Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

April 13

This week Last week Last year

2,450 600 3,300

Compared to last week, stocker cattle and feeder cattle steady to weak. Trade slow to moderate as video sales dominate the trade this week. Demand light to moderate. The feeder supply included 75 percent steers and 25 percent heifers.

Near 29 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. U.S. meat exporters expect beef export volumes to Japan to jump about a quarter this year as they see a strong chance Tokyo will relax import curbs on ebbing concerns of mad cow disease, the head of a key U.S. export group said on Wednesday. Japan now only allows imports of U.S. and Canadian beef from cattle aged 20 months or less, but its Food Safety Commission is assessing the risk of easing the limit to 30 months.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: FOB Current Delivery Prices: 850 lbs. $137-138 Oregon. Future Delivery FOB Prices: 450-500 lbs. $181-185 for September-November Oregon-Idaho; 550-600 lbs. $175 for November Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $170-171 for November Washington.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: FOB Current Delivery Prices: 750-800 lbs. $ 130 Washington. Future Delivery FOB Prices: 450-500 lbs. $166-167 for November Idaho.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

April 13

This week Last week Last year

250,900 257,700 386,600

Compared to The previous week's sharply lower market; feeder cattle sold unevenly steady with varying trends depending on what part of the week the sales occurred, what part of the country they were sold, and the severity of last week's losses in that particular area. Calves sold steady to $3 lower with new crops making up a larger percentage of offerings and waning demand from dwindling grass orders. Early week auctions were very slow because of the previous week's lower market and Easter Sunday limiting shipments of cattle over the weekend. Midweek sales saw a mixture of continued pressure and recovery as places like Colorado saw moderate market loss for the second straight week, while just across the line in Kansas the major yearling auction markets regained a large portion of the previous week's sharply lower price levels with gains of as much as $6. Direct trade was extremely light due to early week losses on the Board, but limited late week salebarns experienced sound footing after CME feeder cattle contracts for fall closed up the limit on April 12. For the most part, this past week's feeder cattle marketing mirrored the fed cattle trading session that saw early week pressure followed by a mild but measurable rally. Five-area direct slaughter cattle trading ended the week mostly steady with live sales largely unchanged from $122-123 in the Southern Plains, while Northern dressed business widely ranged from $192 on April 10 to as much as $201 paid by regional packers on April 12.

Soon grass pastures across the United States will be fully stocked and the grazing rush is mostly over for this year, with the exception of a few small-acreage weekend warriors. Up north in the Dakotas, demand is still rampant for open replacement heifers with a large portion of the top quality girls still heading back to the country from area feeder auctions. Feeder cattle marketing is easing into the warm weather lull that should last until the late summer yearlings hit the market. This week's auction volume included 50 percent over 600 lbs and 46 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

166,500 206,800 254,200

WASHINGTON 1,800. 45 pct over 600 lbs. 57 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $175.83; 600-650 lbs. $157.69; 650-700 lbs. $ 142.54; 700-750 lbs. $135.98; 750-800 lbs. $134.40. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 400-450 lbs. $164.68; 450-500 lbs. $164; 550-600 lbs. $ 149.52; 600-650 lbs. $138.21; 650-700 lbs. $134.55; 700-750 lbs. $ 127.50; 800-850 lbs. $124.69.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

15,600 36,000 37,200

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 2,500. 29 pct over 600 lbs. 25 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 FOB Current 850 lbs. $137-138 Oregon; September-November 450-500 lbs. $181-185 Oregon-Idaho; November 550-600 lbs. $175 Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $170-171 Washington. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 FOB Current 750-800 lbs. $130 Washington; November 450-500 lbs. $166-167 Idaho.

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