NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE
(Federal-State Market News)
St. Joseph, Mo.
This week Last week Last year
403,800 401,300 324,100
Compared to last week: Steers and heifers sold 1.00 to 5.00 higher, with some markets quoted up to 8.00 higher. One of the most talked about subjects currently in auctions is the readily available status of calves; weaned and unweaned. Demand was moderate to good this week for calves that were preconditioned and weaned for an appropriate amount of time. While demand was light for calves with no shots or only one round of shots.
Very good demand for yearlings early in the week after last week’s much higher fed cattle market; however the luster has come off that apple as analysts surmised that both the CME cattle complex appeared to be oversold and have now come off of their contract highs of Halloween week. With the current price structure of the CME Live Cattle contracts the best demand is for yearlings and for those big calves that will finish before the summer months.
Market reporters have noted less crowds in attendance at sales due to farmers and ranchers wanting to finish harvest and complete fall tillage work before taking on some more chores with winter fast approaching.
In Philip, S.D., on Tuesday, two loads of steers that averaged 733 lbs with all the bells and whistles sold at 185.00.
The YTD average steer carcass weight reported through September for 2017 is at 812 lbs; 13 lbs below a year ago and 9 lbs below the previous year average. Total cattle slaughter is around 1.4 million more than 2016 and just a mere 9K more than the previous three year average.
The most dramatic jump in YTD slaughter rate for January to September is the heifer slaughter which has posted near 670K head more.
Choice boxed beef closed Friday at 213.85; 5.11 higher than last week. For the second week in a row, total receipts on this report topped 400K; the last time that occurred was Jan. 11 and 18 in 2013.
Auction volume this week included 39 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.
(USDA Market News)
Slaughter cattle trade hit a bump in the road and sold steady to 1.00 lower in Texas and Kansas. In Nebraska live sales were 1.00-3.00 lower and dressed sales mostly steady.
Boxed beef prices moved sharply higher on the week, however cattle futures traded in the red for the majority of the week.
Boxed Beef prices as of Thursday afternoon averaged 205.52 up 4.61 from last Friday. The Choice/Select spread is 14.44. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Thursday afternoon totaled 85,134 head. Last week’s total head count was 134,739 head.
Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 122.00-124.00.
Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers 192.00-194.00
South Plains Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 124.00-125.00.
Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to 2.00 higher. Demand good in the South Central region as hunting season has begun and this takes precedence over sending cows to market cows. Numbers are lighter at area sales.
Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Thursday was 170.14 up .29 from last Friday.