(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 4


This Week Last Week Last Year

373,100 149,200 369,600

Compared to two weeks ago, steers and heifers sold uneven, 2.00 lower to 3.00 higher. Calves suitable for grazing that are coming out of the Southeast showed the most price support this week as auctions were back in business after taking last week off.

Yearlings were still in demand, but at a lower price points than before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The CME Cattle Complex was under pressure this week as the March corn contract is solidly above the 4.00 level since the middle of November. Cost of gains are now being penciled in at around 1.00 right now on incoming cattle.

Currently, the December Live Cattle contract is 11.325 lower than the same week a year ago, while the February is 12.575 lower than a year ago.

The Feeder Cattle contracts show a narrower comparison with the January 1.775 lower and the March 2.25 lower than a year ago. This week a year ago was the first week open for a western Kansas fed cattle harvest facility that had a fire in August, 2019.

Quality cattle with flesh conditions being right for the buyer means a great deal to yearling buyers at this time of year, especially if they are trying to hit the April CME Live Cattle futures that is a 5.00 premium to the June.

On Thursday, at Mitchell (SD) Livestock Auction three loads of 1024 lb steers sold at 138.85 and three individual loads weighing 1021, 1028 and 1035 lbs sold at 138.50.

December is a winter month as southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma found out when a snowstorm rolled through this week bringing a winter mix of snow and ice to many areas. The Northern Plains are much more accustomed to the harsher winter conditions and it normally happens at some point in the winter. If a winter storm establishes itself and sets over a cattle feeding area for a significant amount of time, cattle will have a hard time keeping up with gains like a feedyard needs them to. The cattle usually spend available mega-calories just to keep up maintenance for their bodies.

This week, the Rib Primal (now at 514.23) continues to lead to charge for the cutout as other primals are in a downward trend. Demand for that product appears very good with buying for the Christmas holiday in full swing. Retailers will no doubt be featuring Rib products on ads in coming weeks.

On the week, Choice cutout closed 7.83 lower at 235.02, while Select was 3.17 lower at 217.51; as the Choice-Select spread has narrowed to 17.51.

Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 667K for the week, 103K more than last week(holiday) and 15K less than a year ago.

FIS Hog slaughter facilities are also operating at high levels this week at 2.789 million head. If realized, this would be the largest swine harvest since week ending March 21, 2020 and the fourth largest of all time.

Auction volume this week included 45 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Dec. 4


This Week Last Week Last Year

1422 2756 1182

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers not well tested but a lower undertone was noted. Demand was moderate as many are busy taking delivery of fall calf contracts. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (50.1% Steers, 49.9% Heifers). Feeder cattle supply over 600 lbs was 100%. Unless otherwise noted, Feeder Cattle prices FOB based on net weights after a 2-3% shrink or equivalent, with a 4-8 cent slide > 600 lbs. Livestock reported this week originated from ID, OR, UT.

Steers — Medium and Large 1

250 Head: 635 lbs, 145.00 Current DEL

110 Head: 665 lbs, 143.45 Current DEL

60 Head: 710 lbs, 139.00 Current DEL

60 Head: 775 lbs, 137.00 Current DEL

113 Head: 800 lbs, 134.00 Current DEL

60 Head: 900 lbs, 130.00 Current DEL

60 Head: 950 lbs, 126.00 Current DEL

Steers — Medium and Large 1-2

135 Head: 632 lbs, 133.48 Current DEL

31 Head: 675 lbs, 134.00 Current DEL

413 Head: 728 lbs, 131.06 Current DEL

40 Head: 800 lbs, 126.00 Current DEL

60 Head: 900 lbs, 124.00 Current DEL

Heifers — Medium and Large 1

30 Head: 635 lbs, 129.00 Current DEL

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