(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

March 15


THIS WEEK: 394,000

LAST WEEK: 352,400

YEAR AGO: 222,100

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold uneven; 2.00 lower to 2.00 higher. Good demand for light weight cattle to background and the supply of these light cattle is tight.

When numbers of grazing cattle show up at the auction, the competition is fierce to own them. A much greater supply of heavier, backgrounded steers and heifers exists nationwide as producers have worked years upon years to push weaning weights higher and higher as cow-calf producers get paid on weight.

Demand was mostly moderate on the cattle bound for the feedyards, due to the supply abundance.

A large offering in the auctions in the Northern Plains again this week as producers work to get their yards emptied out before new crop calves start hitting the ground. Cattle feeders watch the April contract very closely and that is normally the high of the year, when supplies of market ready cattle are the tightest, right before the calf-feds start coming in May to June.

Feed costs are much higher compared to a year ago. For instance, cash corn in Southwest Kansas was 3.45 to 3.65 last year; 5.69 to 5.84 this year. Quite a stark contrast when you look at over 2.00 per bushel more and concern of more losses weighing on the feeder cattle market. Flesh condition is of utmost importance, especially in a challenging market, buyers are willing to give much more for a green one than for one that has been pushed too hard.

The CME Cattle complex saw a higher trend for the week. The June through October Live Cattle contracts were 2.250 to 2.700 higher on the week, while the April through August Feeder Cattle contracts were 2.850 to 4.200 higher on the week.

The negotiated cash cattle trade in the Southern Plains was reported at 114.00 for the sixth consecutive week.

Dressed trade in Nebraska was reported at 180.00 this week. Boxed beef values have weakened with the Choice cutout closing the week 5.46 lower at 225.87, while Select was 0.58 lower at 220.27. The Choice-Select spread has narrowed from 10.48 last week to 5.60 this week.

Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 647K for the week, 18K less than last week, and 6K more than a year ago. Auction volume this week included 56 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 43 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

March 12


This Week Last Week Last Year

1134 4793 0

Compared to last week: Not enough comparable trades with last week to test trends. Demand is moderate as slaughter cattle prices continue in sort of a stagnant state. However, feedyards continue to trade market ready cattle despite the lack of strength in the market. This helping to keep them in a more current status. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (68.3% Steers, 31.7% 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

480 Head: 860 lbs, 130.97 Current FOB

38 Head: 700 lbs, 145.00 Current DEL

120 Head: 750 lbs, 139.00 Current DEL

17 Head: 850 lbs, 133.00 Current DEL

120 Head: 885 lbs, 144.00 July-Aug DEL

Heifers — Medium and Large 1

34 Head: 650 lbs, 137.00 Current DEL

65 Head: 750 lbs, 128.00 Current DEL

120 Head: 835 lbs, 126.00 Current DEL

140 Head: 850 lbs, 123.00 Current DEL