(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Sept. 4


This Week Last Week Last Year

193,900 475,200 179,600

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold 1.00 to 5.00 lower. The CME Cattle again this week was weaker and has been pulling the cash prices for feeders and fed cattle lower, with the most drawback on the front month contracts.

Around the Labor Day holiday, many auctions proceed to have customer appreciation sales. Many ranchers set their marketing plan around selling cattle around the holiday.

This year, selling cattle a couple weeks ago would’ve made the check a few dollars heavier. Drought designation of D0 and higher has now enveloped over 57 percent of the country, the most prevalent in the Western half of the United States. The whole state of Colorado has a circle drawn around it on the University of Nebraska’s drought monitor map, which delineates dominant drought impact. Moisture, and a lot of it, has to fall in order to get grass to grow again in these areas. Many in higher elevations are hoping for a wet fall and more snow in the winter; just so they can get some moisture back in the soil.

It did snow in some higher elevations this week in Wyoming, so there could be some optimism moving forward. Calf runs could start earlier than normal in the Northern Plains if freezing temperatures come early. Ranchers will be content to move those calves off the cows as it is easier to feed a calf in the backgrounding yard instead of having that cow lose condition going into winter. On the bigger ranches, open cows that do not pay their way; ranchers will look at moving those open cows as soon as pregnancy checks are done in the next month or two.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade in Southern Plains traded 1.00 to 2.00 lower at 102.00 to 104.00; mostly 104.00 this week, while Nebraska dressed sales were 3.00 to 5.00 lower at 162.00 to 164.00. Fed cattle trading volumes were somewhat light this week due to the packers trying to get workers a three-day weekend.

Fed Cattle plant workers have been toiling long days and nights trying to make inroads in the backlog of fed cattle from the spring through now. With the six-day workweeks in many plants, they need to celebrate a little this weekend; the last hurrah before fall is here.

Steer dressed weights continue their climb as week ending Aug. 22 was reported at 910 lbs; 1 pound more than last week and 26 pounds more than the same week a year ago. In calendar year 2019, the largest steer dressed weight was reported at 912 lbs for week ending Nov. 16, which was a runup of 28 lbs from late August to then. If that much of a runup occurs again this year, dressed steer weights would not eclipse the all-time-record high for steer dressed weights set in October 2015 at 930 lbs.

This is not an ordinary year and only time will tell as we move forward how big those carcasses will get.

Boxed beef has seen a dip in price this week as wholesale buying for the last major grilling holiday is behind us now. This afternoon’s Choice boxed beef was reported at 225.85, 3.55 lower than last Friday’s close. Select cutout was reported at 209.30, 5.56 lower than last Friday’s close.

Estimated slaughter under federal inspection this week was reported at a 633K, 21k less than last week, and 62K more than last year (Labor Day week). From USDA’s Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News Division, we wish you a safe and happy Labor Day holiday.

Auction volume this week included 54 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Sept. 4


This Week Last Week Last Year

363 3,086 1,082

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers not fully established on a Current FOB basis. Demand and seller interest moderate headed into the holiday weekend. Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs and 61 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

60 Head: 900 lbs; 128.46 Current FOB

83 Head: 975 lbs; 123.00 Current Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1

70 Head: 800 lbs; 129.00 Current Del

90 Head: 925 lbs; 120.00 Current Del

60 Head: 900 lbs; 124.00 Sep Del

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