National slaughter, feeder and stocker markets

Record-high price levels continue to be posted daily and each time rationale draws a line in the sand, cash prices in an auction setting cut a trench right through it. First it was 5 weight calves bringing $2 per lb., then it was 6 weight calves yielding $2 per lb., now this week there were several Midwestern sales that pushed and surpassed $2 per lb. for 700 lb. steers.

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

April 4

Compared to March 28: Direct trades on a live basis not established at time of report. Dressed sales in Nebraska $5 lower. Boxed beef prices April 4 averaged $223.81 down $6.92 from March 28. The Choice/Select spread is $10.72. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through April 4 totaled about 5,000. The previous week’s total head count was 88,553 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: $239-240.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows $1-4 lower. Slaughter bulls steady-$3 lower. Packer demand remains good but is starting to waiver as northern regions of the country begin to thaw out.

USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was $197.92 down $7.59 from March 28.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

March 28

This week Last week Last year

279,600 330,100 279,900

Compared to March 28: Feeder cattle sold $1-4 higher with thinner-fleshed stockers suitable for grass selling up to $8 higher near the major grazing regions. New crop calves were not quite as active this week and prices were unevenly steady, especially across the lower tier of the Southeast markets, which could mean grass buyers don’t think they have enough time to get these calves straightened-out by their turn-out date. Direct markets were active this past week and posted the full advance on feeder cattle, despite CME cattle futures being under pressure early in the week. Corporate feeders are pushing the market in the country as competition in the auctions heats up and salebarn receipts are starting to dry-up.

Record-high price levels continue to be posted daily and each time rationale draws a line in the sand, cash prices in an auction setting cut a trench right through it. First it was 5 weight calves bringing $2 per lb., then it was 6 weight calves yielding $2 per lb., now this week there were several Midwestern sales that pushed and surpassed $2 per lb. for 700 lb. steers.

At the Bassett, Neb., Livestock Auction two loads of fancy 750 lb. backgrounded steers brought $200 (lighter 7 weights were up to $208), four loads of similar steers averaging 814 lbs. brought $194.25, and two big loads of fancy 920 lb. yearling steers dropped the gavel at $177.50. Many market watchers feel there is still some fuel left in these rockets with available supplies of feeders seasonally tightening and ample on-farm feed storage.

Spring has finally arrived across many areas of the U.S., and with it came severe weather and high winds. Farther north, snow still prevails but moisture in any form is badly needed this time of year and will be beneficial to farmland and pastures over the next several weeks. However, feeder and stocker cattle demand should slacken when grazers either fully stock their pastures or run out of money and corn planting will be underway as soon as the weather allows with most farmers finishing up anhydrous application.

Pressure came late in the week as most Lean Hog futures closed down the limit on Friday and pulled cattle futures down with them. Fed cattle trade finally broke loose late April 4 with dressed sales $4-5 lower in the Northern areas from $239-240 and a few early live sales at $150. This weekís reported auction volume included 51 percent over 600 lbs. and 43 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

198,200 224,300 216,700

WASHINGTON 2,100. 80 pct over 600 lbs. 48 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 650-700 lbs. $187.10; pkg 785 lbs. $160; 800-850 lbs. $159. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $195.04; 600-650 lbs. $178.50; half load 690 lbs. $172.50; 750-800 lbs. $156.85; 850-900 lbs. $148.85.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

76,700 70,600 57,400

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 1,400. No cattle over 600 lbs. 47 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current 520 lbs. $216 FOB. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current 500 lbs. $206 FOB.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 5,500. 72 pct over 600 lbs. 28 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Future Delivery FOB Price 500 lbs. $203 December Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $185-192 calves for October-November Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $177 calves for August-November Oregon-Washington; 900-950 lbs. $164 for August-September Idaho. Holsteins: Large 2-3 Current Delivery FOB Price 350 lbs. $150-153 Washington. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Future Delivery FOB Price 450-500 lbs. $192 for December Idaho; 600 lbs. $177 calves for October-November Oregon-Washington; 700 lbs. $169 for August-November Oregon-Washington.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

April 4

This week Last week Last year

5,500 4,750 3,000

Compared to March 28: Stocker and feeder steers and heifers steady to $7 higher. Trade moderate with good demand. Area feedlots showed more interest in contracting certified all natural calves for next fall. The feeder supply included 73 percent steers and 28 percent heifers. Near 72 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: Future Delivery FOB Price: 500 lbs. $203 December Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $185-192 calves for October-November Oregon-Washington; 700-750 lbs. $177 calves for August-November Oregon-Washington; 900-950 lbs. $164 for August-September Idaho.

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

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Future Delivery FOB Price: 450-500 lbs. $192 for December Idaho; 600 lbs. $177 calves for October-November Oregon-Washington; 700 lbs. $169 for August-November Oregon-Washington.



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