Even with more cattle placed on feed in recent months, due to drought, January placements continued higher than many expected.
Calves and feeder cattle sold from $2 lower to $3 per cwt higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Cash fed cattle trade was mainly $2 lower on a live basis at $128 per cwt. Dressed trade was steady to $1 lower at $204-$205.
Optimism continued to grow this week as demand was high Friday and moderate trade was reported at markets.
Demand may keep calf prices for this year and for the cycle above the cost of production for low-cost and average-cost producers, according to CattleFax.
Cash fed cattle sold $3-$4 higher at $129-$130 per cwt. Calves and feeders traded steady to $5 higher.