Packers in the southern plains showed little interest in acquiring cattle and feedyards continued to pass on $109 bids at the end of the week. In the Western Corn Belt cattle traded at $114 to $115 early in the week, with Nebraska at $113. Dressed sales for the week ranged from $180 to $185. The market was called steady to $3 lower.
Feeder cattle traded at uneven prices at auction across the nation, ranging from $2 lower to $3.50 higher. Agricultural Marketing Service reporters said feeder heifers in both the south-central and north-central regions traded steady to $1 lower.
“Extremely hot weather has gripped most of the southern trading areas this week,” AMS said. “Pasture conditions are deteriorating, causing concern for the remainder of the grazing season. Producers are weighing their options between decreased forage and the thought of hauling cattle to the auction barn in these extreme conditions.”
Cattle slaughter for the week was estimated at 645,000 compared to 626,000 the previous week and 647,000 last year. Actual slaughter weights for the week ending July 27th showed steer carcass weights three pounds higher at 806 pounds. Heifers were five pounds heavier at 795 pounds.
Choice beef cutout prices closed $1.64 lower at $216.37, with Select $3.18 lower at $193.81. The Choice-Select spread was $22.56.