(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Sept. 20

This Week Last Week Last year

268,700 371,900 330,300

Compared to last week: Steers and heifers sold 2.00 to 7.00 higher. Demand for yearlings and calves improved throughout the week as the CME Cattle Complex found a support level and Feeder Cattle is now trading higher than levels “pre-fire.”

Today’s close on the September Feeder Cattle contract was 140.32; the last time that contract closed above $140.00 was Aug. 1, 2019. On that date, October Live Cattle closed at 108.72, while it closed today at 99.35. For the week, soon-to-be expiring September Feeder Cattle was 3.82 higher, while the October contract was 4.63 higher on the week. The next four months were 1.48 to 3.00 higher for the same time period.

The cattle feeders’ psyche was boosted by these indicators after they were left reeling from the recent devaluation of cattle. The drain of capital from cattle feeders has been extreme and they have struggled all summer long to achieve profitability.

Surprisingly, the feeder cattle market is active at the auctions as outgoing fed cattle continue to lose money as fed cattle hover on both sides of the 100.00 mark. Most lots of yearlings are coming off the copious amounts of summer grass that has been available all summer.

Several consignments have been selling lighter than last year due to the “washy” pasture grass that causes cattle to weigh up with a lighter flesh and compensatory gain will be a new buyer’s best friend. As grass has been abundant, and no frost yet, there has been no need to pull yearlings off grass and get them sold before they start to lose pounds without supplemental feed. These feeder cattle producers aren’t anxious to sell cattle yet as they hope for a continued rally that will leave them with a positive return on their investment they have made.

Fall officially starts on Monday, however, the fall runs have not. The amount of forage available this summer and early fall have left many cow-calf producers in no hurry to wean and sell calves; very different from the drought year of 2018.

On this report, Year to Date Auction receipts are 8.6 percent behind a year ago and 6.1 percent behind the previous three-year average. These numbers follow what today’s Cattle on Feed Report stated. The On Feed number quoted at 99 percent; Placements at 91 percent and Marketings at 98 percent.

Marketings were affected by the Tyson Foods fire on Aug. 9, however, the industry has certainly done their part in moving through the available supplies the last month and a half.

Steer carcass weights for week ending Sept. 7 jumped 9 lbs this week to 893 lbs; only 3 lbs below a year ago. That is also only 11 lbs below last fall’s high and 51 lbs larger than this spring’s low.

The fed cattle weights are expected to climb as the available supply will increase through the fall.

YTD Cattle Slaughter through August was released on Thursday with heifer slaughter 8.6 percent above a year ago while beef cow slaughter was 11.6 percent above a year ago. This is the largest YTD numbers for heifers since 2011 and largest for beef cows since 2013.

For the week, the Choice cutout closed 3.91 lower at 216.97, while Select was 6.88 lower at 191.72. Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 658K for the week, 29K more than last week and 5K more than a year ago.

Silage choppers are in full swing across the Northern Plains now and some feedlots are getting ready to start piling high moisture corn in Nebraska.

The maturity of the corn crop in the Dakotas is a major concern as more warm and dry days are needed but the forecast puts the region in a cooler, wet pattern for the near future. Auction volume this week included 51 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Sept. 20

This Week Last Week Last year

4,069 1,754 760

Compared to last week: Compared to last week: Feeder steers 1.00-2.00 higher. Feeder heifers lightly tested with a higher undertone noted. Demand good. Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs. and 39 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

355 Head: 675 lbs, 151.00 Current Del

40 Head: 725 lbs, 140.00 Current Del Split Loads

312 Head: 772 lbs, 140.29 Current Del

705 Head: 820 lbs, 139.89 Current Del

940 Head: 870 lbs, 137.29 Current Del

150 Head: 850 lbs, 135.00 Nov Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1

70 Head: 700 lbs, 136.00 Current Del

40 Head: 725 lbs, 134.00 Current Del Split Loads

170 Head: 778 lbs, 135.40 Current Del

514 Head: 806 lbs, 133.77 Current Del

148 Head: 850 lbs, 121.51 Current Del

35 Head: 900 lbs, 120.00 Current Del

120 Head: 950 lbs, 123.00 Current Del

400 Head: 825 lbs, 134.00 Nov Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1-2

70 Head: 875 lbs, 118.00 Current Del

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