Steers and heifers sold steady to $5 per cwt higher, with gains seen in calves suitable for grazing, as well as cattle suitable for direct feedlot placement, according to analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on Friday.
Where feeder cattle come from did make a difference on flesh condition this week. If an area has been inundated with winter moisture and harsher than normal temperatures, cattle have hardened up and are in lighter flesh than their counterparts from drier environments.
Although auction receipts increased this week, extreme cold and winter conditions continued to hamper cattle movement in some regions.
Very tough winter weather continues to plague the area with more snow and wind predicted for the weekend explained the AMS reporter at Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, S.D. Yards and pens are already full of snow and many producers are starting to calve. Feed supplies are rapidly decreasing as cattle need so much more feed to keep body condition in the frigid weather.
Week to week on Friday, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.71 higher (92 cents higher in the back contract to $2.70 higher in spot Mar). That was thanks to a surge of about $2.50 in the last two sessions.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade through Friday afternoon was generally steady at $128 per cwt on a live basis in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Dressed trade was also steady at $205.
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 09, 2019.