Lon Felts with Producers Livestock Auction Company has the latest local, regional, and national livestock trends and cattle futures.
Today we begin the sale with head of cattle on the yard. This will be the last sale of the year. The first sheep sale will be on Jan 7 and the first cow sale will be January 9. I know its been a difficult year with the hot temperatures, lack of rain and lower cattle prices. Hopefully, the new year will see an improvement in those areas. The best demand for cattle this year has been those weaned over 30 days and those with two rounds of vaccinations. Not just a blackleg shot but something in the shipping fever complex so it is important to let us know if you have done this for your cattle. We do pass along this information to the buyers thru a flier and announcing it as your cattle enter the ring. Any information about your cattle is welcome.
San Angelo-Producers Livestock Auction sold 1139 head of cattle. Compared with last week’s sale, calves & yearlings sold firm to 2.00 higher with most increase on choice lightweight calves. Slaughter cows & bulls sold mostly 1.00 to 2.00 lower. Limited numbers of bred cows sold steady.
Better Quality Steers: 400-600 lbs, 120.00-185.00, mostly 130.00-155.00, 600-800 lbs, 110.00-145.00, mostly 115.00-135.00 Better Quality Heifers: 400-600 lbs, 110.00-145.00, mostly 120.00-135.00, 600-800 lbs, 95.00-125.00, mostly 110.00-120.00 Slaughter Cows: Average to high yield 43.00-55.00, thinner or lower yielding cows 26.00-42.00 Slaughter Bulls: Average to high yield 60.00-80.00
San Angelo-Producers Livestock Auction sold 6632 head of sheep and goats. Wooled feeder lambs sold 10.00 to 20.00 higher. Slaughter lambs 10.00 to 20.00 higher. Slaughter ewes sold 10.00 to 15.00 higher. Kid goats sold firm to 10.00 higher. Slaughter nannies 1.00 to 1.84 mostly 1.40 to 1.60 Mature billies 1.50 to 2.14 Wooled Feeder lambs: 176.00 to 2.49 Slaughter Lambs: light weight 2.20 to 2.76 heavies 1.50 to 2.36 Slaughter ewes: fleshy 90 to 1.20 thin ewes 70 to 95 Kid goats: 2.10-3.38 mostly 2.60 to 2.90
Live cattle futures for December closed at 122.25 up 2 cents and February closed at 126.12 down 17 cents with forward months all down. Feeder cattle futures for January closed at 144.55 down 60 cents and march closed at 144.90 down 82 cents with forward months mixed. In the cutout choice ended the day at 209.57 down 3.24 and select ended at 201.57 down 1.90 which is a spread of $8.
Grain Futures. Grain prices benefited from trade news and moved higher. The corn basis is moving higher at 60 over the March board in Guymon, Oklahoma. Corn is now pricing into ration at $8.00 cwt. in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
This week started with packers picking off any cattle available at steady money and that wasn’t many. The online fed cattle auction sold cattle at $120 in the south but packers were unwilling to pay $121 [today]. A few in the north sold yesterday at $120 live and $190 dressed. Last week’s prices were mostly $119-122 live and $188-190 dressed. Asking prices are $122 and higher and $195 dressed. Packer complaints about falling box prices somehow didn’t register with sellers.
The next three weeks will provide compressed and often erratic trade for fed cattle. Weeks when Christmas falls on a Wednesday often translate into two day work weeks. Cattle owners would like to hasten trade this week but packers will resist higher asking prices that will move toward $125.
Cattle Futures. Futures were lower in February.
The Comprehensive Fed Cattle Weekly Report offers the most current information on the current status of fed cattle being harvested. The report is published each Tuesday and includes the previous week’s change in carcass weights and quality grading. The latest report shows carcass weights up 2# at 886# which remains 19# over last year. This is a sharp contracts to last year’s storm stressed weights. Quality grade grading increased .4% from prior week to 81%.
Beef Feature Activity Index. This is the beginning of preparations for the holiday season and the middle meats are attracting the attention of retail and food service operators. Ribs and loins are working higher, but a rally in 90% lean is bringing along the end meats.
December is not a large month for cattle movements. The volume of sales at video auctions has moved sharply lower. Some sales volumes are down up to 40%. Some of this trading may be moving into direct trades but more likely is the confidence level building in the country. The news most of this year has been negative for beef producers but more recently optimism has crept into ideas about prices for next year. The fear of selling cattle next year at lower prices has been replaced with hope that those prices will rise.
The large cow slaughter for 2019 will likely signal the end of expansion of the national cattle numbers. Likewise the calf crop and feeder supplies both are likely to have peaked. Numbers of cattle on feed and placements will enter a leveling out period. Year end is always a good time to take a look at changing trends in the industry and we will be offering some views on a changing industry in the next few weeks.
Oklahoma City. Prices were mixed with some classes higher and some lower as the year winds down. Heavier cattle to hit the April marketing period were higher and lighter offerings lower. This is the last auction day of the year.
Feeder Cattle Futures. Feeder futures were lower suffering from higher grain prices.
Feeder Cattle Cash Index. The index reflects the calculations from the cash markets established to settle futures contracts. January futures have been lagging the cash prices.
Forward cattle contracting. Inventory price levels of pasture cattle are favorable to stocker operators and some will forward sell with other waiting for a spring rally. Bids are $2-3 under the board for 800# steers delivered to the Texas Panhandle.
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