In this file:
∑ Pre-Holiday Cattle Trade Disappointment
∑ Take Delight in the Wins
Pre-Holiday Cattle Trade Disappointment
Brad Hulett, Drovers
June 29, 2020
Feeders knew selling ahead of a short holiday week would create additional challenges for cash cattle prices and the ability to move cattle. Disappointing trade volumes were anticipated in the south area by most feeders. Unfortunately, the south trade volume met expectations with low cattle movement but also at lower prices. The cash trade ranged mostly $95-$97 with a few trading even lower.
The northís trade was at a somewhat greater volume than the south, but still at a lower volume than what would be considered normal volume for all feeders at this time of the year. The north saw its live market range from $95 up to mostly $99, with dressed trade of $153 up to $156 per cwt.
Feeders are hopeful for a larger trade volume over the next few weeks. Show lists continue to swell with market-ready cattle that are in excess of producerís ability to move and packers need for inventory. As market-ready cattle numbers grow, the ability of feeders to have any leverage trading their cattle diminishes...
Take Delight in the Wins
By ShayLe Stewart, DTN/Progressive Farmer
Heading into the Fourth of July holiday week, the market has shown some positivity despite bearishness in the cattle market. Slaughter continues to press ahead aggressively; there are stronger feeder cattle sales throughout the countryside and boxed beef levels are now back to pre-COVID-19 prices ranges. The market still has a long battle ahead, but cattlemen can celebrate these wins along the way.
Although a lot of last week's push was in efforts to hedge ahead of the shortened holiday week, last week's slaughter is estimated at 680,000 head -- up 3.7% from the previous week and up 1.5% from a year ago. The last time cattle slaughter exceeded 680,000 head was for the week ending March 28, 2020, when slaughter totaled 684,835. In order to work through the massive backlog of cattle that has affected the industry, processing at this level is going to need to be a necessity.
Efficient and effective slaughter speeds are phenomenal news, but last week's feeder cattle prices were nothing short of spectacular, given the uncertainty amid COVID-19. Northern Livestock Video Auction and Superior Livestock called their sales far better than assumed and easily $6 to $12 stronger than anticipated. Thursday happened to be a day of stronger trade for futures, which strengthened buyer morale and the cheap price of corn sold them on the idea of buying more calves...