Compared to last week, yearling feeder cattle sold mostly 5.00-10.00 lower, with instances 15.00 lower. Calves traded mostly 5.00-15.00 lower with some sales 20.00 lower throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Discounts are quickly becoming more severe on unweaned-fleshy types which complement the larger discounts on price trends on calves. The calf market pressure is typical of autumn’s arrival with increase headcounts of new crop bawlers and the onset of warm days and cool nights.
Pre-condition yard sickpens are starting to fill as the combination of separation anxiety and shipping fever takes its toll on new purchases. Cattle futures and cash prices continued their free-fall from last week with no-way of applying the brakes to stop the bleeding. Heavy liquidation selling took place again this week in the cattle futures with limit losses on Wednesday. Futures continued in their flush out mode on Thursday closing again with sharp triple-digit losses, but then traded limit higher to close on Friday; perhaps to give some hard to come by hope for next week. Any justification for high priced feeders has worn out its welcome, as losses keep mounting for cattle feeders and the near term outlook still looking bleak. This has the feeder cattle market accelerating to the downside as feeder cattle prices now stand as excessively overpriced. Last week’s Cattle on Feed Report did have somewhat positive news in smaller placements than expected, but lower placements are not providing any help to the fed cattle or feeder cattle market. Market psychology and beef demand definitely need a reversal along with cleaning up heavy fed cattle coming to market. Fed cattle continue to trade lower again this week with trade on Wednesday in the Northern Plains trading 4.00-6.00 lower on live sales at 130.00, and dressed sales ranging 7.00-11.00 lower from 201.00-203.00. There were a few live sales from 125.00-128.00 reported on Thursday.
USDA’s Cold Storage Report was released Tuesday afternoon, with total red meat supplies in freezers up 3 percent from last month and 26 percent higher than last year. Total pounds of beef in cold storage were 2 percent higher than last month and 36 percent higher than last year at just over 470 million lbs. Frozen pork supplies were up 4 percent from last month and 21 percent higher than last year at a little over 656 million lbs. Total poultry in cold storage came in at 1.266 million lbs, up 13 percent from last year. Boxed-beef prices have moved sharply lower this week with Choice boxed-beef closing 4.88 lower on Wednesday at 217.89, its lowest price since February of 2014. Losses continued into Friday with Choice boxed-beef closing 2.62 lower at 212.23, compared to last Friday’s close at 226.30. Auction volume included 49 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 40 percent heifers.