(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Aug. 21


This Week: 283,100

Last Week: 231,600

Year Ago: 218,200

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold uneven, 1.00 lower to 2.00 higher. Yearling cattle are in demand this week and some calves have started to show at auctions this week. There are still plenty of yearlings on offer at sales this year due to the elongation of marketing period after producers were more inclined to wait to sell after this spring’s auction price decline.

Breakevens on fed cattle coming out of feedyards at today’s prices are tempting producers to make another turn on feeding those yearlings.

At Sheridan Livestock Auction (Rushville, NE), six loads of yearling steers weighing 955 lbs sold at 146.10; near $1400.00 per head. Negotiated cash fed cattle in the Southern Plains sold 2.00 higher at 106.00 with a few up to 107.00 in Kansas.

Dressed sales in Nebraska were unevenly steady this week at 169.00. The difference in price between the Northern and Southern Plains had been advantageous for the packers in the North to procure cattle in the South and truck them a distance. Typically, the cattle in the South would not be grading (what a packer in the North pursues) as well as they are now due to a lengthened feeding period.

The CME Cattle Complex seemed to be under pressure this week and closed 1.05 to 2.32 lower for the week on all contracts. The Feeder Cattle futures have had a relatively narrow trading range for the last month as August has traded in the 142.00 to 145.00 range and the September contract has traded in the 143.00 to 146.00 range.

On Thursday, CME Group announced proposed changes to live and feeder cattle futures price limits. Pending approval by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CME Group will implement the changes Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. The changes amend daily price limits to adjust the current, initial daily price limit for Live Cattle futures from 3.00 to 4.00 per cwt and for Feeder Cattle futures from 4.50 to 5.00 per cwt. The existing practice of establishing expanded price limit levels at 150 percent of initial price limit levels will continue. The expanded price limit for Live Cattle will now be 6.00 per cwt while the expanded price limit for Feeder Cattle will now be 7.50 per cwt.

Larger fed cattle are still in the pipeline and packers have been making inroads to harvesting them. Steer carcass weights for week ending Aug. 8, 2020 stood at 906 lbs; 28 lbs heavier than a year ago. That gap has shrunk from 52 lbs that occurred the two weeks immediately ahead of Memorial day.

Year-to-date steer carcass weight is at 898 lbs; 19 lbs higher than this time in 2016, then next year closest in weight. Year-to-Date steer and heifer slaughter is more than 5 percent behind as of Aug. 1, 2020 and as Labor Day is upon us, foodservice has not picked up the way packers had hoped by this time.

However, boxed beef prices have climbed considerably in the last few weeks, with the most recent low posted on July 15, 2020 at 200.76.

This afternoon’s Choice boxed beef was reported at 225.94, 11.70 higher than last Friday’s close. Select cutout was reported at 208.99, 9.70 higher than last Friday’s close. Estimated slaughter under federal inspection this week was reported at a 652K, 12k more than last week, and 5K less than last year.

Cattle on Feed Report released today had On Feed at 102 percent; Placements at 111 percent and Marketings at 99 percent.

Auction volume this week included 53 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Aug. 21

Receipts: 500 Last Week: 1,774 Year Ago: 900

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers not tested on an FOB current delivery basis. Demand continues good with moderate seller interest. Supply consisted of 44 percent over 600 lbs and 32 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

70 Head: 825 lbs; 143.00 Sep Del

120 Head: 600 lbs; 156.00 Oct Del

150 Head: 650 lbs; 151.00 Nov Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1

85 Head: 575 lbs; 145.00 Oct Del

75 Head: 600 lbs; 143.00 Nov Del

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