June Calves, Feeders Trend Lower

While the overall arrow points higher for June, the primary indicators for the short term are cattle prices and feedyard inventories. Markets trended significantly lower in late June, and cattle on feed inventories appear heavy for the months ahead. Feedyards and packers remained highly profitable during June, though the leverage was shifting in the packer’s favor.  
Caution is found in larger on feed placements and overall 
increases in beef production. Cost of production remains relatively unchanged for producers, and the steer to corn ratio is strong. Beef cow and heifer slaughter has begun to tick up, suggesting expansion has slowed.
Yearling feeder cattle weighing 650 lb. sold on average slightly higher during June, though the trend late month was sharply lower. June’s 
average price was steady with February’s average, and 5% below April’s average. Demand remains strong for the higher-quality feeders, though prices remain slightly below last year.  

Excellent feedyard profitability continued through June, with average cash profits exceeding $400 per head. Average June fed cattle prices were about steady with May, though the late-month trend waslower. Feedyard profitability supports feeder cattle prices.