Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold steady to 5.00 lower, with instances up to 8.00 lower at some auctions nationwide this week. Fundamentals haven’t changed much this week and many are reeling from a $100 plus per head devaluation of feeders since Good Friday. The CME Cattle complex seems to have found some footing this week, even though grain futures have rebounded off lows from last week due to planting issues. This week at Valentine (Neb.) Livestock Auction, a load of 571 lb steers called fancy sold at 193.50. It’s been a few weeks since some heavy five weights have been reported in the 190’s. Monday’s planting progress report for w/e 5/12/2019 revealed that planting pace for corn is now 29 percent behind a year ago and 36 percent behind the five year average. Soybean acres planted are 23 percent behind a year ago and 20 percent behind the five year average. Days suitable for fieldwork have been less that desirable for a considerable amount of the U.S. this spring. Along with that hay production may be hampered by the cooler spring and limited sunshine this year and many areas need to have an abundance of harvested forage in order to get back to a surplus situation. Cattle trade started on Wednesday with the Southern Plains trading at 117.00 mostly 3.00 lower with Northern Plains on Thursday at 117.00 as feedlots jumped on the bids. Boxed-beef prices continue lower as meat purchases for Memorial Day are pretty much done. Middle meat prices are steady to weak as this may reflect widespread wet, cold weather across much of the country that is delaying summer beef demand. Warm weather should boost beef demand seasonally in the coming weeks as Father’s Day and the 4th of July are ahead for the grilling season. For the week, the Choice cutout closed 0.80 lower at 220.31, while Select was 0.82 higher at 208.28. Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 660K for the week, 11K less than last week and 8K less than a year ago. Auction volume this week included 51 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 44 percent heifers.
Source: USDA Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News Division, St. Joseph, Mo.