Feeder Calves Selling at Record Highs, Nebraska Lot sells for $206/HWT
December 07, 2011
Following last week's Thanksgiving Holiday, where many auctions across the country took the week off, many auctions this week are comparing their prices to two weeks ago as last week's receipts were very light.
Compared to two weeks ago, calf demand was by far the best especially for feather-weight calves weighing under 450 lbs selling 6.00-12.00 higher with several auctions reporting instances 15.00-20.00 higher on mostly calves weighing 300-450 lbs.
Heavier weight calves weighing 500-650 lbs sold mostly 2.00-6.00 higher with yearlings lightly tested and trading mostly steady with spots 3.00-5.00 higher. The day after Thanksgiving had shoppers spending a record 52.4 billion dollars shattering Black Friday sales as shoppers were eager to spend money. After an historic holiday weekend of spending, cattle buyers were in the same mood to buy cattle, as demand remains very good, especially for limited offerings of true yearlings and featherweight calves weighing under 500 lbs are very popular with cattle buyers trying to get an early jump on
procurement needs for next year's grass.
In Ogallala, NE at the Ogallala Livestock Auction sold 170 head of steer calves selling with an average weight of 431 lbs had a weighted average price of 206.08, with two loads of fancy steers weighing 730-750 lbs selling from 159.00-162.10. At many auctions reported we are also seeing 20.00-30.00 per hundred price spreads between steer and heifer calves that are being sold weighing mostly under 550 lbs, as steer calves are in very good demand and the preference for most buyers at this time. In Oklahoma, wheat pasture in many areas has improved following recent rains improving winter grazing conditions.
Cattle on feed inventories are very manageable with the 2011 calf crop the smallest in 50 years and looking at an even smaller crop for 2012 has buyers wanting to own feeders at this time. Corn prices have also been trending lower over the last several weeks, which has been welcome news for livestock producers. December corn futures have lost about 1.75 cents going back to the end of August as demand for corn has slowed with lower export sales over the last several weeks. Currency markets have been an issue with the dollar higher and with the ongoing European debt crisis helping to pressure the corn
market. This week Boxed Beef prices moved lower closing on Friday at 191.01 on Choice which is 5.22 lower than last weeks close on Friday Nov.25.
Despite lower boxed beef prices the fed cattle trade saw dressed sales in Nebraska trade 3.00-5.00 higher ranging from 203.00 to regional sales at 205.00. Kansas had live sales 1.00 higher at 124.00, with light sales in Texas mixed (at this time) at 124.00 when compared to last week. Going into the Christmas season we usually see Fed cattle and feeder cattle prices soften and trend lower but sales continued to show resilience and move higher going into the Christmas season. Hopefully this will give cattlemen a very merry and thankful holiday season. This week's auction volume included 34 percent over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers.
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