Grazing demand lifts calf prices

Calves traded mostly steady to $5 higher this week as buyers continued hunting cattle suited for grazing. Due to limited numbers, analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service say premiums were paid for good quality, long-time weaned calves with all their shots. Fleshy, un-weaned, soft bawling calves received discounts.

Steer and heifer calves traded mostly steady to $5 per cwt higher this week, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), though there were instances of $1-$2 lower in the north-central part of the nation.

“Demand continues to be very good for grazing calves, as cattle raisers are eager to turn their cattle out on grass,” AMS analysts say. “Due to limited numbers, premiums were paid for good quality, long-time weaned calves with all their shots. Discounts were placed on fleshy, un-weaned, soft bawling calves.”

Although demand remains for feeder-weight cattle, buyers were more reluctant this week with steers and heifers trading unevenly steady, $3 lower to $5 higher.

“The cash slaughter cattle market continues to trade at a double-digit premium to the April live cattle contract,” AMS analysts say. “The June contract and later months are mostly at a double-digit discount to April, making feeder buyers cautious.”

Source: BEEF