(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 21

This Week Last Week Last Year

204,700 321,000 157,000

Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves were mostly 4.00 to 8.00 higher. Feeder steers trended mostly steady to 3.00 higher, with heifers trading 3.00 on either side of steady.

There was a great deal of optimism in the cattle complex as the week started. With the holidays upon us, this week represented the last marketing opportunity in 2018. Very few auctions will hold sales next week, causing buyers to scramble to procure cattle for wheat pasture before the holiday break.

Auction receipts across much of the southeast were hampered this week due to wet weather conditions and the upcoming holiday interruption. This year marks the wettest December on record for many southeastern states, especially Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

This week in the fed cattle arena, the northern plains sold mostly 1.00 higher at 119.00 with a few at 118.00. Trades in the Southern plains sold mostly steady on Friday morning with live sales at 119.00. The bulk of the dressed trades were 2.00 higher at 190.00. Feedyards in Nebraska and Iowa remain plagued with muddy conditions, while another round of cold, wet weather is expected next week.

Northern producers are dealing with several weeks of mud and are now reporting close to 1% yield loss. Estimated cattle harvest numbers for the week were 659,000.

However, the biggest news, but not a surprise was the record estimated hog slaughter at 2,737,000. This surpasses the previous record by 112,000 which was seen the week of Thanksgiving this year. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, many plants are harvesting on Saturday, so their employees can enjoy two days off next week.

Heading into the holiday week, boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on Choice and higher on Select. The volume reported this week was down considerably when compared to last week, especially on Choice cuts.

This week there were larger than normal price ranges on both Choice and Select rib cuts as quick ship orders delivered before the holiday got a premium price. Ground beef prices did go higher this week on lighter volume. The volume of forward negotiated sales was also down this week when compared to last week.

December first Cattle on feed was reported at 102 percent of a year ago; Placements 5 percent below a year ago at 95 percent; Marketings were at 101 percent. The Marketing total of 1.87 million head is the highest for November since the series began in 1996.

For more information and a complete list of inventory or cold storage reports released monthly by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to

On behalf of the Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, we would like to wish safe and happy holiday season.

This will be the last National Feeder Cattle summary published for 2018. May you have a very blessed New Year! Auction volume this week included 46 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.

This week Last Week Last Year

183,800 257,900 133,600

(46 pct over 600 lbs, 41 pct heifers)

Northwest Weighted Average

Direct Feeder Cattle

This Week Last Week Last Year

650 1,558 268

Compared to last week No Current Fob trade this week. Fat cattle trade mostly steady this week. Supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs and 0 percent heifers. Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weighing 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

650 Head: Avg Wt 700 lbs; Avg Price 151; Current Del

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