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

Aug. 24

Compared to Aug. 17: Slaughter cattle sold mostly steady on a live basis. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $2-3 lower. Packer demand moderate. Slaughter rates were relatively as packers were gearing up for the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

Boxed beef Aug. 24 morning averaged $189.23 up $.35 from Aug. 17. The Choice/Select spread is at $8.84. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Aug. 25 totaled about 92,785. Last week's total head count was 109,690.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. $119-121.50 Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: $187-188, mostly $187.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $120-121

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows $1-5 lower. Slaughter bulls weak to $3 lower. Markets in Oklahoma had cows $2-4 higher and slaughter bulls $4-6 higher.

USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Aug. 24 was $168.33 up $2.14 from Aug. 17.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Aug. 24

This week Last week Last year

278,100 370,900 449,900

Compared to Aug. 17, yearling feeder cattle sold mostly steady while calf prices were uneven. The 450-650 lb. calves on offer for the week were mostly unweaned and traded at prices that were steady to weak with weather patterns already starting to become a challenge with wide temperature swings between daytime highs and nighttime lows. However, pee-wee calves under 450 lbs. were $5-8 higher and continue to gain admirers who are looking at dollars per head and the nearly endless options that these lightweights bring. Featherweight calves are once again topping the $2/lb. mark at salebarns across the country while price levels grow even loftier on private treaty or video sales if buyers don't have to take delivery until later in the year. On the Northern Livestock Video on Aug. 20, a string of 400 calves with a base weight of 440 lbs. and a late December delivery offered added value by being sired by black Waygu bulls and brought $224 with both steers and heifers selling at the same price. Many feeder markets noted pressure on weights over 800 lbs. while lighter-weight yearlings experienced mild gains. Normally lighter yearlings experience more demand as feedlots anticipate cheapening the cattle while on feed, but this time buyers want lighter feeders simply because they finish at a later date. In fact, cost of gains are outpacing the value of fed cattle and prices for feedlot replacements should become inverted - with heavier-weight yearlings selling at a higher price per cwt than the lighter cattle that require a longer feeding period. Back when all feeding facilities fed a highly concentrated corn ration, a cost-of-gain estimate could be obtained simply by doubling the corn price and moving the decimal ($4/bu corn equaled an 80 cent cost of gain). Now, much more specialized rations take advantage of distiller's byproducts and other substitutes to cut costs, but the old-timer's calculation still puts costs in the right direction which can be terrifying with $8-8.50/bu corn. The cost per pound of gain will vary widely depending on a feedlots access to silage or any type of affordable feed, but the figure will be well over $1/lb. and likely higher than the fat cattle market for most of the next year. Any source of forage can help alleviate feed cost fears and cattle growers have high hopes for fall wheat pasture or anything that can put weight on cattle at a reasonable price. Fed cattle sold steady to firm on a live basis from $120-121 with dressed sales $2-3 lower from $187-188 as market-ready supplies seem to be larger in the areas that traditionally sell in the beef. The week's reported auction volume included 54 percent over 600 lbs. and 40 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

175,400 159,700 201,200

WASHINGTON 1,300. 76 pct over 600 lbs. 30 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 750-800 lbs. $129.26. Holsteins: Large 2-3 pkg. 849 lbs. $95. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 pkg. 500 lbs. $126.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

59,000 63,400 25,100

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 1,800. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 Current 300 lbs. $135 del.; 275 lbs. $145 December; 300 lbs. $139 December del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 3,000. 97 pct over 600 lbs. 43 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 FOB 600-700 lbs. $140-143 calves for November Washington-Idaho; 650-700 lbs. $152 value added calves for October-November Washington; 700-750 lbs. $136 calves for November Idaho-Washington; 850 lbs. $133 for October Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 FOB 550-600 lbs. $133 for October Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $134-137 calves for November Washington; 650-700 lbs. $144 value added calves for October-November Washington. .

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Aug. 24

This week Last week Last year

3,000 9,650 1,600

Compared to Aug. 17, feeder cattle steady to $1 lower. Trade slow with light demand as most feedlots are at capacity. The feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 43 percent heifers. Nearly 97 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: FOB Future delivery Price: 600-700 lbs. $140-143 calves for November Washington-Idaho; 650-700 lbs. $152 value added calves for October-November Washington; 700-750 lbs. $136 calves for November Idaho-Washington; 850 lbs. $133 for October Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: FOB Future delivery Price: 550-600 lbs. $133 for October Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $134-137 calves for November Washington; 650-700 lbs. $144 value added calves for October-November Washington.

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