Compared to last week, calves and yearlings sold steady to 5.00 higher with instances up to 10.00 higher across the Midwest and Southern Plains. Last week’s higher fed cattle market caused feeder prices to rebound this week. Demand was good on light to moderate receipts.

Last Friday in Ft. Pierre, SD buyers were still pretty optimistic as over 450 head of top quality yearling steers off High Plains pastures weighing from 800-850 lbs with an average weight of 838 lbs sold for a weighted average price of 223.39. Cattle Country Video out Torrington, WY held their video auction this week selling over 45,000 head of top quality calves and yearlings. Few of the highlights included over 1050 head of yearling steers out of the North Central States averaging 917 lbs sold with a weighted average price of 213.79 for current delivery. There were 320 head of fancy steer calves averaging 430 lbs sold at 355.00 for September- October delivery.

Cattle futures all turned green on Monday with triple-digit gains of over 3.00 on feeder cattle contracts but, failed to charge ahead the rest of the week. Monday’s rally in the futures was supported by higher fed cattle trade last Friday with ideas that a seasonal bottom has been found. Short bought packers had some immediate needs to buy fed cattle and hopefully have found a spot where fed cattle prices want to turn around. Cattle futures seem at this time to have many traders on the sidelines taking a wait and see attitude.

Feeder cattle prices pretty much are going to be driven by the fed cattle market and if fed cattle have put in a summer low, how much upside potential does the fed cattle market have? The market still needs some kind of news to bring fat cattle up to a level where feeders will make money when finished.

A strong US dollar and continuing to import beef at a good pace; are factors that have bought us to a place where we are moving meat domestically and abroad at a slower pace which has created some excess. Boxed-beef has been waffling over the last few weeks not necessarily wanting to breakout to the upside and snaillike to get moving off its mark. Beef cutouts on Wednesday closed 1.73 higher on Choice product hopefully getting over the hump as retailers begin to prepare for Labor Day Weekend. Choice boxed-beef on Friday closed 1.15 higher at 236.34.

The National Restaurant Performance Index was released July 31st was down 0.4 percent at 102.0 from May. This was the lowest level in nine months, but represented the 28th consecutive month of over 100 still signifying expansion but the growth rate slowing. The US Jobs report was released Friday morning showing job growth remaining steady with 215,000 jobs added a little below expectations. Signs of slack persist as unemployment remains flat at 5.3 percent. Auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs and 34 percent heifers.