Steers and heifers sold steady to $2 per cwt lower this week as demand was moderately softer. AMS reporters noted fewer buyers in the seats at auctions as many farmers had turned their attention to planting chores.
“With that segment of buyers on the sidelines for a week or two, that leaves the order buyers from feedyards to come in and gobble up the available supplies of feeders this week,” AMS said.
The fed cattle trade was in a standoff as of late Friday, though AMS called the market strong the past couple of weeks. Early week sales were for cattle to be delivered later this month, mostly at $120 to $121.
A softer fed cattle trade is expected, though the fundamentals remain positive with good demand and strong export sales. Beef sales over Mother’s Day weekend will be watched closely.
Choice beef cutout closed Friday at $230.97, up $2.67 from last week. Select cutout traded at $208.69, down $0.80 from last week. The Choice-Select spread was $22.28.