"Feeder buyers were aggressive this past week following last week's $2 gain in the fed-cattle market and the expectation of tight supplies of yearlings through the summer," say Ag Marketing Service (AMS) specialists. "Feedlots reluctantly accepted lower packer bids on Friday, after a week of downside pressure from the CME board. Slaughter steers and heifers sold $1.50-$2 lower from $81-$81.50. Packers continue to operate at aggressive chain speeds with an estimated weekly cattle harvest of 707,000, which was 49,000 head larger than the same week a year ago."

In other words, any short-term bloom left on the market surge last month appears all but faded.

The lowest fed-cattle prices usually come mid-summer, though so far this year the market has run against seasonal and cyclical norms. Packers remain aggressive in their harvest, but growing cold storage stocks and burgeoning supply leave little doubt they're gaining bargaining leverage.

Longer term, both the drought and corn prices continue to be the major wild cards. As for the drought, cow-auction receipts in Texas have run beyond average for weeks as some producers have begun dipping below their oldest cows to conserve feed. The same goes in other ultra-dry areas. As for corn, feeder-cattle and calf sellers could do worse than hope for a record crop.

Last week, USDA's monthly World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates lowered total poultry and red-meat production forecasts a touch, in part because of a marginal reduction in beef production. But production across the board is still projected to be higher than a year ago.

The summary below reflects the week ended June 9 for Medium and Large 1 -- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb. feeder heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in descending order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:

Summary Table
State Volume Steers Heifers
Calf Weight 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs. 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs.
OK 40,800 $125.16 $117.27 $112.46 $114.84 $110.64 $104.83
TX 34,800 $120.36 $115.66 $110.74 $115.89 $104.78 $99.56
MO 26,400 $132.59 $124.73 $112.32 $123.10 $114.77 $106.00
KY* 15,200 $118-128 $109-119 $95-1055 $109-119 $98-1083 $87-975
AL 13,100 $117-128 $107-115 $100-106 $110-118 $100-110 $90-98
GA*(***) 11,300 $106-134.50 $96-118.50 $92-102 $100-118 $90-109 $90-1004
NE 9,200 $137.72 $127.04 $116.47 $123.36 $116.86 $104.52
SD 8,800 $132.182 $125.73 $117.29 $114.102 $112.964 $107.93
Carolinas* 8,500 $103-122 $90-1143 $83-1025 $100-118 $85-106 $75-995
TN* 8,200 $121.06 $111.26 $103.37 $111.78 $100.56 $92.81
AR 8,000 $121.37 $113.35 $106.79 $112.22 $105.41 $97.64
KS 6,400 ** ** $112.52 ** $114.73 $108.23
CO 5,800 $119.262 ** ** $113.592 $108.684 $95.09
FL 5,600 $104-119 $100-1152 ** $95-110 $97-1182 **
MS* 5,600 $110-1201 $100-110 $85-955 $100-1101 $90-1003 $86-905
NM 4,800 $116.81* $114.68* ** $112.32 $106.72 **
LA*ND 4,000 $108-122 $101-1202 ** $102-118 $100-1152 **
VA 3,400 $117.96 $114.78 $104.45 $109.66 $101.11 **
IA 2,200 ** ** $111.83 ** $109.82 $104.90
MT 1,500 $131.972 ** ** ** ** **
WA* 1,400 $117.332 $114.555 ** ** ** **

* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
NDNo Description 1500-600 lbs.
2550-600 lbs.
3600-700 lbs.
4650-700 lbs.
5700-800 lbs.
6750-800 lbs.
7800-850 lbs.