Sun, June 16, 2024

Feeder and Stocker Cattle Market Sees Price Swings

feeder

Quick Look:

  • Feeder steers saw a price increase (£1.00 to £6.00), except in the Southeast, where prices dropped (£3.00 to £4.00).
  • August contracts decreased by £1.60 to £254.80, while September contracts rose to £255.85.
  • Live sales fell by £1.00 in the Southern Plains, steady in Nebraska at £190.00 (live) and £301.00 (dressed).

The recent report on feeder and stocker cattle reveals notable price movements and varying demand across regions. Feeder steers experienced a general price increase ranging from £1.00 to £6.00, except in the Southeast, where prices dipped by £3.00 to £4.00. Meanwhile, feeder heifers saw mixed price changes, remaining largely stable but fluctuating between £5.00 lower and £5.00 higher. This dynamic reflects a complex market influenced by regional factors and buyer preferences.

Feeder Steer Prices Up £1.00-£6.00, Down in Southeast

In Missouri, buyer interest waned for bawling calves and those with excessive hair, indicating a selective approach towards cattle with specific attributes. Conversely, Nebraska witnessed moderate to good demand for bawling calves, suggesting a steady market interest. On the other hand, Texas experienced extreme heat, with temperatures soaring into triple digits on Tuesday. This climatic condition likely influenced cattle handling and market activities, adding another layer of complexity to the market dynamics.

The feeder cattle contracts for August closed at £254.80, marking a decrease of £1.60 compared to the previous Friday. The September contracts, however, closed slightly higher at £255.85. These fluctuations in contract prices highlight the market’s responsiveness to various economic and environmental factors, reflecting both short-term adjustments and longer-term trends in cattle trading.

August Feeder Contracts Close at £254.80, Down £1.60

In the Southern Plains, live sales fell by £1.00, settling at £185.00, while in Nebraska, both live and dressed sales remained steady at £190.00 and £301.00, respectively. This steadiness in Nebraska’s market indicates a balanced supply and demand situation. In contrast, the slight decline in the Southern Plains could point to regional disparities or specific market pressures affecting live sales.

Feedlot sales remained steady, reflecting a positive and general optimism about filling empty pens. The steady performance in the market reinforces this sentiment despite some regional variances. The consistent sales figures suggest that producers maintain confidence in the market’s stability and prospects, which is crucial for planning and operations in the cattle industry.

Feedlot Sales Steady, Market Sentiment Positive

Boxed beef prices saw significant movement, with Choice beef increasing by £3.55 to close at £316.75. In contrast, Select beef decreased slightly by £0.57, ending at £301.14. These changes in boxed beef prices reflect varying consumer preferences and demand levels for beef grades, influencing market prices and trends.

The federally inspected estimate for weekly cattle slaughter stood at 614,000, marking an increase of 74,000 from the previous week but a decrease of 2,000 compared to last year. Year-to-date figures indicate 631,000 fewer cattle slaughtered than the previous year. These statistics highlight the fluctuating nature of cattle slaughter rates, influenced by market demand and supply chain dynamics.

Year-to-Date Cattle Slaughter Down by 631,000

Cattle weighing over 600 lbs comprised 51% of the auction volume, with heifers accounting for 43%. Steers weighing around 900 lbs saw a price increase of £2.00. The overall supply consisted entirely of feeder cattle, with a composition of 8.9% steers and 91.1% heifers, all weighing over 600 lbs. The livestock originated from Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada, indicating a diverse geographic distribution in the auction markets.

The USDA is organising events to build resilient markets for farmers, ranchers, and producers. The West Texas A&M University event, scheduled for July 30-31, 2024, in Canyon, Texas, will focus on fed cattle grading, CME Group’s Live Cattle contract delivery specifications, carcass valuation, USDA Market News reports, and data visualisation tools. Similarly, the Colorado State University event on August 14, 2024, in Fort Collins, Colorado, will cover feeder cattle grading, USDA Market News reports, and feeder cattle data visualisation tools.

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