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Snow and rain limit cattle movement, feeder volume

Winter weather resulted in sluggish cattle movement in some areas of cow country; top end prices set early in the week.

Winter weather continues to play a role on volume as feeder cattle numbers dropped down again with more snow and rain. There was 23,600 head at the test auctions; compare that to last year where there were over 40,000 head this same week. The prices improved on Monday, but dropped lower on Wednesday after the CME prices dropped lower again, so the top end of this week's prices were set early in the week. The bottom end of the prices were almost all lower causing wider spreads in the price ranges.

Slaughter cow numbers also dropped down with snow storms in some areas. The slaughter cow prices were mostly steady even though the cow meat prices dropped and the cow cutout on Wednesday was $184.51, which was over $2 lower than the previous Wednesday, but had been higher most of the time.

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