Slaughter, feeder and stocker markets

Slaughter cattle steady to $2 higher in Texas and Kansas this week. Nebraska feedlots steady to $2 higher live and $3 higher for cattle on a dressed basis.

Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

NATIONAL SLAUGHTER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

Oklahoma City-Des Moines

March 28

Compared to last week: Slaughter cattle steady to $2 higher in Texas and Kansas this week. Nebraska feedlots steady to $2 higher live and $3 higher for cattle on a dressed basis. Boxed beef prices March 28 averaged $233.46 down $3.45 from March 21. The Choice/Select spread is $5.95. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through March 28 totaled about 79,500. The previous week’s total head count was 73,687 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. $152-154. Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: $244-245.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $150-152.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows $1-3 higher. Slaughter bulls steady to $3 higher. Packer demand remains very good as cow and bull numbers are limited. USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value March 28 was $204.94 up $.34 from March 21.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

March 28

This week Last week Last year

300,400 263,700 247,700

Compared to March 21: Feeder and stocker cattle sold unevenly steady to $3 higher. For the most part, feeder markets defied the March 21 bearish cattle-on-feed report with even CME Feeder Cattle contracts opening the week with sizable gains and continuing strong through the week.

However, cash prices on some of the highest demanded cattle and most popular weights did level off after the previous week’s “sticker shock.” The average price for 6 weight steers in the South Central Region and for 5 weight steer calves throughout the Southeast was slightly lower. Softer fall-born new crop calves are making their way onto the scene and widening the price spread against the rugged old croppers.

Nevertheless, most top quality 600 lb. steers with a longtime weaned and lightly fleshed condition that is suitable for grass yielded prices north of $2 per lb. near the major grazing regions. There are not enough of these types of stocker cattle to go around and when they arrive on offer in an auction setting bidding becomes rampant.

Grazers know that if these cattle are ready to hit the ground gaining on pasture, that there may still be room for profit if they can get possession for less than $1300 per head and spend less than $100 for their summer rent. They need these cattle to gain their heads off and press down hard on the scales late this summer or early fall when they take the cattle off grass.

As high as yearlings are, there is reason to believe that prices could escalate even farther this summer. Some analysts are projecting that early fall slaughter hog supplies could be 15-25 percent lower than last year. The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has been devastating to newborn unweaned pigs, especially during the coldest winter weather. The USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed the December through February pig crop to be down 3 percent from 2013 and total swine inventory to be 3 percent less than last year.

The results of the pork industry’s struggles could allow all-time record-high priced beef to actually have an advantage in fall meat cases. Fed cattle sold mostly $2 higher from $150-154 live and $2-3 higher from $244-245 with feedlots remaining very current as they have been pulling cattle ahead all winter. In fact, handsome markets have prompted cattle producers at every level to sell cattle ahead of schedule. Most auction markets are reporting lower quality clean-up type offerings which is indicative of exhausted supplies. The week’s reported auction volume included 52 percent over 600 lbs. and 42 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

224,300 202,400 162,000

WASHINGTON 2,300. 62 pct over 600 lbs. 53 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $214.03; 550-600 lbs. $200.93; 650-700 lbs. $187.69; 700-750 lbs. $164.82; 800-850 lbs. $160.92. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $190.54; 550-600 lbs. $190.21; Pkg 615 lbs. $184.50; 650-700 lbs. $177.76.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

40,900 52,100 59,700

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 3,600. 41 pct over 600 lbs. 29 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current 580 lbs. $213 FOB; 750 lbs. $183 FOB; May 800 lbs. $170 FOB; May-June 910 lbs. $165 FOB. Holsteins: Large 3 August 300 lbs. $181 Del. Heifers Medium and large 1-2 Current 550 lbs. $201 FOB; 750 lbs. $171 Current FOB; May-Jun 860 lbs. $160 FOB.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 4,800. 47 pct over 600 lbs. 31 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 800 lbs. $160-163 Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price 500 lbs. $204 thin fleshed for November-December Idaho; 500-600 lbs. $187.50-200 for October-November Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 600-700 lbs. $182-192 calves for September-December Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $170-174 calves for December-January Idaho-Oregon-Washington. Holsteins: Large 2-3 Current Delivery FOB Price 350 lbs. $150-153 Washington. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 800 lbs. $154 Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price 400-450 lbs. $194 for November Idaho; 500-550 lbs. $192 thin fleshed for October-November Idaho; 550-600 lbs. $174-187 for September-November Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 600-650 lbs. $176-177 calves for September-November Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $166 for December-January Idaho.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

March 28

This week Last week Last year

4,750 3,150 3,870

Compared to March 21: Stocker and feeder steers and heifers steady. Trade slow to moderate with good demand. Most yearlings have pretty much sold. Area feedlots showed more interest in contracting calves for next fall. The feeder supply included 69 percent steers and 31 percent heifers. Near 47 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 3-6 cent slide on yearlings.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 800 lbs. $160- 163 Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price: 500 lbs. $204 thin fleshed for November-December Idaho; 500-600 lbs. $187.50-200 for October-November Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 600-700 lbs. $182-192 calves for September-December Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $170-174 calves for December-January Idaho- Oregon-Washington.

Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: Current Delivery FOB Price: 350 lbs. $150- 153 Washington.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 800 lbs. $154 Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price: 400-450 lbs. $194 for November Idaho; 500-550 lbs. $192 thin fleshed for Oct-Nov Idaho; 550-600 lbs. $174-187 for September-November Idaho- Oregon-Washington; 600-650 lbs. $176-177 calves for September-November Idaho-Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $166 for December-January Idaho.



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