Cash fed cattle markets tumbled $5 per cwt. this week to $110. Over the past two weeks fed cattle prices have declined $7. In the north, dressed prices declined $9 to $10 per cwt. to $175 to $177.
Analysts say increasing supplies of fed cattle are just part of the equation, as supplies of pork and poultry are increasing at a record pace. Cattle feeders have enjoyed nine months of cash profitability, but current prices mean most profit margins have eroded to near break even.
Feeder cattle and calf markets were most;y lower for the week, but AMS reporters saw the bulk of the declines early week.
“Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers began the week with trends mostly $5 to $10 lower,” AMS said. “Early-week markets had to play catch-up with the lower markets observed late last week. However, as the week progressed, sales became mixed from $3 lower to $5 higher.”
Trade and demand was called moderate, with instances of good demand reported in a few auction barns on yearling cattle as feed yards are in need of cattle to fill pen space. “There has been a larger volume of un-weaned and short weaned calves reported, with many seeing heavy discounts,” AMS reported.
Choice boxed beef closed Friday at $194.29 per cwt., $5.31 lower than last Friday. Select beef sold at $192.50, down $3.62 from the week before.