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Calf Markets, price projects similar to 2017

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

“Feeder cattle prices during May and June were able to sustain the longest rising price trend from the year to date,” said the Daily Livestock Report (DLR) on July 10. “Rising prices during this time of the year are normal, as the feeder cattle market capitalizes on seasonally improving consumer demand for beef that lifts Choice cattle prices.” 

However, DLR noted prices have struggled to shift upwards as a result of high supplies that offset improved demand. 

At the same time, a contra-seasonal plunge in grain markets, resulting from favorable growing conditions early this year, buoyed feeder cattle prices.  

“Declining grain prices allow cattle feedlots to bid more for cattle to go into feedlots,” DLR said.

At the same time, feeder cattle prices have been less volatile than a year ago, trading in a range of approximately $20 per hundredweight, compared to last year’s range of $30 per hundredweight.

“There has not been a year with a minimum-to-maximum monthly price range below $30 since 2012,” DLR reported. “The January-to-June range this year was $8.50, the smallest range for the first six months of the year since 2012.”

In the first six month of 2012, the range was $7.54. The range for all of 2012 was $18.34.

DLR commented, “The combination of the 2012 annual range on the low monthly average feeder steer price so far this year would project the high monthly average price of $159 this year, not much different than 2017.”

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