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.
The rally in the cattle markets continued this week with solid gains in both cash fed cattle and the boxed beef cutout. Cash cattle prices are now at a level not seen since late June.
All classes of cattle and calves traded higher, and packers were anxious to secure their needs as the wholesale beef market continues to strengthen.
Steers and heifers sold at auctions this week steady to $3 lower. AMS said with the holidays and the end of the year fast approaching, many auction markets saw heavy runs of cattle.
The fluctuation in the cash price in this trade seemed to be mostly dependent on the location of the cattle, with prices ranging from $114-$116, with dressed trade at $182-$185.
Fed cattle led the parade with cash prices $3 to $4 per cwt higher.
Calves and feeder cattle are hot commodities, and market fundamentals going forward suggest that trend will continue.
Cash fed cattle trade was active on Wednesday, surging $2 to $4 higher the day before Thanksgiving, with demand strong in all major cattle feeding regions.