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National feeder and stocker cattle report

The CME Cattle complex has been a driving force in the roller coaster ride of the last couple of weeks.

Published on April 13, 2018 4:15PM



(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

April 13

This week Last week 2017

277,300 196,700 348,300

Compared to April 6: Feeder steers and heifers sold mostly steady to 5.00 higher. Some auctions that were called sharply lower last week recovered and were called sharply higher this week due to stability in the market place.

The CME Cattle complex has been a driving force in the roller coaster ride of the last couple of weeks. Whenever a news item comes out that the market takes as a bullish factor; another tidbit of news comes about and a bearish tone overtakes the positive news.

Since last Friday’s close, the Live Cattle contracts were mostly 1.78 to 2.30 higher, with nearby April being 4.85 higher as convergence with the negotiated trade in the feedlots is coming closer to fruition.

On Wednesday, fed cattle traded in the Southern Plains steady to 1.00 lower at 117.00 to 118.00.

This afternoon in Nebraska, some early live sales there traded at 122.00. Analysts have been watching very closely the amount of cattle being purchased by packers the past few weeks. Many producers are very diligent and staying current with their marketings as cattle in the Southern Plains have been gaining very well this winter.

The season has been very easy on the Kansas and TX/OK/NM feedlots, however in the Northern Plains, wet pens increase the cost of gains and decrease the yield on cattle that have had to slog through mud to get to the feedbunks.

The excessive winter moisture has brought about the question of how long will it take all the calf-feds to get through the pipeline this year.

Producers have been eager to fill empty pens this week. Late last Friday at Fort Pierre Livestock in Fort Pierre, S.D., five loads of steers weighing 809 lbs sold at 147.25.

On Wednesday at Hub City Livestock in Aberdeen, S.D., a load of steers weighing 794 lbs sold at 151.25.

Also on Wednesday at Bassett Livestock Auction in Bassett, NE a load of steers weighing 754 lbs sold at 157.00.

On Thursday at Mitchell Livestock Auction in Mitchell, S.D., three loads of 901 lbs steers sold at 135.10.

On Thursday at Ogallala Livestock Auction in Ogallala, Neb., a load of 611 lb steers sold at 196.50 while two loads of 669 lb steers sold at 185.25.

A part load of replacement heifers in Bassett, Neb., weighing 778 lbs sold at 157.00. Only the steer mates to these heifers within that same 50 lb weight group could even match the price received for the females.

Packers have been accepting a generous margin for this time of year and the extra incentive to harvest 600K-plus per week has bolstered bottom lines for the companies.

Boxed beef has lost around 13.00 since the most recent high 3-4 weeks ago and in the face of adversity since the Easter holiday. Grills need to be fired up in the Midwest and the Northeast to get the cutout to move up.

With Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day on the horizon, retailers are getting ready to start their spring and early summer procurement.

Winter Storm Xanto this weekend is expected to bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Northern Plains to the Great Lakes and farmers are wondering if spring will ever get here this year. Named winter storms have now included an “X” name and many across the Northern Plains and New England are not wanting to have a Winter Storm Yvonne; they are tired of being cold and wet.

Preliminary first quarter slaughter data has indicated heifer slaughter to be over 4 percent above a year ago and over 10 percent higher than the previous 3-year average.

Beef cow slaughter is over 10 percent higher than 2017 and around 19 percent above the previous 3-year average. With all the drought locations in the United States currently, one could question just how much producers can hold on to the breeding herd with forage prices increasing exponentially this winter and spring. Auction volume this week included 58 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 44 percent heifers.

National Slaughter

Cattle Summary

April 13

Slaughter cattle traded mostly 4.00-6.00 higher for live in Kansas and Nebraska and 2.00-6.00 higher on dressed sales. Few live trades in Texas were mostly steady. Boxed Beef prices as of Friday at afternoon averaged 206.26 down 3.70 from last Friday. The Choice/Select spread is 12.70.

Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday afternoon totaled 55,023 head. Last week’s total head count was 77,582.

Midwest Direct Markets:

Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: 120.00-122.00.

Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: 190.00.

South Plains Direct Markets:

Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 117.00-118.00.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices):

Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to 2.00 higher, with exception of Colorado trading 1.00-2.00 lower. Packer demand moderate to good.

Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value on Friday 173.98.

Northwest Weighted

Direct Feeder Cattle

April 13

This week Last week 2017

1,352 748 5,500

Compared to April 6: Feeder steers and heifers had no FOB current trades to compare. The feeder supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs and 23 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:

380 Head: 685 lbs; Avg Price 158.00; Current Del

75 Head: 775 lbs; Avg Price 134.00; Current Del

204 Head: 825 lbs; Avg Price 130.82; Current Del

80 Head: 850 lbs; Avg Price 128.00; Current Del

300 Head: 910 lbs; Avg Price 126.00; Current Del

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1:

173 Head: 750 lbs; Avg Price 129.00; Current Del

140 Head: 825 lbs; Avg Price 125.21; Current Del


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