RECEIPTS:          Auctions           Direct              Video/Internet       Total
This Week          111,800           24,500                    9,200              145,500
Last Week          172,200           39,900                   38,000             250,100
Last Year            114,900           36,600                     2,200             153,700

Compared to last week, a light holiday test of feeder cattle and calves sold 2.00-5.00 higher. The unofficial start to the summer grilling season was followed by continued good demand for all classes and still no signs of top-side pressure.

Many major early-week auctions were idle this week, including the Oklahoma National Stockyards and the Joplin Regional Stockyards but buyers picked up where they left off at mid-week sales, showing little regard for quality or even shoring-up their loads. Direct trading was slow during the holiday week with bids and asking prices far apart in most cases. However, negotiating on summer and fall delivery yearlings should come together soon as trading is currently in limbo between the sellers that contract early and the prices obtained on the first summer video auctions. Northern buyers continue to drive the market and tip their hand as to how far they will go when local cattle come up for sale. At the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, SD, on Wednesday with near 4200 head on offer, a fancy load of 794 lb steers brought 204.50 and another weighing 867 lbs sold for 191.75. If weight and price is extrapolated, there are several 800 lb 200.00 steers included in these cattle and this is the point at which even the guys that are hardest to trade with would call the trucks and open the gates.

Both Live and Feeder CME cattle contracts posted sizeable gains for the short holiday week while the corn market fell 20 cents per bushel. As of Memorial Day, 88 percent of the crop had been planted and 60 percent of that had emerged. This start is right on par with five year averages and much better than many feared early-on during the cool spring. Moisture levels have been adequate but not ample in most major production areas. Ample rain fell over the weekend in some of the driest places in the Southern Plains. West Texas and eastern New Mexico, both of which were mostly sitting on only traces so far for the year, saw 4-5 inches of widespread rain with some areas receiving much more like San Angelo which recorded nearly 8 inches. This was a ranch saving rain for many across this dry country, for others their pastures have not sustained grazing for years and could result for even more demand for stockers and replacement females.

Fed cattle prices fell another 1.00 this past week with live sales at 143.00 in Southern yards and 230.00-232.00 dressed in Northern lots. This week’s reported auction volume included 48 percent over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.

AUCTION RECEIPTS: 111,800            Last Week: 172,200            Last Year: 114,900

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Feed Cattle Markets Remain Red HOT