Hulett: Fed Cattle Steady as Board Falls

Fed cattle prices in the South remained mostly steady at $114 with a hand full of cattle trading above that level.  Packers, as usual, were in a position of leverage and needed very little cattle for the next week’s harvest.  This continues to be the biggest problem with driving the cash price higher.

The North saw a range of $112.25 to $117 with most of the trade around $114.  The dressed market was mainly $179-$183.  Larger numbers traded in the North compared to what we saw in the South, but many producers held for what many think will be a higher market in the weeks to come.

Last week producers found themselves in the same situation that seems to be ever-too-common.  All indications pointed to what should have been a higher market, but at the end of the day packers had plenty of inventory and no reason to push the market to meet their needs. This will continue to be the issue until either the number of cattle available decreases, more shackle space is available, or the packer doesn’t start the week off with 85% of their needs already in hand.  Until something changes, producers will have a hard time getting any leverage back in the cash trade.

Brad Hulett is Director, Customer Development & Regional Manager, Kansas at Consolidated Beef Producers , Inc.

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