Replacement female prices continued a higher trend through June, though the market test was seasonally lighter. Female markets were influenced by a strong spring feeder cattle and calf market that encouraged cattlemen to keep producing females in their herds.
Strong demand for the higher quality bred heifers continues, though offerings at auction in June were noticeably smaller. The lower trend in the feeder cattle and calf market at the end of June suggests buyers of females will continue to seek higher quality to go back to the country.
Open heifers gained $6 per cwt during June, with young and middle-aged open females gaining $4 per cwt. A young, 1,000-lb. open cow cost about $890 this past month, compared with about $1,000 a year ago.
Bred heifers saw the least activity, which is typical seasonal results for the Drovers nationwide auction summary during June. Prices were $60 to $100 per head higher than the previous month, but roughly $120 lower than June 2016. Young and middle-aged bred cows averaged $64 per head higher in June over May, and $135 above October’s average. Aged, bred females were $96 per head higher in June over May. Bred females sold for about $115 less than a year ago.
Price trends for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with only the small or aged cows with calves category showing a gain, increasing $65 per pair in June. Pairs with bigger calves declined $44 per set. Cows with small calves declined $2 per pair. Pairs suitable to go back to the country sold for about $100 to $150 less than a year ago.
Slaughter cows sold $5 to $6 per cwt higher this past month after $1 to $2 gains in May. Utility and commercial cows traded $6 higher during June. Canner and cutter cows sold $5 per cwt higher.