Without any extra support from consumer beef demand, and with surging volume as the fall calf run gets under way, calves and yearlings sold mostly steady to $3 lower last week. To cap it off, fed cattle lost $0.50-$1.00 compared to the previous week.

“Feeder cattle buyers showed reserve on purchasing feedlot replacements, especially the yearlings as equity has been lost over the last several cycles of cattle feeding,” explained analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Friday. They added that many orders seemed to be filled at mid-week as feeder cattle and live cattle futures doled out triple-digit losses.

Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report was on par with the prevailing pre-release sentiment: Inventory of 99% compared to Sept. 1, 2008; placements at 102%; marketings at 96%.

“…the livestock scenario for this fall and next year seems favorable with very good crop conditions and outlook but livestock prices seem to be elusive in reaching a positive price level,” say AMS analysts. “Near limit higher CBOT corn market on Tuesday – from early frost warnings in the northern Corn Belt – helped pressure feeders, but when frost warnings were removed on Wednesday as corn traded at lower levels (price), feeder-cattle futures continued to trade lower.”

Furthermore, the folks at AMS point out boxed beef cut-out values have traded narrowly since May 22 when the value was $145.73 and Friday’s $141.21; mostly $136-$140 from the middle of June to the end of July.

“Chief among these factors seems to be demand with lower domestic consumer spending as most households are living paycheck to paycheck. Growing supplies of competing meats from pork and chicken, and to a certain extent a high rate of dairy-cow slaughter, have all pressured the beef market,” say the AMS analysts.

The summary below reflects the week ended Sept. 18 for Medium and Large 1 – 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb. (calves), 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.
MO 43,700 $108.00 $105.43 $101.02 $94.78 $95.71 $91.30
OK 29,800 $107.67 $105.66 $99.82 $96.15 $96.15 $92.15
Dakotas 26,700
SD
ND

$108.392
**

$106.15
**

$103.69
$98.59

$99.98
**

$98.01
$92.824

$95.33
$92.33
TX 23,600 $101.19 $96.83 $95.57 $95.34 $91.02 $87.09
KY* 20,200 $100.05 $95.02 $87.81 $87.51 $89.12 $88.61
NE 17,100 $113.59 $102.70 $101.01 $103.17 $97.61 $95.43
IA 14,900 $112.10 $108.05 $105.12 $98.90 $97.76 $94.41
AL 13,700 $94.14 $90.43 $85.21 $84.02 $79.79 $77.51
FL* 10,000 $82-96 $80-90 $84-91 $74-89 $71-84 $70-844
AR 9,700 $99.27 $95.40 $91.754 $88.64 $85.70 $86.204
KS 9,200 $108.21 $105.61 $101.00 $104.25 $95.56 $93.70
Carolinas 9,000 $84-101 $82-94 $75-90.50 $70-89 $67.50-83 $68-80
TN* 9,000 $98.27 $91.95 $87.41 $86.71 $83.71 $82.10
MS* 7,400 $86-971 $85-913 $85-885 $85-901 $80-903 $75-805
GA*(***) 7,100 $86-100 $82-93 $76-86 $77-90 $72-85 $75-78
LA* 6,200 $92-103 $85-94 $84-914 $83-99 $82-962 $77-893
VA 6,200 $92.45 $93.11 $90.18 $82.44 $81.95 $79.31
WY 5,300 $102.90 $102.232 $96.94 $94.31 $95.44 $93.55
NM 4,400 $100.99 $98.92 $91.10 $87.12 $89.21 $91.14
CO 3,800 $109.12 $102.72 $98.75 $94.15 $93.61 $90.10
MT 3,100 $100.51 ** $95.686 $91.99 $90.714 $91.84
WA* 3,100 $94.91 $92.162 $88.55 $85.92 $82.694 $81.98

* Plus 2
** None reported of the same quality at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
(?) As reported, but questionable
NDNo Description
1500-600 lbs.
2550-600 lbs.
3600-700 lbs.
4650-700 lbs.
5700-800 lbs.
6750-800 lbs.
7800-850 lbs.