National Feeder & Stocker Cattle summary for week ending Friday.
Receipts: Auctions Direct Video/Internet Total
This week: 377,500 59,900 94,300 531,700
Last week: 37,900 15,400 0 53,300
Year Ago: 366,900 65,000 154,400 586,300 .
Compared to last week, grazing steers and heifers sold sharply higher than last week’s light receipts, while feeder steers and heifers sold 1.00 lower to 3.00 higher.
Demand was described as good to very good at livestock auctions nationwide this week, as auctions were chomping at the bit to get back to business in the new year.
Load lots of longtime weaned calves were in the offering as producers were ready to get their calves marketed.
Several loads of light weight calves could be procured this week from the Southern Plains to the Northern Plains then grazed and sold as summer yearlings.
Large crowds were in attendance at most locations this first full week of the year.
From the “Stock Show Specials” to the U.S. Highway 20 corridor in Nebraska, this report is showing the largest auction receipts in the last 10 years.
The weather has held out and producers took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather this winter until this point in time.
Some areas have been very fortunate and have had an open winter until now, however areas in the Dakotas and Nebraska continue to be inundated with moisture and cattle pens are described as not conducive to efficient weight gain.
Calves and yearlings alike fetched some lofty prices this week. On Wednesday at the Bassett, Nebraska, Livestock Auction, two loads of 489 lb green, one-iron steers sold at 217.25, while a load of their bigger brothers pushed the envelope and the gavel dropped at 195.25. Another load of 625 lb steers with all the bells and whistles sold at 184.50.
Meanwhile, West on Highway 20 on Thursday, Valentine, Nebraska, Livestock Auction sold a load of 531 lb steers at 202.00 and a load of 707 lbs steers sold at 167.50.
Fed cattle have had an appealing run-up in prices since the fall. As of this writing, fed cattle prices have not been established yet this week, however, a steady to higher market is expected this week following the advance of the CME Cattle Complex on Monday.
The latest established market was reported at 124.00 live in the North and South Plains with dressed sales in Nebraska being traded at 199.00.
The CME Cattle Complex has been very supportive to the cash market this week.
For the week, Feeder Cattle futures are 4.00 to 5.00 higher, while the Live Cattle are 1.50 to 3.00 higher.
Boxed beef prices appear to have come off recent lows and demand seems to be stronger to start the year.
On the week, Choice cutout has moved nearly 2.00 higher as Friday morning’s value was pegged at 210.38 and Select was reported at 206.84.
The Choice-Select spread has narrowed in recent weeks and was last reported at 3.54.
Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 640,000 for the week, 94,000 more than last week (holiday) and 9,000 more than a year ago.
Auction volume this week included 52 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.