(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

April 26


This Week: 277,900

Last Week: 291,800

Year Ago: 195,200

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold 4.00 to 7.00 lower, with auctions mid to late week contributing to the significant lower trend nationwide.

As written here last week, inventive ways to bring cost of gains in line to where producers can hope to make a profit is now even more in the forefront of ranchers' minds.

The inverse trajectory of futures when comparing grain to livestock continued again this week. For the week, the front two months of CME Feeder Cattle futures were 5.775 to 6.050 lower on the week to close at 133.850 and 137.675, respectively, on sharply lower trends on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Live Cattle followed the downward move of Feeder Cattle to close 3.000 to 3.450 lower on the front months at 117.850 and 115.725. May Corn futures finally slowed down the push upward somewhat on Friday after double-digit gains Tuesday through Friday to close the week 0.7000 higher at 6.5550, the highest close for that contract to date.

According to ranchers in the High Plains, the drought is front and center on every producers' mind. USDA reports show 78% of North Dakota, 61% of Montana, 58% of South Dakota, 56% of Wyoming, and 49% of Colorado with topsoil moisture short or very short. In those areas, heifers held back as replacements continue to be offered at the auctions.

Negotiated cash fed cattle in the Southern Plains were lightly tested this week steady to 2.00 lower at 118.00 to 120.00. Dressed sales in Nebraska sold at 192.00, 4.00 lower than the previous week. Demand for beef continues to rally as packer margins continue to be large.

Choice boxed beef values closed the week 7.72 higher at 283.77, while Select was 3.03 higher at 272.13. The Choice-Select spread widened this week and was published at 11.64.

Steer dressed weight for week ending April 10, 2021 was reported at 900 lbs, 6 lbs higher than the previous week and 14 lbs heavier than a year ago.

Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 665K for the week, 25K more than last week, and 195K more than a year ago. On Friday the Cattle On Feed number quoted for April 1, 2021 at 105% of a year ago; Placements at 128% and Marketings at 101%. This is the second highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

On Thursday, the Cold Storage report indicated total red meat supplies in freezers were down 6% from the previous month and down 17% from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 6% from the previous month and down 4% from last year.

Auction volume this week included 51% weighing over 600 lbs and 46% heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

April 23


This Week Last Week Last year

515 1429 580

Compared to last week: Not enough trades this week for an accurate trend. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (37.9% Steers, 62.1% 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.

Steers — Medium and Large 1

195 Head: 875 lbs, 133.23 Current DEL

Heifers — Medium and Large 1

320 Head: 831 lbs, 124.94 Current DEL

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