Cattle Markets Trend Higher Last Week Of Summer

Cattle prices traded higher this week. ( FJ )

Cash fed cattle traded in the south at $101, and in the north at $102, both prices $1 to $2 higher. Cattle sold on a dressed basis at $160 to $162 per cwt., $2 to $5 higher. Analysts believe cattle supplies are at a peak, which should help support prices moving forward.

U.S. cattle on feed Sept. 1, 2019, were estimated at 11.0 million head, down 1% from a year ago, USDA reported Friday.

Placements into feedlots in August totaled 1.88 million head, a 9% decline from the same month a year ago. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 385,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 300,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 424,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 440,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 230,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 105,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.95 million head, 2% below 2018. Other disappearance totaled 61,000 head during August, 11% above 2018.

Auction prices for steers and heifers were reported at $2 to $7 higher by the Agricultural Marketing Service.

“Demand for yearlings and calves improved throughout the week as the CME Cattle Complex found a support level and Feeder Cattle are now trading higher than levels pre-fire,” AMS reporters said.

“Surprisingly the feeder cattle market is active at the auctions as outgoing fed cattle continue to lose money as fed cattle hover on both sides of the 100.00 mark.  Most lots of yearlings are coming off the copious amounts of summer grass that has been available all summer.  Several consignments have been selling lighter than last year due to the ‘washy’ pasture grass.”

AMS reporters also said the amount of forage available this summer and early fall has left many cow-calf producers in “no hurry to wean and sell calves, very different from the drought of 2018.

The Choice cutout closed $3.91 lower at 216.97 for the week, while Select was 6.88 lower at 191.72.  Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 658,000 for the week, 29,000 more than last week and 5,000 more than a year ago.