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Momentum builds in cattle, beef markets

Author: Kristy

Mary Soukup, Editor, Drovers CattleNetwork | Updated: 01/19/2014
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The momentum in the feeder cattle market that begin late in 2013 shows no signs of slowing down as we’re more than halfway through the month of January. USDA Market News Reporter Corbitt Wall says feeder calves and short yearlings last week sold fully stead with instances as much as $2 higher. Steer and heifer calves weighing less than 700 pounds traded as much as $5 higher while lightweight steers and bulls weighing less than 550 pounds were $5 to $15 higher.
Wall says feedlot replacements, for the first time in a long time, “pencil out better” than backgrounding lighter calves, especially, he says, if the feeders take their weights to more than 1,500 pounds. In the Plains and Midwest, steer calves weighing between 400 and 500 pounds averaged $220-$230, or slightly more than $1,000 per head. While every dollar counts and any percentage death loss could eliminate the chance to achieve a profit, Wall says by now, most calf offerings have seen enough weather to withstand the stress of relocation.
The reported auction volume last week included 55 percent over 600 pounds and 39 percent heifers.  READ MORE

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