National slaughter, feeder and stocker cattle report

Record prices have leveled off the last couple weeks with the fed cattle market struggling to hold its ground and most of the more-aggressive stocker orders having been filled.

Published on April 21, 2014 5:23PM


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 18

Compared to April 11: Direct trades on a live basis $1 lower in the South Plains and $2 lower in the Midwest. Dressed sales in Nebraska $3 lower. Boxed beef prices April 18 averaged $220.59 up $3.30 from April 11. The Choice/Select spread is $11.03. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through April 18 totaled about 18,900. The previous week’s total head count was 68,247 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. $148; Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers 238.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $146.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls mostly steady to $1 lower. Packer demand remains good.

USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value April 18 was $196.88 down $1.87 from April 11.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

April 18

This week Last week Last year

261,200 301,700 234,000

Compared to April 11: Feeder cattle and calves throughout the majority of the country sold mostly steady to $2 lower while lightweight calves in the Southeastern markets traded mostly steady to 2 higher. Record prices have leveled off the last couple weeks with the fed cattle market struggling to hold its ground and most of the more-aggressive stocker orders having been filled.

In fact, several auction markets near the major grazing areas saw 6 weight stocker steers sell as much as $10 lower, after being the most highly sought-after class for several weeks. However, many would argue that these kinds have been perhaps $30 too high in comparison to the market value of other classes and weight groups. Receipts continue to run light and are becoming progressively lighter with each passing week, with many trade areas (like Colorado) moving to their summer auction schedule weeks ahead of normal. The Pratt, Kan., Livestock Auction sold a 94 head string of thin-fleshed 831 lb. yearling steers for $180.85.

Nationwide auction receipts during March were about 4 percent lighter than the same time a year ago, but likely included a much larger percentage of available spring supplies. Auction managers have exhausted their “little black books” and most don’t know where they’re going to find cattle to hold sales each week until mid-summer yearlings start to show up.

Farmers have now fully moved into planting season mode and most will have little interest in the cattle market until they put their planters away.

Meanwhile, major cattle feeders have set their sights on acquiring the summer grass yearlings that are just now being turned out. These cattle require very little care other than the occasional ride by or windshield glance while putting out salt/mineral. If stocker operators can secure a profitable contract and moisture levels are adequate, that spells for a pretty care-free summer.

Plus, a private treaty is free and a less stressful hedging strategy than playing the CME Board. But, contract sellers remember last year when the yearling market went straight-up through the late summer and fall shipping season and many of them left money on the table. Fed cattle trade was light this week and $1-2 lower from $146-148 and $238-240 dressed. This week’s reported auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs. and 43 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

171,800 188,600 195,200

WASHINGTON 2,400. 68 pct over 600 lbs. 62 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs. $204.56; 650-700 lbs. $174.91; 700-750 lbs. $169.67; 750-800 lbs. $162.67. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $188.61; 550-600 lbs. $187.45; 700-750 lbs. $163.58; Replacement 700-750 lbs. $181.41; Replacement 750-800 lbs. $180.69; 800-850 lbs. $158.83.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

82,500 57,900 34,600

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 4,500. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 August 275 lbs. $197-203 Del; July 300 lbs. $185 Del; August 300 lbs. $190 FOB; 300 lbs. $193 Del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 1700. 66 pct over 600 lbs. 32 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 800-850 lbs. $168 Idaho; 900 lbs. $166 value added Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price 550-600 lbs. $191-198.50 for October-November Oregon-Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $188-190 calves for October-November Oregon-Idaho; 700-750 lbs. $172 calves for December Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 750-800 lbs. $166 value added Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price 500-600 lbs. $180-190 for October-November Oregon-Idaho.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

April 18

This week Last week Last year

1,650 800 950

Compared to April 11: Stocker and feeder cattle steady in a light test. Trade slow as most supplies have either been sold or turned out on grass. Demand remains good. The feeder supply included 68 percent steers and 32 percent heifers. Near 66 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: 800-850 lbs. $168 Idaho; 900 lbs. $166 value added Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $191-198.50 for October-November Oregon-Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $188-190 calves for October-November Oregon-Idaho; 700-750 lbs. $172 calves for December Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 750-800 lbs. $166 value added Idaho; Future Delivery FOB Price: 500-600 lbs. $180-190 for October-November Oregon-Idaho.



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