Beef Buzz News
Stocker-Feeder Market Strengthens on Improving Pasture Conditions
Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:18:18 CDT
Jim Robb talks with Ron Hays about a strengthening stocker-feeder market.
As a cool and wet spring progresses into summer, the stocker and feeder market is being buoyed by thoughts females may be held back this year to replenish cow-calf operations. Whether that will continue depends entirely on pasture conditions in cattle raising areas.
“We’ve had quite an improvement in the last two weeks in many areas, although some areas are very much facing drought,” said Jim Robb of the Livestock Market Information Center. “We’ve had some good precipitation and a later-than-normal green-up in some areas, but it has started and did really stabilize especially calf and yearling prices last week.”
He said that prices for calves and yearlings improved by three or four dollars over the previous two weeks.
“We have a lot more confidence out in cow-calf country and we’re holding animals on the forage. We’re not having quite as many forced sales of animals coming to the marketplace. Things are looking a little bit brighter.”
Robb says if pasture conditions continue to improve, we may see some surprises in calf and yearling prices in the second half of the year. Normally flat throughout the summer, prices may show strength if moisture continues to fall.
Ranchers have noticed that cull calf prices are significantly lower than last year--$10 to $20 per hundred weight-- but, Robb says, that’s simply due to numbers.
“Those prices have stabilized in the last two weeks or so. The year to year pressure compared to the record high prices last year is that we have had increased supplies of domestic cattle, especially culled beef cows coming to market in recent weeks. The beef cow slaughter for the last four to five weeks has run consistently well above a year ago.”
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