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There are normally big runs of feeders later in May because of graze out wheat pastures, but this year the big price rally has been moving feeders off of wheat pastures earlier than normal. Prices were easily $1-8 higher with the biggest increases on hedgable yearlings because the deferred live cattle futures jumped quite a bit which allowed increased bidding on heavier weight yearlings.
As far as slaughter cows, there was a 2600 head drop in receipts at the 20 test auctions and slaughter cow prices were $1-3 higher on the heels of improving cow meat prices that were starting to follow the Choice box beef cutout rally. Another supporting factor was a big drop in fresh beef imports compared to last year.
Ed Czerwien is a market analyst in Amarillo, Texas. From the heart of Cattle Feeding Country, Ed follows the cattle and wholesale markets to keep beef producers up-to-date on the market moves that affect them. He previously worked with USDA as a Market News reporter. Ed is now semi-retired and continues to work with cattle trade analysis.
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