AND STOCKER CATTLE
(Federal-State Market News)
St. Joseph, Mo.
This week Last week 2017
216,400 376,300 328,900
Compared to last week: Steers and heifers sold steady to 2.00 lower. Fundamentally speaking, feeder cattle demand can only be moderate at this time on all weights of feeders as farmers have turned their attention to the GPS monitors that are making sure the corn rows are straight.
With that segment of buyers on the sidelines for a week or two, that leaves the order buyers from feedyards to come in and gobble up the available supplies of feeders this week.
The cash fed cattle market has been strong and the volume purchased by packers the past couple of weeks is not by any means record breaking, however, it is notable in the fact that they were willing to take on inventory.
Due to that increased volume, packers are not aggressively chasing the market this week and are content to set back, kick their heels up and wait to buy cattle cheaper. How much cheaper and if any significant volume has yet to be determined as sellers have dug in for a late Friday trade.
Thursday was a nice up day for the CME Cattle complex, however it has not been friendliest this week with the front month June Live Cattle was only 1.65 higher on the week, despite the near $20.00 difference between cash and futures.
The next three months of Live Cattle contracts were 0.60 to 0.85 lower on the week.
Feeder cattle futures had nice upticks as well on Thursday, however all of the listed 2018 contracts still closed the week 1.98 to 2.68 lower.
Last Friday at Fort Pierre Livestock in Sort Pierre, S.D., a package of 719 lb steers sold at 172.00 and two loads per lot of 816 and 822 lb steers sold at 152.00 and 153.00 respectively.
On Monday at Callaway Livestock Auction in Kingdom City, Mo., a load of 707 lbs steers sold at 160.50.
On Tuesday in the hills of North Central, Mo., at Unionville Livestock, a load of 819 lb steers sold at 146.50, before a load of 917 lb steers sold at 140.10.
On Tuesday at Imperial Livestock Market in Imperial, Neb., a load of 723 lbs steers sold at 165.00, while a load of bigger brothers sold at 145.00.
Analysts were encouraged with last week’s slaughter rate of 647K and were anticipating a larger rate this week as large boxed-beef movement is helping to keep the supply chain moving to meet seasonal peak beef demand.
However, industry had other plans and the Estimated Slaughter was reported at 645K for this week. Packer margins continue to be positive in a large way as the Choice boxed beef cutout closed this week at 230.97, 2.67 higher than a week ago, while Select cutouts closed at 208.69, 0.80 lower than last Friday.
Overall, the positive fundamentals of good beef demand and export sales are encouraging, however packers and retailers will pay close attention to beef sales this weekend with Mother’s Day in the windshield and the Memorial Day weekend coming up soon.
Planters in the fields were very prevalent last week in the Corn Belt as Indiana posted a 34 percent increase in acreage planted in one week; Illinois - 42 percent increase; Iowa - 23
percent increase and Nebraska - 25 percent increase. Indiana and Illinois are now ahead of their 5 year average in corn planted, while Nebraska and Iowa are getting closer to normal plantings as warmer weather has pushed into the regions.
Drought still persists in the Southwest as Exceptional Drought classification now is in 7 states, and ranchers in Moderate to Severe Drought areas are very concerned about the limited livestock water. Auction volume this week included 52 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 45 percent heifers.
Slaughter cattle not well established in all feeding regions, few however are trading within last week’s range.
Boxed Beef prices as of Friday afternoon averaged 219.83 up 0.93 from last Friday. The Choice/Select spread is 22.28. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday afternoon totaled 56,975 head. Last week’s total head count was 156,110.
Midwest Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 120.00-124.00.
Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: 191.00-195.00.
South Plains Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 120.00-122.00.
Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls sold 1.00-5.00 lower. Packer demand remains moderate. Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value on Friday 174.31.
Direct Feeder Cattle
This week Last week 2017
949 1,610 1,000
Compared to last week: Feeder steers steady to 2.00 higher. Demand moderate to good. The feeder supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs and 35 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:
81 Head: Avg Wt 700 lbs; Price Range 158.50; Current Del
90 Head: Avg Wt 830 lbs; Price Range 138.00; Current Del
450 Head: Avg Wt 868 lbs; Price Range 135.00-137.00; Current Del
Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1:
40 Head: Avg Wt 630 lbs; Price Range 142.00; Current Del
78 Head: Avg Wt 650 lbs; Price Range 153.50; Current Del
140 Head: Avg Wt 825 lbs; Price Range 132.00; Current Del
70 Head: Avg Wt 900 lbs; Price Range 124.00; Current Del