contributed article by Kirk Lynch
Lynch Livestock Inc. and Humeston Livestock Exchange, Humeston, Iowa
Cattle Markets Latest Trends
Well, as I sit here typing this article I can almost taste spring in the air, it is sunny out and the snow is almost completely gone. I can only hope the cold temperatures and white stuff is behind us as we kicked out first set pairs to our pasture at home, meaning we are well into another calf crop. Even with the high cost of production these little guys still have some potential to make some money and worth a pretty penny at some point in their lives.
Now to what we are seeing in the barns. All the markets have been affected by one thing and one thing only, the unrest going on in Eastern Europe which has caused several economic issues and the cost of several products to skyrocket. Thus bringing into question how much beef can be sold and at what price, causing some uncertainty in the cattle market. With that said, we have seen a steep decline in the fat cattle market. We had seen some extreme tops in the high 40’s and even some at $1.50 before this dip. We are still seeing the top cattle bringing in the low to mid 40’s and most cash cattle in the country bringing in the high 30’s. I think we will stay at this level for a bit and with slow and steady improvement over the next month or so before we start getting into the surge in numbers that generally comes in the summer months.
Feeders are also lower for the same reason as everything else, but also because of the skyrocketing price of corn and other grains. Over the next couple of years, there will be tight supply numbers for feeder cattle, so the outlook is very promising for the long term. Even with all the uncertainty going on, if you are looking to fill your feedlots, this dip in the market is an opportunity to fill your pens.
The cull cow/bull market has pretty much followed the other markets, but before the sudden decline we saw some fed cows bringing in the 90’s and bulls bringing $110 to $120. Most of these markets have backed off $10 to $15.
The breeding stock market has still been strong and not affected as much by the world crisis like the other markets. The bull sales have been excellent and bred heifers and young cows are bringing top dollar. There continues to be some buys in the running age cows.
The main theme over the next couple months is that the markets and world issues just need to stabilize. That has been the common theme we have been saying over the past two plus years, but I would like to think at some point it will! If it ever does, we are looking at some promising times in the cattle business. Wishing everyone a Happy Easter and a wonderful spring!