Prices were higher for all classes of cattle for the week ended Oct. 13, with cash fed cattle trading at $111 per cwt., $2 higher. Cattle sold on a dressed basis at $175 per cwt., $2 to $3 higher.
Average feedyard margins declined $18 per head last week, settling at $26. With average margins that close to breakeven, many cattle sold last week undoubtedly lost money.
Cattle markets moved lower this week, spurred by futures markets that nosedived on Wednesday.
There are few losers in the cattle market right now. From packers all the way down to cow-calf producers, current prices this summer are turning profits far into what is typically a seasonal lull.
Drought and dryness in the northern Plains hasn’t been enough to stop cattle growth, according to the mid-year cattle inventory numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
China’s market halted in 2003 when the U.S. investigated a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from an imported dairy cow. Up to that point, the U.S. was China’s largest supplier of beef.