Calf and feeder prices trend sharply lower this week as the spring season gets into full swing

March 24, 2018

Between the significant increase in harvest-ready cattle supplies looming on the near horizon and skittishness heading into Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report, bears mostly had their way with cattle markets.

Steers and heifers sold $3-$10 per cwt lower, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The exception was mostly $2-$5 lower in the Southeast where there were instances of $7-$10 lower.

AMS analysts noted that demand was light to moderate for all weight classes, with auction receipts less week to week. A combination of factors likely delayed some marketing, from sloppy feedlot conditions in the western Corn Belt, to limited feedlot pen space overall, to the lower prices.

“Declining cash prices are to be expected, considering the losses in Feeder Cattle futures contracts that have ranged between $11 and $14 since Feb. 20 in most contracts,” says Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

Listen to Wes Ishmael's Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report every Saturday morning on the BEEF magazine website. This is your report for Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018.

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