Narrow, uncertain Cattle futures and the increasing number of calves coming to town pressured calf prices this week.
Steers and heifers sold from $4 per cwt lower to $4 higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Day to day and region to region, the gaps seemed even wider.
“The market was under pressure this week due to the sheer volume of cattle being offered for sale across the region,” said the AMS reporter on hand for the black hided calf sale at Ft. Pierre Livestock Auction in South Dakota on Wednesday where 4,890 head were on offer.
Nationwide, there were 25.1% more calves and feeder cattle (72,300 head more) trading hands week to week, according to AMS. That included 19.9% (50,700 head) more at auction.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.31 lower week to week on Friday (42¢ to $1.92 lower).
For year-to-year context, feeder steer prices in the North Central region were 27-32% higher at 600-900 pounds; keeping in mind the collapse last fall. Prices were 27-35% higher in the South Central region at 500-800 pounds. In the Southeast, prices were also 27-35% higher, but at 400-700 pounds.
For those planning on wheat pasture, the delay continues with winter wheat planting lagging behind the average pace.
Listen to Wes Ishmael's Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report every Saturday morning on the BEEF magazine website. This is your report for Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.