Cattle

Cattle markets

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

Dec. 20

Compared to Dec. 13: Slaughter cattle trade slow to develop; cattle futures posted declines much of the week. Cattle traded in the South Plains $1 lower while trades in Nebraska were steady to $1 higher. Beef prices slumped late in the week on light to moderate movement. Boxed beef prices Dec. 20 averaged $191.61 down $1.34. The Choice/Select spread is at $8.89. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday morning totaled about 71,400 head. The previous week’s total head count was 69,402 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. $130-131, few $132 Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: $207-208.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $130.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls steady to $2 higher.

USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Dec. 20 was $163.98 up $3.15 from Dec. 13.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 20

This week Last week Last year

375,100 241,500 282,400

Compared to Dec. 13, steer calves under 500 lbs. sold $5-10 higher with heifers under 500 lbs. $2-5 higher. Heavier calves weighing 500-700 lbs. traded from steady to $5 higher, while a much lighter test of yearlings and big calves weighing over 700 lbs. sold steady to weak. Lightweight calf buyers were aggressive to fill orders before the holiday shutdown and most major production areas realized unseasonably mild weather before the next round of snow and ice storms arrive.

Most 4 weight male calves are now selling well into the $2 per lb. range with winter just now getting here, but the frigid weather that calves have already endured makes them more valuable to buyers ready to take them through January and February.

With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on a Wednesday this year, most auctions will take a full two-week hiatus. Excellent calf demand caused trade activity to speed up and prices to rally, rather than slowing down and tapering off which is normally the case right ahead of a long marketing break. Farmer feeders and backgrounders were especially active in their last opportunities to invest money in cattle before the end of the year.

Corporate cattle feeders are no longer prepared to push feedlot replacement prices any higher at this time. Feed prices are now likely locked-in until spring and unless the industry has a reason to believe that the fed cattle market will change significantly, heavier feeders should remain fairly steady.

However, lightweight calves hold many more options and promise to be profitable with a larger pool of prospective owners willing to take a chance and see if they can grow them more efficiently than the next guy. The cattle-on-feed report showed Dec. 1 inventories at 95 percent of the same time a year ago, while November placements were 97 percent and finished marketings were 96 percent of last year. The direct slaughter cattle market in the Southern Plains was $1 lower this week at 130, while Northern feedlots traded show lists steady to $1 higher from $130-131 live and mostly $207 dressed.

All of us here at the Federal-State Market News Service which all of you a Merry Christmas and a profitable New Year. This week’s reported auction volume included 47 percent over 600 lbs. and 41 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

301,000 193,300 191,000

WASHINGTON 2,400. 66 pct over 600 lbs. 42 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs. $164.56; Calves 650-700 lbs. $162.14; 750-800 lbs. $155.94; 850-900 lbs. $148.83. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs. $152.10; Calves 600-650 lbs. $151.18; Calves 650-700 lbs. $146.77.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

47,700 21,000 67,300

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 3,200. 0 pct over 600 lbs. No heifers reported. Steers: Medium and large 1-2 Large 3: 275 lbs. $182-183 APR Del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 5,000. 91 percent over 600 lbs. 48 percent heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $167 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 900 lbs. $147-150 for April-July OR-WA. Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: Current Delivery FOB Price: 350 lbs. 127 WA. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price: 500-550 lbs. $157 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $143-147 for April-July OR-WA.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Dec. 20

This week Last week Last year

4,950 480 Holiday

Compared to Dec. 13, stocker and feeder cattle steady to firm. Trade moderate this week as feedlots need numbers for after the first of the year. Demand remains very good. The feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 48 percent heifers. Near 91 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: 550-600 lbs. $167 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 900 lbs. $147-150 for April-July OR-WA.

Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: Current Delivery FOB Price: 350 lbs. 127 WA.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 500-550 lbs. $157 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $143-147 for April-July OR-WA.



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