RECEIPTS: Auctions Direct Video/Internet Total

THIS WEEK: 77,600 18,300 1,900 97,800

LAST WEEK: 130,500 41,100 36,700 208,300

YEAR AGO: 240,100 36,100 38,900 315,100

Compared to last week, steers and heifers at North Central auctions were 1.00 to 5.00 higher. Auction coverage was sparse this week in the Southeast and South Central parts of the country this week and were not tested. Extreme cold temperatures brought livestock commerce to a standstill in those areas. The North Central part of the country is more accustomed to these extreme temperatures as most of their reported auctions are later in the week and weather conditions were not as severe. In Oklahoma and Missouri (two large cow-calf states), only one feeder cattle auction per state was reported with less than 900 head combined between the two.

For perspective a year ago this week, Oklahoma and Missouri each contributed 35K plus to this report. Replacement cattle continue to be in demand this week as ranchers look for their next heifers that will make cows for a long time. At Denison (IA) Livestock Auction on Thursday, a package of 861 lb heifers sold for 1250.00 per head.

At Lexington (NE) Livestock Auction on Friday, a load of 714 lb heifers sold at 167.00, while their bigger sisters that weighed 820 lbs sold at 154.50. In addition at St Onge (SD) Livestock Auction on Friday, a load of 746 lb heifers sold at 163.00. At Eastern Missouri Commission Co (Bowling Green, MO), cow-calf pairs were in high demand. A few sets of middle aged cowsthat were bred back in the first stage and had 250 lb calves on them sold from 2200.00 to 2500.00 per pair. Bred heifers in the third stage ready to calve in less than a month rang the bell at 1925.00 to 2025.00 per head.

As of Friday afternoon, near 250 loads of fed cattle have been tendered for CME Live Cattle contract delivery. With the February CME Live Cattle contract this week hovering from 115.00 to 117.00 and cash fed cattle at 114.00, most tenders have been retendered at 1 with several being retendered at 2.

This procedure puts a little more in the producers pocketbook as the shorts are not too inclined to take cattle at par due to the difficulty of getting a harvest slot for them on the scheduled date of delivery. So far, there has been around 45% of the loads reclaimed by the long after playing both sides of the Board. Most of the tenders have occurred in the Southern Plains at this point in the month. This week’s fed cattle market was lightly tested at 114.00 live in the South Plains and dressed sales in Nebraska being traded at 180.00 to 181.00.

Boxed beef values continue to climbing with the Choice cutout closing 6.79 higher at 239.23, while Select was 6.49 higher at 227.90. The Choice – Select spread has widened a little from the previous week and was published at 11.33. Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 552K for the week, 56K less than last week, and 74K less than a year ago. The loss in slaughter rate was due to the lack of transportation of livestock this week. The Cattle On Feed number quoted at 101% of a year ago; Placements at 103% and Marketings at 94% This is the second highest February 1 inventory since the series began in 1996 as well as the second highest inventory number for all months in the 25 year history of reporting on feed numbers. The largest on feed number was reported for point in time February 1, 2006 at 12.11 million head. Auction volume this week included 69% weighing over 600 lbs and 35% heifers.