NATIONAL FEEDER

AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Nov. 15

RECEIPTS: Auctions Direct Video/Internet Total

This Week Last Week Last Year

354,200 433,900 368,400

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady to 3.00 higher. The fall calf run has arrived and in a big way. Last week, yearlings were sprinkled in the heavy runs seen nationwide with this being the second week in a row with cattle over 600 lbs coming in at only 37 percent.

All auction receipts were somewhat tempered this week with early week sales dealing with severely cold temps and frozen precipitation making travel hazardous from Missouri up through the Northern Plains and into the Upper Midwest.

With large sales of calves across the nation, buyers are spread out and some sales felt the effects of light buyer attendance at individual sales this week. Most buyers at auctions have been order buyers as the true farmer-feeder is still in the combine trying to get the late crop out before adverse weather stops them. Most farmer-feeders would sure like to put harvest behind them this year and are working late hours to try and get done before Turkey Day.

Health of calves has been a concern of buyers and some ranchers in the Sandhills of Nebraska couldn’t get precondition shots in calves prior to sale day due the extremely wet pasture conditions. From the middle of September to this week, the CME Cattle Complex has seen a steady run up. Wednesday CME cattle futures finally had an oversold correction to the downside as the market week after week has plowed higher.

The sharp losses in the Feeder Cattle contracts found fund managers rolling to the January and beyond contracts.

Also on Wednesday, the Southern Plains feedyard managers were willing sellers and traded cattle at 115.00, steady with last week even though boxed-beef values are trading higher this week. Northern Plains dressed trade was mostly 1.00 higher at 182.00. Packer margins widened again this week, which should have been an exceptionally strong bargaining position for cattle sellers but that did not materialize this week. For the week, the Choice cutout closed 1.68 higher at 240.80, while Select was 1.07 higher at 214.33; putting the Choice-Select spread at 26.47.

Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 657K for the week, 6K more than last week and 9K more than a year ago. Most of the harvest schedules are now being planned for December even though the calendar is still two-plus weeks away.

Packers were tasked with a daunting undertaking after the fire in Western Kansas in August. A great deal of fed cattle would need to get through the pipeline in the Southern Plains through the fall of the year. This week on an earnings conference call, the Tyson CEO alluded to the Finney County plant being operational again around 60 days from now. We all know that growing pains will be prevalent in this situation as it is almost like bringing a new plant online again. “You have to crawl before you can walk, etc.”

So far this year through week ending Nov. 2, total cattle slaughter is a little more than 1 percent above a year ago. Heifer slaughter is over 7 percent greater than a year ago while steer slaughter is near 3 percent below a year ago.

Year-to-Date Cow slaughter is near 3 percent higher than a year ago as well. With these data points brought to the forefront, there is no doubt that the cattle herd has got to be contracting at this point. High costs of production in the cow-calf sector has got to be a factor in this pullback in respect to “the factory.” Also, cow-calf producers nationwide are getting older and some have the winter of 2018-2019 fresh in their minds and are not wanting to take on Old Man Winter again. There have already been auctions advertising some herd liquidations in the Plains states before the end of the year.

Auction volume this week included 37 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 38 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Nov. 15

Receipts:

This Week Last Week Last Year

1,160 1,870 762

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers had limited comparable receipts, but a lower undertone was noted. Demand moderate. Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs. and 35 percent heifers. Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weighting points with 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 4-12 cent slide on yearlings from base weights. Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.

Feeder Steers Medium and Large 1

125 Head: 780 lbs 147.01 Current FOB

30 Head: 800 lbs 142.58 Current FOB Split Loads

65 Head: 925 lbs 144.41 Current FOB

210 Head: 700 lbs 144.94 Jan FOB

130 Head: 690 lbs 155.00 Current Del

70 Head: 700 lbs 154.00 Current Del

70 Head: 825 lbs 148.00 Current Del

60 Head: 850 lbs 145.00 Current Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1

70 Head: 710 lbs 143.01 Current FOB

30 Head: 850 lbs 132.58 Current FOB Split Loads

160 Head: 625 lbs 136.94 Jan FOB

50 Head: 775 lbs 139.00 Current Del

60 Head: 850 lbs 138.00 Current Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1-2

30 Head: 625 lbs 138.00 Dec Del

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