Numbers Slipped, but Prices Held Over the Holidays

1/4/2014 7:00 AM

Christmas falling in the middle of the week last week played havoc with livestock markets in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Questions always arise like do I take the chance of selling, thinking cattle receipts will be low and prices moving up to fill some last-minute demands? Are livestock markets even going to be open?

Most of Monday sales operated on a normal schedule while Tuesday sales either closed completely or moved to Thursday for the week. As a result cattle numbers last week were less than half of the previous week’s sales.

Prices however did hold up to the previous week’s numbers and actually climbed a buck or two on slaughter steers and heifers.

Holstein steers didn’t hold the same as that trend dropped $2 to $3.

Looking at the live cattle futures close on Dec. 27 for February and April cattle, prices were still on the rise with February showing a 134.95 settle with a gain of plus 0.80 and April showing a settle price of 135.62 and a gain of plus 0.65 over the previous day.

When I look across the board at feeder cattle futures, the January and March numbers showed a slight decline last week. January closed the week at 166.70, down 0.57, and March followed suit with a closing price of 167.40, down 0.55 for the week.

Having now said goodbye to 2013, we hope it was a prosperous year and that 2014 will be even brighter.

Report provided by Ag Market News for the Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence Inc. with information from USDA Market News reporters Corbitt Wall and Levi Geyer, and from Ag Market News reporter Dave Wert. For more information, call 717-705-1689.

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