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Wes Ishmael

Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report for Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

Wes Ismael updates you with the latest numbers on the cattle markets this week in this edition of Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report, the definitive look at how markets fared throughout the auction week of Feb 13-17. This week, calves selling steady to higher, feeder-weight cattle steady but lower.

Steer and heifer calves sold steady to $5 per cwt higher as buyers sought cattle suitable for grazing, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Feeder-weight steers and heifers traded mostly steady to $5 lower, although there were instances of $1-$2 higher at 600-700 pounds. In the Southeast, calves sold steady to $3 higher, with feeder cattle trading steady to $3 lower.

The nation's beef herd will likely continue to grow in the months ahead, but marketing analysts say expansion may slow over concern of possible trade barriers. Overall heifer numbers experienced slight growth over a year ago, about 1% higher, but that is well below the 4% and 3% increases achieved in 2015 and 2016.

Overall, however, there were 32.1 million beef cows at the beginning of the year, according to USDA’s Cattle report. That was 3.5% more than the previous year.

While herd numbers continue to grow well in Kansas and Oklahoma, in Texas, the nation's leading producer, analysts say the current beef cow inventory at the beginning of the year was still 600,000 head shy of predrought levels, and unlikely to return to to those levels this year.

Listen to the Cattle Market Weekly Audio Report every Saturday morning for the latest numbers on the BEEF magazine website. This is your report for Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.

TAGS: Marketing
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