U.S. cow-calf producers have been selling feeder cattle at lighter weights.
Feeder cattle futures made new contract highs recently due to tight available supplies and stronger fed cattle prices. While it's not unusual to see a correction after a surge higher, prices are expected to be well supported into the fall period.
U.S. feeder cattle were $1 to $3 higher in the last week of August on average, with stronger demand stepping forward for lighter-weight calves. Feedlots felt comfortable paying $120 for 8-weight steers, even though comments from auction markets reflected that cattle were quite green and thin.
Total feeder-cattle numbers outside U.S. feedlots as of July 1 were down nearly 1 million head from 2009.
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