Calf and feeder cattle prices finally grabbed some traction this week, selling $2-$6 per cwt higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
“Most auctions noted demand was good to very good…It didn't matter what weight cattle were this week, they were in demand,” say AMS analysts. “From the grazing kind to the 1000+ pounders, feedyards were ready to take on some inventory after the last couple weeks of horrid weather in the Central U.S.”
Based on regional weighted-average USDA numbers, calf and feeder cattle prices got to within spitting distance or surpassed last year’s price levels for the first time since October.
Cattle futures added plenty of support.
Arguably, it was building record open interest and the extended sharp rally in Lean Hog futures that boosted cattle futures. Wonderments about the impact of the bomb cyclone were also part of the equation.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $4.87 higher week to week on Friday ($1.67 higher in spot Mar to $6.37 higher).
There might be some pressure on cattle futures to start the new week. Deferred Lean Hog futures softened Friday. As well, the monthly Cattle on Feed report issued Friday will likely be viewed as bearish.
Listen to Wes Ishmael's Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report every Saturday morning on the BEEF magazine website. This is your report for Saturday, March 23, 2019.