Lon Felts with Producers Livestock Auction Company has the latest local, regional, and national livestock news.

This morning we begin the sale with 1350 head of cattle on the yard. There are plenty of calves and yearlings along with some cows to pregnancy test this morning. Next week we will have a special calf sale in conjunction with our regular sale. Be sure to pass along any weaning or vaccination information on your cattle. The best demand is for those cattle weaned over 30 days and those that have been double vaccinated. The special calf sale begins right after packer cows and bulls with the cattle that have weaned the longest then those with vaccinations and finally fresh cattle. Moving on, the last sheep sale of the year is on December 17 and the final cattle sale is on December 19. We will be closed for two weeks until after the first of the year.

The week before Thanksgiving we sold 1234 head of cattle. Compared with the prior week’s sale, stocker calves sold 1.00 to 3.00 lower. Plainer quality calves and bull yearlings sold fully 2.00 to 4.00 lower. Slaughter cows and bulls sold weak to 2.00 lower.

Better Quality Steers: 400-600 lbs, 110.00-155.00, mostly 120.00-140.00, 600-800 lbs, 105.00-135.00, mostly 115.00-125.00
Better Quality Heifers: 400-600 lbs, 100.00-135.00, mostly 110.00-125.00, 600-800 lbs, 90.00-120.00, mostly 100.00-115.00
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 61.00-83.00

San Angelo-Producers Livestock Auction sold 6691 head of sheep and goats. Wooled feeder lambs sold 5.00 to 10.00 higher. Slaughter lambs 10.00 to 20.00 higher. Slaughter ewes sold 10.00 to 15.00 higher. Kid goats mostly steady. Slaughter nannies 1.00 to 1.42 mostly 1.20 to 1.35 Mature billies 1.40 to 2.16

Wooled Feeder lambs: 162.00 to 2.26
Slaughter Lambs: light weight 2.00 to 2.64 heavies 1.40 to 2.16
Slaughter ewes: fleshy 65 to 1.02 thin ewes 60 to 95
Kid goats: 2.10-3.28 mostly 2.40 to 2.70

Live cattle futures for December closed at 119.45 down 1.10 and February closed at 124.17 down 1.47 with forward months all down.

Feeder cattle futures for January were 140.87 down 1.50 and march closed at 141.42 down 1.50 with the forward months all down about 1.50. In the cutout, choice closed at 226.95 down 3.20 and select closed at 210.31 down 2.00 which is a spread of 16.64

Grain Futures. Corn prices were holding in a sideways trading pattern. There is uncertainty about the the final size of this year’s crop because there is a lot of late harvested corn just as there was a lot of late planted corn. The corn basis is moving higher at 60 over the March board in Guymon, Oklahoma. Corn is now pricing into ration at $7.85 cwt. in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Cash Cattle

Beating up on the futures jarred a few more cattle lose at steady prices. News about the trade talks with China won’t go away. The President stated yesterday he might just prefer to wait until after the 2020 election to resolve the matter and in the meantime, collect hundreds of millions of tariffs from the Chinese. This not so subtle message reminded the public that the looming December 15 date for new tariffs and a signing of the Phase I agreement might be in trouble. As we have mentioned numerous times, a failure to resolve the trade deal can’t negate the fact of material global protein shortage.

Smaller show lists and reduced sales volumes last week will prime the pump for higher prices again this week if crashing futures don’t spoil the party. A sprinkling of sales at steady prices were reported in all regions playing against higher asking prices by most owners. Large margins at the beef plants are likely to be narrowed. The additional slaughter capacity is becoming obvious as the weekly slaughter after two days is 240,000 head compared to 225,000 for the same two day period last week. If slaughter volumes increase it may pressure box prices.

Trading last week was $2-4 higher with a top in the north of $120. Trading in Texas and Kansas began at $118 then developed into $119 late Wednesday. In the north live prices were $117 to $120 live and dressed trades at $187-188.

Cattle Futures. Futures were mixed with little change. The deferred contracts will not attract new speculative positions until they see the market push higher.

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 down 3# at 885# which remains 13# over last year. This may indicate carcass weights have peaked seasonally. Quality grade grading increased .9% from prior week to 81%.

Replacement markets

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. Prices have been running $5-10 under last year.

The condition of winter grazing areas is generally not as good as last year and the number of acres being grazed is down. Feedyard occupancy is remaining at a high level. Fewer winter grazing opportunities will push more cattle into grow yards or may hold some calves on dry winter grass awaiting spring grazing.

Oklahoma City. All stocker and feeder classes were high with $1-3 gains for yearlings and some calves up to $6 higher.

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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