Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

NATIONAL SLAUGHTER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

Oklahoma City-Des Moines

Dec. 18

Compared to Dec. 11: Slaughter cattle sold $1-2 lower. Dressed trade in Nebraska sold mostly $4 lower. Declining cattle futures spilled over in the cash trade once again. Boxed Beef prices Dec. 18 averaged $190.25 and is down $4.21 from Dec. 11. The Choice/Select spread is $7.79. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Dec. 18 totaled about 76,473 head. The previous week’s total head count was 77,084 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs. $115-117; Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers $183-184.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $117-118.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows $2-5 lower. Slaughter bulls $1-4 lower. Northern markets held mostly steady.

USDA’s Cutter Cow cut-out value Dec. 18 was $158.15 down $.69 from Dec. 11.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Dec. 31

This week Last week Last year

NA NA 47,500

Compared to Dec. 18: Most feeder cattle auctions were closed for the holidays as trading was very limited. This holiday break has provided a much needed breather from all the volatility and emotional strain that has dominated the markets throughout the fall season. The cattle markets are attempting to hit the reset button with higher expectations for 2016. Packers on Dec. 29 came out with aggressive bids to procure fed cattle supplies with live cattle prices mostly $12 higher in the Southern Plains ranging from $134-136, with dressed sales in Nebraska $12 higher at $212. A few feeder cattle auctions this week traded with sharply higher gains on calves and yearlings (a very light test traded mostly $15-25 higher than Dec. 18) as most auctions across the country took two weeks off.

Burwell, Neb., on Dec. 30 held their annual Holiday Cow Classic with over 3200 bred cows and heifers on offer. A large standing-room-only crowd was on hand to bid on a large offering of dispersals and consignments of reputation young bred cows and heifers. Many of the top quality bred heifers mostly black spring AI bred heifers sold from $2000-2500 and the young spring bred cows trading from $2200-2550. In Kearney, Neb., on Dec. 30 over 3600 head of feeder cattle sold at the Huss-Platte Valley Auction with over 300 head of 750-800 lb. steers averaging 773 lbs. sold for a weighted average price of $171.28 and 350 head of their bigger brothers averaging 823 lbs. sold for a weighted average price of $164.43.

When marketing fully resumes next week with increased receipts, it should be met with good demand as cattle traders will be watching and keeping tabs on the feeder and fed cattle markets hoping this late cash cattle rally will hold well into January 2016. With live cattle prices pushing higher the cut-out value naturally has followed with values erupting this week and surging back over the $200 level for Choice product. Since Dec. 21, Choice cut-out has gone from $191.28 to close on Dec. 31 $3.81 higher at $212.59.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

178,100 337,900 187,800

WASHINGTON 2,000. 43 pct 600 lbs. 42 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs. $142.93; 650-700 lbs. $134.82; 750-800 lbs. $134.56. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $134.52.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

26,300 41,300 25,700

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 6,400. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 275 lbs. $178 April Del; 300 lbs. $160 April Del; 300 lbs. $169 April-May FOB; 325 lbs. April-May $155 FOB; 325 May $152 FOB.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 3,300. 100 pct over 600 lbs. 29 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB Price 700-750 lbs. $147-149 Washington-Oregon; 800-850 lbs. $146-148 Washington-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 650 lbs. $164 calves Idaho; 700-800 lbs. $148-156.50 Idaho; 800-900 lbs. $142-151 Idaho. Medium and Large 1: 700-750 lbs. $153.50-154 Idaho; 850 lbs. $149.50-150 Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 650 lbs. $142-144 calves Washington-Oregon; 700-750 lbs. $139-143 Washington-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 650-700 lbs. $149 calves Idaho; 700-800 lbs. $142-143 Idaho; 850-900 lbs. $137 Idaho.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Dec. 18

This week Last week Last year

3,300 2,200 460

Compared to Dec. 11: Feeder cattle steady in a light pre-holiday test despite a lower futures market for most of the week. Trade remains slow to moderate with light to moderate demand. The feeder supply included 71 percent steers and 29 percent heifers. Near 100 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-12 cent slide on calves and a 3-8 cent slide on yearlings. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses. Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 700-750 lbs. $147-149 Washington-Oregon; 800-850 lbs. $146-148 Washington-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 650 lbs. $164 calves Idaho; 700-800 lbs. $148-156.50 Idaho; 800-900 lbs. $142-151 Idaho. Medium and Large 1: 700-750 lbs. $153.50-154 Idaho; 850 lbs. $149.50-150 Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 650 lbs. $142-144 calves Washington-Oregon; 700-750 lbs. $139-143 Washington-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 650-700 lbs. $149 calves Idaho; 700-800 lbs. $142-143 Idaho; 850-900 lbs. $137 Idaho.

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