Cash fed cattle prices ended last week $10 per cwt. lower than last year while the beef cutout closed $16 higher than the same week a year ago. The result? Packer margins $314 per head more than last year.
A fall rally in cash fed cattle markets has added $5 to $6 per cwt. over the past three weeks. Feeder cattle remain in moderate demand, but drought conditions across much of the Great Plains is affecting cattle markets.
Packers aggressively sought inventory last week and cash fed cattle prices surged $2 per cwt., to instances of $3 higher for the week. Large trade volumes were reported in the North at $107 to $108 per cwt.