11 per cwt for young, middle-aged and older cows. Open heiferettes sold mostly $1 per cwt higher in a light test. Open female prices are $30 to $38 per cwt lower than during October of 2015, roughly$300 to $400 per head.
While bred heifers posted the modest $20 per head gains in the past month, their value has declined $550 to $600 per head since October 2015. Young and middle-aged bred cows declined $30 per head in the past month, and $560 since October 2015. Aged, bred cows lost $110 per head last month.
Prices for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with cows and small calves gaining $53 per pair in October while the cows and large calves lost $52 per pair. The small or aged cows with calves class declined $133 per pair. Pairs suitable to go back to the country sold for roughly$600 per pair less than during October 2015.
Slaughter cows declines of $7 to $10 per cwt. Utility and commercial cows traded $7 lower than October and $22 per cwt lower than October 2015. Canner and cutter cows sold at $10 per cwt lower, and $27 per cwt lower than in 2015.
Note: This story appears in the November/December issue of Drovers.