Corbitt Wall with USDA gives the weekly Feeder and Stocker Cattle Market summary for the week ending Feb. 14. He says that compared to last week’s weather-impacted light run, this week weather didn’t impede the marketing as much.
Steer calves under 800 pounds and heifers under 700 sold firm to $5 higher. But yearling feeder steers over 800 pounds fell under some pressure this week, mostly due to a sharply lower feeder cattle trade since it hit the $1.50 high. These cattle sold steady to $2 lower.
Feeder heifers over 700 pounds sold steady with good demand. Replacement buyers are looking for top quality heifers and this week, in Missouri, heifers over 700 pounds brought $1492 a head. We’re seeing a lot of this in Missouri and Nebraska, but several of these heifers are going to export. Other places in the world are looking to tap into top quality heifers but the U.S. is also in rebuilding mode.
There will be a lot of bred heifers on the market this fall. The market is not seeing very many young bred cows because there will be so many available this fall and older bred cows are off the table due to the excellent slaughter market. Additionally, slaughter cows are the only class that did not hit an all-time record high but this week, not overall but in spots, were at all-time record highs.
Grass cattle demand was still pretty good despite snow on the ground. Again this year, expect grass cattle supplies to be very, very tight as we enter spring buying. We are going to be short on calves to be turned out on grass, but there is a certain amount of people that will buy cattle and turn them out on grass no matter what they cost. So, it will be interesting to see how it turns out and it could get wild.
See Corbitt Wall’s complete report on Beef Today’s Cattle Markets Center.