AND STOCKER CATTLE
(Federal-State Market News)
St. Joseph, Mo.
This Week Last Week Last Year
251,400 267,500 257,600
Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold uneven; 2.00 lower to 2.00 higher. Demand remains good for yearling cattle with light to moderate demand for fresh calves.
This time of year, true yearlings are in very short supply and buyers are willing to pay handsome prices for this type of cattle. Large supplies of calves are on the horizon, even though not many come direct, (videos and auctions are the bulk of them). Buyers are still seeking these calves to make yearlings or push hard to the April fat cattle market for the big front-end kind. Bawling and unweaned calves continue to see discounts and are much less desirable to buyers as typical for this time of year.
Early fall temperature swings make these cattle very high health risks, which will remain the case until a hard frost comes and the populations in the hospital sick pens will drop. Buyers are quite willing to pay premiums for cattle if producers invest time in them and provide a documented health program.
Drought conditions continue to spread nationwide with almost 62 percent of the continental United States in some sort of drought status. As the average first frost date nears hope for stockpiling pastures is fading quickly.
Grain farmers, on the other hand, are at least temporarily enjoying the dry conditions as grain harvest is in full swing and they are seeing some of the highest prices of the year right in the middle of harvest. The USDA September stocks report brought big gains to the markets on Wednesday due to corn stocks being reduced by 226 million bushels less than the previous year to 1.995 billion bushels, a number that the trade was not expecting to happen. Corn was over 14 cents higher, while Soybeans were over 30 cents higher on Wednesday.
The CME Feeder Cattle contracts incurred triple-digit losses on the day and closed lower for the week. The Live Cattle contracts were higher for the week; however, the basis has gotten considerably closer due to the negotiated fed cattle live price being 2.00 to 3.00 higher.
Southern Plains fed cattle traded at mostly 108.00, while dressed sales in Nebraska were sold at mostly 168.00. Steer dressed weights declined one pound this week to 919 lbs, 23 lbs larger than last year. This was the first weekly decline in steer dressed weights since the middle of July.
This afternoon’s Choice boxed beef was reported at 218.88, 0.46 lower than last Friday’s close. Select cutout was reported at 207.61, 0.63 higher than last Friday’s close.
Estimated cattle slaughter under federal inspection this week was reported at a 665K, 14k more than last week, and 20K more than last year. Auction volume this week included 49 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.
Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle
Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT
This Year Last Year
Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers not fully established for current FOB delivery. Demand moderate on limited numbers. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (21.5% steers, 78.5% 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 1-2 (per cwt)
116 Head: 850 lbs, 128.70 Current FOB
Heifers — Medium and Large 1 (Per Cwt)
65 Head: 885 lbs, 130.00 Current DEL
240 Head: 950 lbs, 127.00
Heifers — Medium and Large 1-2 (Per Cwt)
118 Head: 812 lbs, 116.94 Current FOB