Feeder steers and heifers sold $2 to $6 higher this week, regaining all of the previous week’s losses. Agricultural Marketing Service reporters said cattle of all weights were in demand, from “the grazing kind to the 1,000-pounders.”
AMS reporters said, “many auctions had reputation strings and large bunches on offer this week allowing buyers to make full pens of uniform cattle. Most auctions that were held this week noted demand was good to very good.”
The tone of the fed cattle market was higher. Cattle traded in the South at $128, and in the North $208 dressed and $130 live. Cattle slaughter for the week was 30,000 head higher than the previous week.
The flooding in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa caused massive losses over the past week. Total agricultural losses in Nebraska topped $1 billion, and possibly $1.5 billion in Iowa.
Friday’s cattle on feed report estimated the number on feed up 1% from last year, placements up 2% and marketings up slightly.
The CME Feeder Cattle contracts saw their largest weekly gain since September. The deferred May through October contracts were $5.60 to $6.10 higher on the week and infused a much needed optimism into the cattle feeding sector.
The Choice beef cutout closed at $129.09, with Select at $218.64.