NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE
(Federal-State Market News)
St. Joseph, Mo.
This week Last week 2017
308,500 326,900 273,200 Hd
Compared to Feb. 2: Steers and heifers sold 1.00 lower to 4.00 higher. Many market comments this week referred to the quality of the runs being above average to outstanding as bidders and buyers bellied up to the ring and were active participants.
Even though horrible weather conditions were realized in many places this week, the demand for quality stock was not diminished one iota.
On Wednesday at Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, S.D., a load of 766 lb red hided heifers sold for $1390 per head or near 181.50/cwt.
Also on Wednesday at Bassett Livestock in Nebraska a half load of 771 lb heifers sold at 170.00 and at Huss Platte Valley Auction in Kearney, Neb., a short load of 747 lb heifers sold at 168.00.
In the hills of north central Missouri at Green City Livestock Auction, a large package of 719 lb heifers sold at 164.00.
These consignments are from reputation ranches and were sold mostly to repeat customers who come back year after year to buy the same genetics.
Even though replacement heifers have been the talk in this column the last couple weeks, the mature cattle slaughter has increased an average of almost 7700 head per week for the first four harvest weeks of the new year.
With the increase in drought conditions throughout the country more of those older cows are not getting another chance to give that rancher one more calf to sell. The late summer and fall pasture growth was diminished with the lack of rainfall in the major cow/calf states and hay stocks are being consumed steadily as winter rolls on.
Quite a lot of hay from Nebraska is being trucked to out of state feedlots and dairies. Some ranchers are loading up on hay, especially alfalfa hay to supplement cows and heifers after calving. Some cattlemen are having to supplement cows on cornstalks as most are under snow and cows are having a hard time rummaging up a enough mega calories to keep them going when the temperatures get in the teens and below.
Compared to last Friday, the CME cattle complex saw the Live Cattle Contracts lower; the front month Feb being 0.33 lower, the next four being 2.07 to 2.58 lower. The front five Feeder Cattle contracts were 2.50 to 4.72 lower.
This week stocks went on a wild roller coaster ride as the Dow posted its worst week since 2008. From the Dow’s highest close on Jan. 26 of 26,617, a major correction started Feb. 2 with a 666-point drop to close at 25,520. A seesaw was in the cards this week as traders were trying to figure out which side of the market they wanted to be on as the Dow realized a drop to levels seen around the end of November 2017.
Even though it would be around a 10 percent drop in value, a correction in 2011 was completed with a 19.4 percent drop in the index. A period in 2010 had a 16 percent drop; 2015 into 2016 had a 13.3 percent decline; and early in CY 2015 there was also a 12.4 percent reduction.
The ebbs and flows of the market place happen at a rapid pace, making it very difficult for someone to keep up with the swiftness that trading occurs. One thing that old timers always say is “What goes up, usually comes down.” Auction volume this week included 65 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.
Slaughter cattle traded mostly steady to 1.00 lower for live and dressed offerings. Boxed Beef prices as of Friday afternoon averaged 204.63 down 2.15 from last Friday.
The Choice/Select spread is 3.78.
Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday afternoon totaled 17,050 head. Last week’s total head count was 103,970.
Midwest Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 126.00.
Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: 198.00-202.00.
South Plains Direct Markets:
Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 125.00-126.00
Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to 3.00 higher. Packer demand good. Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Friday was 170.53 down 1.55 from last Friday.
Direct Feeder Cattle
This week Last week 2017
155 180 2,650 Hd
Compared to Feb. 2: Feeder steers not well tested. Feeder heifers not well tested. Demand moderate. The feeder supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs and 100 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:
75 Head; Avg Wt 740 lbs; Avg Price 153.23; Current FOB
Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1:
80 Head; Avg Wt 685 lbs; Avg Price 145.23; Current FOB