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. 2

Compared to last week: Trade is very limited this afternoon. Few sales beginning to take place just after lunch. Trades are $1 higher than the average last week in Texas and Kansas but many producers passing these bids. Trade in Nebraska has yet to be fully established.

Boxed beef prices Friday morning averaged $182.58 down $4.05 from last Friday. The Choice/Select spread is at $18.25. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday morning totaled about 35,000. Last week's total head count was 172,846.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. no test Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: few $203.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. few $124

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls $2-5 higher. Packer demand very good following the holiday shortened week.

USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was $146.89 down $1.23 from last Friday.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 2

This week Last week Last year

324,900 172,300 368,200

Following last week's Thanksgiving Holiday, where many auctions across the country took the week off, many auctions this week are comparing their prices to two weeks ago as last week's receipts were very light. Compared to two weeks ago, calf demand was by far the best especially for feather-weight calves weighing under 450 lbs. selling $6-12 higher with several auctions reporting instances $15-20 higher on mostly calves weighing 300-450 lbs. Heavier weight calves weighing 500-650 lbs. sold mostly $2-6 higher with yearlings lightly tested and trading mostly steady with spots $3-5 higher.

The day after Thanksgiving had shoppers spending a record 52.4 billion dollars shattering Black Friday sales as shoppers were eager to spend money. After an historic holiday weekend of spending, cattle buyers were in the same mood to buy cattle, as demand remains very good, especially for limited offerings of true yearlings and featherweight calves weighing under 500 lbs. are very popular with cattle buyers trying to get an early jump on procurement needs for next year's grass. In Ogallala, Neb., at the Ogallala Livestock Auction 170 head of steer calves sold with an average weight of 431 lbs. and had a weighted average price of $206.08, with two loads of fancy steers weighing 730-750 lbs. selling from $159-162.10. At many auctions reported we are also seeing $20-30 per hundred price spreads between steer and heifer calves that are being sold weighing mostly under 550 lbs, as steer calves are in very good demand and the preference for most buyers at this time. In Oklahoma, wheat pasture in many areas has improved following recent rains improving winter grazing conditions. Cattle on feed inventories are very manageable with the 2011 calf crop the smallest in 50 years and looking at an even smaller crop for 2012 has buyers wanting to own feeders at this time.

Corn prices have also been trending lower over the last several weeks, which has been welcome news for livestock producers. December corn futures have lost about $1.75 cents going back to the end of August as demand for corn has slowed with lower export sales over the last several weeks. Currency markets have been an issue with the dollar higher and with the ongoing European debt crisis helping to pressure the corn market. This week Boxed Beef prices moved lower closing on Friday at $191.01 on Choice, which is $5.22 lower than last week's close on Nov. 25. Despite lower boxed beef prices the fed cattle trade saw dressed sales in Nebraska trade $3-5 higher ranging from $203 to regional sales at $205. Kansas had live sales $1 higher at $124, with light sales in Texas mixed (at this time) at $124 when compared to last week. Going into the Christmas season we usually see Fed cattle and feeder cattle prices soften and trend lower but sales continued to show resilience and move higher going into the Christmas season. Hopefully this will give cattlemen a very merry and thankful holiday season. This week's auction volume included 34 percent over 600 lbs. and 42 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

271,700 129,100 282,200

WASHINGTON 2,500. 57 pct over 600 lbs. 45 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $150.26; calves 600-650 lbs. $135.77; calves 650-700 lbs. $136.51; 700-750 lbs. $131.28. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 400-450 lbs. $138.66; 500-550 lbs. $135.56; calves 600-650 lbs. $127.17; calves 650-700 lbs. $125.83; 750-800 lbs. $124.31.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

40,200 27,900 71,700

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 200. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 450 lbs. $131 current Del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 1,000. 45 pct over 600 lbs. 30 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current 500-600 lbs. $150 Idaho; 650-700 lbs. $138 Washington; 850 lbs. $121 Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current 500-550 lbs. $142 Idaho; 800 lbs. $116 Idaho.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Dec. 2

This week Last week Last year

1,000 Holiday 4,000

Compared to last week, no trends due to market not reported last week. Trade slow to moderate. Demand moderate to good. Feeders 100 percent of the supply. The feeder supply included 70 percent steers and 30 percent heifers. Near 45 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 FOB: 500-600 lbs. $150 Idaho; 650-700 lbs. $138 Washington; 850 lbs. $121 Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB: 500-550 lbs. $142 Idaho; 800 lbs. $116 Idaho.

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