Buyers continued pushing the maraket for yearling feeder cattle at steady money to $3 higher while seasonal health risks are starting to make the sledding tougher for calves.
“Yearling demand remains at its peak with an unusually large number of buyers participating in the open market,” say analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). “This year’s increased addition of farmer feeders, independent feedlot buyers, and large feeding corporations spreading out to search for headcounts amid tight supplies has created fierce competition in sale barn markets and increased participation in video sales.”
Yearling feeder sold steady to $3 higher last week with the strongest demand continuing in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, according to AMS.
Although calves traded mostly steady in the Central Plains and the West, they traded $3-$5 lower—with many instances of to $10 lower—in the Southeast as buyers begin looking to avoid seasonal health risks.
“Buyers are beginning to shy away from soft bawling calves, as they do this time of year due to health concerns associated with big temperature swings as we move into the hot days and cool nights of September-October, and may not rebound until frost,” explained the market reporter at Ozarks Regional Stockyards in West Plains, MO Tuesday where steer calves sold $2 lower than the previous week and those weighing 500-750 lbs. sold $2-$4 lower.
Feeder Cattle futures received a shot in the arm, too, as corn prices crumbled beneath the bearish weight of Thursday’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (see More Corn and Lower Grain Prices below) that peg the season-average price for a record corn crop at $4.40-$5.20/bu. Spot Sep Corn futures closed Friday at $4.50; it closed at $6.95 the same day a year ago. Support in the Feeder pit helped underpin Live Cattle futures that continue to be pressured by languishing wholesale beef values and fed cattle prices.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.54/cwt. lower week-to-week. Select was $3.25 lower.
Fed cattle sales ended the week on a steady basis: $123/cwt. in the Southern Plains on a live basis; dressed sales in Nebraska at mostly $194; live sales in Iowa-Minnesota at $122.00-$122.50 and dressed sales at $193-$195.
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