The Cattle Range Home Page
September 15, 2017
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. .National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary

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National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary

RECEIPTS:    Auctions     Direct    Video/Internet     Total
This Week     193,100     58,100        20,800         272,000
Last Week     126,500     40,200        11,600         178,300
Last Year       153,300     36,000        88,500         277,800

Compared to last week, steers and heifers traded mostly steady to 6.00 higher. Demand was moderate to very good, with active trade. Demand has remained good for the past several weeks, as grain is readily available and at relatively cheap prices. On Wednesday at the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, South Dakota, buyers had the opportunity to choose from a large supply of quality cattle. There were some noteworthy sales, with nearly three and a half loads of steers weighing an average of 942 pounds selling at 157.10.

CME live and feeder cattle futures traded mixed throughout the week. Compared to last Friday, October live cattle futures closed 43 points higher at 107.75 and December was 112.82, 3 points lower. Feeder cattle futures held triple digit gains from the week. Compared to last Friday, September futures closed 2.35 higher at 147.87 and October was 148.42, up 2.23. On Thursday, cash trade in Nebraska was limited on moderate demand with a few dressed sales from 167.00-168.00. However, there were not enough for a market trend. Last week in Nebraska live sales were at 105.00, with dressed sales from 165.00-168.00 on a light test. So far the for the week, trading has been at a standstill in the Southern Plains. Last week in the Southern Plains, live trades were 105.00 with a light test noted in Kansas.

Harvest is officially in full swing, with corn harvest reported as 60 percent complete in Texas, 10 percent in Kansas and 12 percent in Missouri. NASS’s Crop Production Report was released on Tuesday. Corn production is projected at 14.2 billion bushels, with an expected average yield of 169.9 bushels per acre. Soybean production is estimated at 4.43 billion bushels, with an expected average yield of 49.9 bushels per acre. Both corn and soybean yields are slightly higher than August, but lower than last year.

Throughout Montana, snow is falling with many mountain passes anticipating 8 inches of snow by Saturday and 12 to 18 inches expected above pass level. This is welcomed moisture, as the state has been engulfed in wildfires due to drought. Hopefully the snow can provide relief to the area, as there is currently 22 fires burning in the state, impacting over 580,000 acres.

USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report was released on Tuesday. U.S. beef production for 2017 saw a decrease of 140 million pounds, with production now at 26.559 billion pounds. Production also declined for 2018, now at 27.275 billion pounds, down 85 million pounds.  One of the driving factors to this is reduced slaughter weights. Although total slaughter headcounts have been at or above last year’s numbers, slaughter weights have been declining. The increase in headcount is not enough to offset the lower slaughter weights, leading to a decline in production. On Tuesday, the Choice-Select spread was negative 7 cents, with Choice boxed-beef at 190.79 and Select boxed-beef at 190.86. This was short-lived, as today’s Choice-Select spread closed at 5.57. Compared to last Friday, Choice boxed-beef closed at 191.42, dn .46 and Select boxed-beef was dn 4.12 at 185.85. Auction volume this week included 58 percent weight over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.

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