Stocker And Feeder Cattle Higher

Steers and heifers sold at auction $1 to $4 higher last week, according to Agricultural Marketing Service reporters. Demand was called “good to very good” and especially at early week sales.

AMS reporters noted that feedyard cost of gain will impact prices for feeder cattle and calves in the coming weeks as the WASDE report pegged corn and soybean planting intentions to be lower than previous anticipated.

“Corn and soybean futures immediately locked limit up and closed there,” AMS said. “Planting intentions were released with 91.144 million acres of corn projected to be planted, while soybeans were estimated at 87.600 million acres and both less than industry guesses.  As the major feedstocks for cattle were sharply higher, buyers wanted to procure more thinner fleshed cattle that will have compensatory gain instead of a fleshier one that will not feed very efficiently.”

On Wednesday, the CME Feeder Cattle contracts were rocked by the higher grain prices and closed from $2.100 to $3.025 lower on all CY 2021 contracts.

Negotiated cash cattle in the Southern Plains traded at $117 per cwt., $2 higher than the previous week. Nebraska dressed sales were $188 to $190 per cwt., $3 to $5 higher.

“Wholesale beef demand by retailers and food service is sending wholesale prices soaring for this time of year,” AMS said. “Grilling season is right around the corner and grocery stores are gearing up as warmer April and May weather will bring out the grills that have been under a tarp for the winter. 

Auction receipts totaled 193,300 head last week, compared to 201,200 the previous week and 179,100 head last year.

Auction volume this week included 54 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 46 percent heifers.


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