(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 6


This Week Last Week Last Year

352,900 84,600 385,000

Compared to two weeks ago, steers and heifers sold uneven, 1.00 lower to 3.00 higher. More weaned calves with health programs behind them were seen in auctions this week and were met with higher prices for the most part. There was some individual sales that had weaker spots in them, but demand overall was rated at good to very good at most sales.

Many cow-calf producers traditionally wait until after the Thanksgiving Day holiday to market their calves and this year was no exception.

Some areas of the country are dealing with mud at the beginning of December, which is very early in the winter for that situation. The snow storm that blitzed through Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin was not a sight that locals needed this early. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, some producers are dealing with some hay shortages due to the cold late spring and then a wet summer on top of it. Those producers had difficulties getting hay put up in a timely manner because of it.

Yearlings are still in demand; however, the clock is ticking on getting them to the feedyard and then fed long enough to be able to hedged off the April Live Cattle Contract.

On the week, the CME Cattle Complex was minimally lower and did not see any large swings on the weekly trend. Last Friday at Burwell (NE) Livestock Market, a large string of 8-wt heifers hit the auction block and bystanders were astonished with how much they were worth. Near 250 head weighing 804 lbs sold at 153.60, while the gavel fell on their bigger sisters (215 head) weighing 872 lbs at 154.00.

This week in western Kansas brought renewed interest in the fed cattle industry as a fed cattle plant that had been shut down due to fire has reopened. Industry observers couldn’t wait for the reopening to happen. It was a daunting task to get the plant up and running again in relatively short order considering all the devastation done to internal components in the plant.

On the week, Choice cutout closed 7.56 lower at 224.56, while Select was 3.04 lower at 207.30; as the Choice-Select spread has narrowed to 17.26. Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 679K for the week, 126K more than last week (a holiday) and 10K more than a year ago. If realized, the weekly cattle slaughter is the largest since week ending June 25, 2011. This is a staggering realization that so many cattle have been harvested considering there were many more packing plants nationwide back then than there are now.

Hog plants are harvesting more than they ever have in history as well, with this week’s estimated FIS slaughter at nearly 2.8 million hogs. The week before Thanksgiving 2019 had been the largest in history so far at 2.767 million. Auction volume this week included 42 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 40 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Dec. 6


This Week Last Week Last Year

1,182 2,096 0

Compared to two weeks ago: Feeder steers and heifers sold steady to slightly weak on a limited test. Demand moderate. Supply consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs and 22 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

65 Head: 760 lbs, 146.51 Current FOB

90 Head: 800 lbs, 140.32 Current FOB

450 Head: 700 lbs, 150.00 Current Del

40 Head: 700 lbs, 146.00 Current Del Split Loads

141 Head: 767 lbs, 145.31 Current Del

25 Head: 850 lbs, 38.00 Current Del Split Loads

106 Head: 910 136.00 136.00 Current Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1

70 Head: 710 lbs, 139.51 Current FOB

30 Head: 650 lbs, 136.00 Current Del Split Loads

140 Head: 750 lbs, 140.00 Current Del

25 Head: 750 lbs, 134.00 Current Del Split Loads

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