Cattle won the tug-of-war between struggling beef prices and shorter supplies last week.

In fact, Friday opened with many analysts expecting fed cattle trade to hopefully gain a buck. As soon as the CME pit closed, though—August was up $2.90 for the week—feedlots were able to swap for $2 more at $84 in the Southern Plains. Early dressed sales in Nebraska were $3 higher at $132; a few live sales were up $1.50-$2.00 at $83-$84. In Iowa and Minnesota, live sales picked up $0.50 to $1.50, trading from $82 to $82.50; at $132 dressed sales were $2-$3 higher on the week.

Plus, according to analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), “Industry analysts were expecting higher volumes in the major feeding regions to come in with a $2 rise in the market. However, many feedyard managers resisted it as the nearby August live cattle contract closed at 86.37. Many did not want to give up that much basis and are content to carry cattle to next week.”

Though feeder and stocker cattle traded steady to $3 lower in the Southeast, Plains State auctions traded them at steady money to $2 higher than the previous week. And, feeder cattle futures were up for the week, too, $104.50-$104.72 for the nearest four months.

“Typically, cattle start moving to feed yards around the first of July, however with ample rains and only about one week(last week) of extremely uncomfortable hot weather, those runs at auctions have not materialized to their fullest extent just yet,” say AMS reporters.

The summary below reflects the week ended July 17 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 35,900 $105.36 $105.73 $103.12 $99.99 $101.40 $98.24
TX 35,400 $104.30 $102.97 $102.94 $96.89 $96.44 $96.29
MO 26,800 $110.73 $109.52 $103.75 $100.83 $101.52 $97.24
KY* 23,400 $104.01 $100.88 $97.44 $93.14 $89.67 $90.26
AL 14,600 $101.71 $93.24 $89.00 $89.68 $83-75 $81.35
NE 11,300 $116.76 $115.88 $107.64 $111.03 $105.53 $98.90
AR 9,700 $99.16 $97.85 $97.494 $91.68 $89.50 $87.704
GA*(***) 9,600 $87-101 $82-99 $82-92 $80-93 $78-89 $82-85
TN* 9,200 $101.74 $97.72 $93.14 $90.54 $85.77 $84.63
FL* 8,300 $87-98 $85-94 $81-88 $80-91 $78.50-87 $72-80
MS* 8,100 $90-991 $88-963 $82-935 $81-921 $80-903 $75-855
Carolinas* 7,600 $88-107.50 $85-101 $82-96 $80-94 $76-92 $71-84
NM * 5,200 $109.10 $93.864 $94.29 $84.602 $95.95 $94.49
LA(ND) 4,800 $87-102 $85-98 $85-964 $80-92.50 $78-90 $79-864
SD 4,800 ** $109.80 $103.50 $103.40 $102.23 $95.086
VA 3,700 $105.86 $101.02 $93.80 $94.74 $90.16 $86.56
KS 3,600 $116.43 ** $104.35 ** $98.754 $96.83
WA* 1,700 ** $97.45 $92.50 ** $89.22 $87.486

* 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.