The late October rally in cattle markets appears to have gained momentum this week.
Feedyards sold a large volume of cattle last week at $105, and most are asking $108 to $110 for their showlists this week. If cattle trade at that price, it would represent a $13 swing in two weeks.
Packers are said to need inventory this week, so a firmer undertone is evident for fed cattle.
A similar trend is evident at early week stocker and feeder cattle auctions. Yearling steers steady to as much as $6 per cwt. higher this week. That’s after last week’s gains of $4 to $8.
Steer calves at auction this week are reported $4 to $8 higher, and that builds on the $2 to $6 gains we saw last week.
On a per head basis, gains over the past two weeks mean 550 to 6-weight calves are selling at auction for $30 to $50 more, and yearlings are selling for $40 to $60 more.
The current rally pulls all classes of cattle out of the extreme territory it had reached in mid-October. But it hasn’t changed the longer-term outlook for prices from most market analysts. Larger red meat and poultry supplies will continue to weigh on prices in 2017 and most projections call for lower feeder cattle and calf prices next year.