Supported by last week’s friendly cattle on feed report and widespread ideas cattle had become undervalued, markets for all classes of cattle rallied this week.
Cash fed cattle prices traded Friday near $105 per cwt., $5 per cwt. higher than last week, and a bounce of $7 from two weeks ago. Even traders in Chicago were bullish as the nearby Live Cattle contract gained $3.05 on the week, finishing at $104.12. The nearby Feeder Cattle contract gained $2.00.
Analysts believe the fundamentals support steady to stronger fed cattle prices during the near-term, as supplies of market-ready cattle will tighten seasonally. Packer margins are large, encouraging elevated slaughter levels.
Stocker and feeder cattle auctions around the nation reported significant gains. USDA’s Weekly National Feeder & Stocker Cattle summary reported prices “mostly $4 to $8 per cwt. higher, with many instances $10 per cwt. higher.”
Demand for all weights was called much higher, “but still best for the true yearlings with a health history that will finish out before summer.” The trade was called active to very active at most auctions, and “buyer’s desire to own them outweighed their desire for the cattle to be weaned and preconditioned.”
USDA’s National Cutter Cow Carcass Cutout value was $156.12 on Friday, $0.79 higher.