Price comparison: Northern Plains feeder cattle trends

Prices are generally holding steady as the fall run continues.


Ed Czerwien, BEEF Magazine 

Nov 12, 2020


Northern Plains feeder cattle prices have been rebounding higher but lately have leveled out more for the yearling monthly average, but the lighter-weight calves dropped lower which is often normal during the very big fall runs. However, while feeder prices have improved quite a bit from the bottom set during March and April, they are not climbing as high as prices were last year during the fall.


The weekly combined total for all reported auctions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska for Medium and Large 1 and 1-2 steers weighing 800 to 899 pounds showed 2,849 head for the week ending Oct. 30, compared to 2,243 head the previ­ous week.


The weekly Oct. 30 combined weighted average price for these three states showed $139.29 per cwt for those 2,849 head that had a weighted average weight of 8,65 pounds. That compares with $138.74 the previous week that weighed 854 pounds. That weekly price had dropped down to $117 early in April during the pandemic so at least a big rebound but then dropped down a little.


Like previously mentioned, the monthly average graph shows more leveling going on now but still below last year during October when these heavier weights have a good chance to be finished prior to the big June drop in fed cattle prices.


Also, the monthly average head count graph shows the normal seasonal changes in volume and how it compares to previous years.


When you compare the Northern Plain prices to the Southern Plains with exactly the same reported grading, you can see how much higher prices are in the north. The main reason...


more, including charts [4]