Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cattle market beginning to bounce back

by Jerry Lackey

The cattle market is showing signs of recovery from 2016 lows when prices fell below a dollar per pound. In turn I overheard a couple ranchers in the coffee shop talking about rounding up calves they have been holding and sending them to town. “It’s amazing the value of cattle now versus 18 months ago,” said Jason Cleere, beef cattle specialist at Texas A&M University in College Station. “We are starting to see more beef in the system every year, and that’s putting pressure on prices,” said Jason Johnson of Stephenville, livestock economist for Texas A&M University Extension Service. “In 2016 and into 2017, there’s much more of a normal spread between feeder calves and slaughter steers,” “Part of the reason for the drastic fall in prices was the reduction in a (traditional) large spread between feeder and fed cattle prices. Back when prices were high, feedlots were paying premiums to keep their operations going. They paid $2.20 a pound and didn’t make a lot of money when prices started coming down,” Johnson said. Feeder heifers sold $3 higher and steers were steady at Abilene Livestock Auction on Tuesday, according to owner Randy Carson. Feeder steers 200 to 300 pounds brought from $150 to $200. Receipts totaled 1,062 head. Calves and yearlings sold another $2 to $4 higher at the most recent sale compared to the week before at San Angelo’s Producers Livestock Auction. Better quality steers, 400 to 600 pounds, brought mostly $125 to $150. Receipts totaled 2,733 head in a replacement female sale at Jordan Cattle Auction in San Saba on Saturday; the market was very active, with pairs selling from $1,800 up to $2,600 except for some Brahmans that brought $2,700, according to owner Ken Jordan. “We had a full house of buyers on hand from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, and all across Texas along with 604 on the internet,” Jordan said. Jordan said the bred cows were in strong demand, with most of the middle- to long-bred cows ranging from $1,500 up to $1,925 except for some Herefords and Brahmans that went for $2,300 to $2,375...more

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