USDA: Dry Weather Could Knock Down Feeder Markets

March 24, 2014 02:00 AM
USDA: Dry Weather Could Knock Down Feeder Markets

Corbitt Wall gave the Weekly National Feeder Cattle Summary report for the week ending March 21. Cattle weighing under 800 pounds sold steady to $3 higher with heavier feeders weighing over 800 pounds sold steady to $2 lower with most of those lower markets in the Southern Plains.

Stocker cattle and calves were not well tested everywhere this week because inventory is already low, but what was tested sold steady to $5 higher with 600-700 pound stockers selling $6-8 higher

We are in the peak of stocker buying season, the demand probably won’t get any higher but the supplies will get tighter and buyers are aggressive right now. Wall also noted that in early contracting of 800-900 weight yearlings coming off grass, we are already seeing them sell for a big premium. People are also talking about how high some of these yearlings coming off grass could be and it is really getting crazy what people are suspecting.

Cattle on Feed numbers also came out Friday, March 21. On feed numbers came out at 99.5%, which was more than the analyst had guessed but still less than the same time a year ago for the 19th straight report. Replacements came in a lot heavier than thought while marketing of fed cattle were lower than analyst had expected. Wall says that this report is pretty bearish but it is really the first bearish anything we’ve seen to do with feeder cattle markets since the last report a month ago.

He also noted, this feeder market is really top-heavy and even if it goes down some, numbers would still remain historically high. One thing that could affect the market considerably, though, is the weather. It’s starting to get dry and windy in the Southern Plains with serious dust storms causing major wrecks on the highways and major loss of top soil. In Kansas and Nebraska, major cattle production areas, had a rough winter with really cold temperatures but not a lot of snow. We need spring rains and a lot of them. The dry weather could be the culprit to knock feeder cattle off the perch it has been on.

Watch Corbitt Wall's full report on Beef Today's Cattle Markets Center.



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