Packers were aggressive in obtaining inventory to start the new year, and the result was a cash cattle market that gained $2 in both the north and south.
Packers were eager to push their inventory higher last week and prices in all regions responded by moving $1 to $2 higher.
In anticipation of reduced harvest during the holidays, packers are sitting in a good inventory position going into the next few weeks.
Last week was one of the last chances for cattle feeders to push the market up to the $120-plus price range. Three packers were in the market to buy cattle by feeders chose to settle for steady money.
The cash cattle market continues to be the best broken-record producers ever heard of late as three of the four major packer participated in the live trade last week.
Cash cattle traded higher again and all four major packers participated in last week’s trade, including Tyson for the Finney County, Kan., plant.
Packer market participation wasn’t as robust as it had been in earlier weeks, and packers have slowly added to their inventory ahead of the holidays.
Strong wholesale beef prices keep packer margins solidly profitable and encourage packers to be aggressive participants.
Packers were still hunting front end cattle late last Friday, knowing that feeders would have their sights set on a higher December board for the trade this week.