National Feeder Cattle Report:  Best demand of limited supply of yearlings

Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady to 3.00 lower.  The best demand was seen this week on the limited supply of yearlings still out there in the country. 

The bulk of the feeder supply this week consisted of calves as the percent over 600 lbs continues the typical seasonal decline.   Last year in October, the percent over 600 lbs declined 12 percentage points.  

October is the time of year that some producers opt to forgo a weaning regimen and sell their calves directly off the cow only to be met with steep discounts at the auction.   The demand for calves continues to be very dependent upon the health program of the originating producer.  

This week has ended with much cooler temperatures as an Arctic blast brought frost to a good portion of the Plains.   Lack of moisture continues to avoid the areas that need it the most and the drought areas are slowing intensifying each week.  In Missouri, reports of some hay feeding taking place and the next thing in line would be water concerns for some producers.  

Grain farmers continue to make harvest progress as they are very thankful of not having to deal with muddy conditions this year so far.   As of Monday, this week, corn harvest is 21 percent ahead of a year ago and 9 percent ahead of the previous 5-year average.  Soybean harvest is 38 percent ahead of a year ago and 19 percent ahead of the 5-year average.  

The CME Cattle Complex has been pressured since late last week as liquidation selling has had a firm grip on the futures.  

Cattle feeders are looking at breakevens increasing as grain prices climb in the middle of harvest.  Feedyard managers are doing the best they can to clear space as nationwide this will be the fifth week in a row that negotiated cash receipts are in excess of 105K head.  In addition, customers are wanting to place more calves right now, however many feedyards have limited feeding space available as they are still dealing some backup of cattle from earlier this year.  

Southern Plains fed cattle traded at mostly 108.00, while dressed sales in Nebraska were sold at 168.00-169.00.  

Boxed beef continues its slide as Choice boxes have lost nearly 9.00 in the last two weeks and Select cutouts have lost more than 14.00.  This afternoon’s Choice boxed beef was reported at 210.03, 4.03 lower than last Friday’s close.  Select cutout was reported at 193.52, 6.30 lower than last Friday’s close.  

Estimated cattle slaughter under federal inspection this week was reported at a 654K, 17K more than last week, and 11K more than last year.  

Auction volume this week included 42 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.


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Rob Cook,