Compared to two weeks ago, feeder cattle and calf markets were active following the Thanksgiving holiday week with many markets selling two weeks’ worth of receipts. Price trends for calves were steady to 5.00 higher with many areas 10.00 to 15.00 higher. Yearling feeders traded unevenly steady with cost advances early in the week before the Board retreated mid-week.
Several major auctions held special value added sales this week as the OKC West-El Reno OK Livestock Auction sold over 8800 head of long timed weaned reputation calves for the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network and Integrity Beef Alliance on Wednesday. The El Reno market quoted most feeders 4.00 higher and all selling with good demand on many reputation long-time weaned calves. Each week a larger percentage of the feeder offering has now been weaned for at least 30 days and starting to reach the desired timeframe of 45 days away from their mothers.
Very good demand was noted in the Northern Plains where on Wednesday at the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, SD 7150 head sold on a very active market with 253 head of value added steers averaging 513 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 335.43. Then 679 head of their bigger brothers weighing between 600-650 lbs averaging 623 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 276.11. In Bassett, NE on Wednesday sold a number of reputation sandhill calves with 160 head of fancy steers averaging 665 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 285.58 and 321 head of steers averaging 718 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 271.74. On Thursday in Ogallala, NE sold 7100 head of feeders with several load lots of value added NHTC cattle selling on very good demand as 173 head of steers weighing 733 lbs dropped the gavel at 299.50 and a pot load of their bigger brothers weighing 796 lbs at 280.50. The feeder cattle market has had an astounding up movement this fall which has been stimulated by record fat cattle prices, low numbers and low corn prices. Many farmer feeders continue to attend and buy cattle after a record corn crop; leaving them to look for additional profit opportunities with lower corn prices.
The feeder cattle market has had very few corrections and no one knows what the future holds but so far this feeder market has been pretty much bullet proof. It’s worth noting that corrections can happen and usually do happen to good markets. So far any corrections in the feeder cattle market have not induced any big moves lower and the downturns encountered so far have been pretty trivial. Negotiated cash fed cattle traded 5.00 lower in Kansas mid-day Friday at mostly 168.00, while dressed sales in Nebraska were mostly 3.00 lower at mostly 264.00 for the week. This week’s auction volume included 48 percent over 600 lbs and 37 percent heifers.