NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE
(Federal-State Market News)
St. Joseph, Mo.
This week Last week 2017
272,300 306,000 332,600
Compared to last week: Steer and heifer calves sold steady to 5.00 higher and feeder steers and heifers sold steady to 5.00 lower. Buyers were more reserved on feeders headed straight to the feedyard as the CME futures markets were volatile all week long. However, demand was good to very good on calves suitable for grazing.
In the North Central part of the country, market reporters noted that there were fewer farmer-feeders in the seats as pens have started to thaw out and get greasy leading to some cattle now starting to carry some mud on them.
Quality in the auctions continues to be attractive to buyers for the most part, however with some areas having a little “tag” on the hide, the matting of cattle’s hair coats tend to take some of the shine off the luster.
Fewer thin fleshed cattle were in the offering this week as temperatures have been conducive to feeders showing the extra flesh they have on them.
Thursday was a very good day for feeder steer prices this week as three auctions listed sold light 8-weight steers for a nice figure considering the bearishness in the marketplace this week.
At Napoleon Livestock Auction in Napoleon, N.D., a package of 834 lb fancy steers sold for 154.00. At Ogallala Livestock in Ogallala, Neb., a load of 824 lb steers sold at 152.00 while a half-load of steers weighing 813 lbs at Denison Livestock in Denison, Iowa, also sold at 152.00.
Fewer heifers tagged as replacements this week in the country, however there were still a few around and they continue to sell well above their steer mates.
On Tuesday, at Philip Livestock in Philip, S.D., a half-load of 874 lb replacement heifers sold at $1400 per head or 160.18/cwt.
On Wednesday at Hub City Livestock in Aberdeen, S.D., another half-load of replacement heifers weighing 816 lbs sold at $1300.00 per head or 159.31/cwt.
Boxed beef continues on its upward trend which analysts had predicted the Choice to top somewhere around 225.00.
Even though we have not gotten to that level, lower cash fed cattle prices are expanding packer margins as boxed-beef values have continued higher which continues to keep packers in very good shape.
With the higher boxed-beef values and with Easter fast approaching, beef could find some stiff competition from the retail section with cheaper pork and poultry prices.
Feedyards will need to continue to stay current to keep a significant price drop at bay which typically happens when the market starts staring at the June being the front contract month.
For the week, Choice boxed beef closed 4.14 higher at 222.52, while the Select cutout closed 1.82 higher at 214.64.
Fed cattle moved on Wednesday this week when the CME April Live Cattle contract was quoted at 123.00 or below. Cash cattle traded 2.00 lower in the Southern Plains at 126.00 while the Northern Plains dressed trade was reported steady to 1.00 lower at mostly 204.00.
Auction volume this week included 63 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 44 percent heifers.
Slaughter cattle traded mostly 1.00 lower for live and steady to 1.00 lower on dressed offerings. Boxed Beef prices as of Friday afternoon averaged 218.58 up 2.98 from last Friday.
The Choice/Select spread is 7.88. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday afternoon totaled 96,350 head.
Last week’s total head count was 95,969.
Midwest Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 128.00-130.00. Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: 204.00-205.00.
South Plains Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 128.00-129.00.
Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices):
Slaughter cows sold mostly 1.00 to 5.00 higher.
Slaughter bulls steady to 3.00 higher.
Packer demand good. Cutter Cow Carcass
Cut-Out Value on Friday 171.59.
Direct Feeder Cattle
This week Last week 2017
700 1,500 1,350 Hd
Compared to Feb. 23: Supplies limited again this week and all classes lightly tested. Few feeder steers 3.00-5.00 lower. Feeder heifers not well tested. Cattle futures traded mostly to the lower side and slaughter cattle traded lower as well. This added to the decline in demand for feeder cattle. The feeder supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs and 21 percent heifers.
Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weighting points with 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 4-12 cent slide on yearlings from base weights.
Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.
Feeder Steers Medium and Large 1:
150 Head: 675 lbs; 159.50 Avg Price; Current Del
200 Head: 725 lbs; 153.00 Avg Price; Current Del
40 Head: 725 lbs; 152.00 Avg Price; Current Del, Split Load
115 Head: 775 lbs; 151.00 Avg Price; Current Del
Feeder Steers Medium and Large 1-2:
50 Head: 820lbs; 141.00 Avg Price; Current Del
Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1:
110 Head: 675 lbs; 146.00; Current Del
35 Head: 675 lbs; 147.00 Avg Price; Current Del, Split Load