Compared with pre-Thanksgiving markets, steers and heifers sold steady to $3 higher at auction this week. Agricultural Marketing Service reporters said buyers have become “more meticulous when purchasing calves having a health program and ample time of being weaned this time of year.”
Buyers want calves weaned 60 days, and “fleshy calves coming off the cows are seeing a steep price discount, and several 550-plus pound calves weaned on the trailer have made their way to town this week.”
AMS reporters also noted that blizzard conditions on Sunday and Monday in the central plains “did harden up some of the fleshy calves as cold temperatures moved in directly after the snow.”
The fed cattle trade was not fully established as of late Friday. Early week sales on a dressed basis in Nebraska were at $183 to $184, or $1 to $2 lower. The market undertone on the southern plains was called firm to $1 higher.
Boxed beef cutout values were down slightly from last week. The Choice cutout traded at $212.61 per cwt., down $1.24 from last Friday. Select was quoted at $198.41 per cwt., down a dime from last week.