"Tight supplies continue to enable higher prices with buyers showing good demand for top quality calves and about any make or model of yearlings," explained analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Friday.

Though it was a limited test – the 4th of July holiday disrupts marketing last week and this week – feeder and stocker cattle sold steady to $3 higher. Fed cattle held their ground last week, too. Fed cattle trade in the Southern Plains was mostly steady with the previous week at $91. Live sales in the Northern Plains were steady to $1 higher at $91-$92; $145-$147 (mostly $146) on a dressed basis.

"On-site auction movement may be currently slow, but video sales are brisk and the predominant market levels for future delivery late summer and fall calves and yearlings will most likely be set after these two holiday-split weeks," AMS analysts say.

Reflecting on last week's USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks reports (see "Corn Crop – Stocks Smaller Than Expected"), Emmit Rawls, University of Tennessee ag economist, noted in his weekly commentary Friday, "While there is a good bit of growing season ahead of us, there is probably more risk of higher feed cost than buying it too high now. Feeder-cattle prices usually decline in response to higher feed cost. That has not happened this week as buyers continue to buy feeder cattle that will have feedlot break©\evens in the mid $90s. The Livestock Marketing Information Center's latest fed cattle price forecast is as follows: 3rd qtr. $88-$91; 4th qtr. $90-$94; 1st qtr. 2011 $89-$94."

The summary below reflects the week ended July 2 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.
OK 26,900 $128.07 $119.77 $115.89 $114.02 $111.09 $107.76
MO 23,200 $124.92 $122.24 $115.17 $116.46 $110.33 $109.36
TX 18,900 $115.75 $110.94 $110.09 $109.73 $109.69 $97.97
KY* 10,300 $124.41 $115.62 $112.44 $111.38 $106.42 $99.12
LA* 6,300 $98-114 $105-1102 ** $94-105 $96-1052 **
AR 6,000 $117.11 $113.04 $108.874 $107.95 $105.41 $103.054
TN* 4,700 $117.09 $112.65 $101.43 $106.12 $97.25 $90.94
NM 4,600 $113.59 $110.93 $105.56 $109.79 $99.73 $93.49
IA 4,200 $136.40 $126.27 $118.13 $130.62 $117.46 $112.23
SD 3,700 $124.90 $123.82 $110.15 $107.212 $111.49 $110.13
MS* 3,400 $103-1151 $100-1083 $95-1065 $100-1091 $96-1043 $85-965
VA 2,300 $120.38 $112.66 $106.40 $106.01 $106.08 $94.916
WY 2,000 ** $115 ** ** ** **
Carolinas* 1,900 $105-118 $100-105 $102-108 $94-111 $90-100 $81.50-95.50
KS* 1,700 ** ** $113.49 $113.35 ** $102.006
NE 1,600 $130.602 $122.66 $113.008 $120.862 $119.45 $107.37

* 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.
8850-900 lbs.