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For the week ending August 6th the midwest sheep and goat market was mostly steady with the prior week. That gives us 2 weeks in a row now of a near steady market. That continues to help push towards possibly carving out the summer low and setting the stage to start moving higher as early as late August or early September. One thing I did note this week was Centennial Livestock in Fort Collins Colorado noted another big run of heavy (150 lb plus) lambs coming through the barn. That is hurting the lamb and cull sheep market pretty significantly. Heavy lambs have to make their way through the supply chain and eat through the current supply. The heavy lambs seem to be taking the most market share from cull sheep. Centennial sold utility ewes for as low as $20/cwt or $0.20/lb. The run of heavy lambs also seems to confirm rumors that circulated the market around mid July that several large operations were sitting on quite a few heavy lambs and would be feeding them into the market for the next several weeks. However there is no majority thought as to when the heavy lambs will be worked through the market. The goat market doesn’t seem to have the same issue. For goats it’s likely a slump in ethnic demand that has helped back the market off in the near term. For upcoming ethnic holidays it appears Rosh Hashanah is coming up September 25-27 and Prophet’s Birthday is coming up October 7-8. Looking at the market longer term, high feed costs and possibly tight feed supplies will be the biggest hurdle the market faces as it tries to pick up later in the year to follow it’s seasonal pace.
Highlighted quotes this week include Centennial Livestock in Fort Collins Colorado selling 5 head of 202 pound wool lambs brought $86/cwt or $173/hd. 31 head of 86 pound wool lambs at Centennial brought $195/cwt or $167/hd. 38 head of hair slaughter ewes weighing 111 pounds brought $77.90/cwt or $87/hd. The upper end of the draft that were high dressing brought $82.50/cwt or $91.50/hd. Kalona Iowa sold 5 head of 53 pound wool lambs for $265/cwt or $140.45/hd. Kalona also sold 21 head of 83 pound slaughter goats for $230/cwt or $190/hd. Kalona sold 8 head of 165 pound slaughter ewes for $135/cwt or $222.75/hd. Producers Livestock in San Angelo Texas sold 524 head of 54 pound hair lambs for $270/cwt or $145/hd. Producers also sold 22 head of open yearling replacement hair ewes weighing 63 pounds for $258/cwt or $162/hd. The upper end of the ewes brought $269/cwt or $169.50/hd.Producers livestock sold 186 head of 54 pound slaughter goats for $264/cwt or $142.50/hd. The upper end of the draft brought $291/cwt or $157/hd. Producers sold 17 head of 86 pound open running age does for $225/cwt or $193/hd. Colby Kansas sold 6 head of boer cross kids weighing 48 pounds for $320/cwt or $153/hd. Coldy also sold 9 head of black face lambs weighing 76 pounds for $190/cwt or $144/hd.
USDA retail data for the week ending August 6th the lamb cuts were 10.73% higher this week. The Roast ads were 50.00% lower and Chops ads were sharply higher for the week. This week Lamb features offered more ad space for Shoulder Blade Chops, Breast, Rack, and Loin Chops.
Other commodity markets were mixed this week bouncing back and forth with the latest macro market headline. Geo political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the US and China gave plenty of fodder for traders to sell on demand destruction fears. War serves nobody and money is concerned with how it will destroy economic growth. On these swings the grain and general commodity complex turned negative. Also helping on the supply side of the story was Ukraine safely shipping their first ship of grain since Russia invaded in February. With the safe passage Ukraine estimates they can send another 2-3 ships a day off into the Black Sea. Helping to support the grain complex then continued drought not only in the US, but in Europe as well. That brings it back to the old saying “don’t count your chicken until the eggs hatch.” Basically until these crops are in the bin the market continues to be volatile with every headline the crop is made or the crop is destroyed. This continues to make it tough for livestock feeders looking to try and lock in costs as their is downside potential, but plenty of upside risk occurring all at the same time.
The haymarket in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming saw fully steady prices. Kansas was the only state to report roughly $5-$25/ton higher on all classes of alfalfa and grass. Dairy quality and premium quality alfalfa is in the shortest supply across all states. Last week’s cool and wet climate helped to set things for a possible 3rd cutting, but this week’s heat and dryness likely sent many fields backwards. Several states noted that many buyers are staying in a hand to mouth type of buying and not securing large quantities. Which seems to appease most sellers as they feel the market will go higher and don’t want to price all of their current crop.
Lamb slaughter this week was estimated at 33,000 head through Saturday. That is an increase of 1,000 head from the previous week and 1,000 head more than last year.. Year to date lamb slaughter at 1,035,000 head -10.5% or 121,000 behind the previous year’s lamb slaughter. Live lamb weights this week were 132 pounds. That was down a pound from last week and up 12 pounds from last year. Dressed lamb weights were 67 pounds. That is unchanged from last week and an increase of 7 pounds from last year.
Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report.
20-40 lbs $185-$264/cwt
40-70 lbs $137.50-$265/cwt
70lbs & up $100-$200/cwt
20-40 lbs $160-$250/cwt
40-70 lbs $155-$270/cwt
70 lbs and up $92-$245/cwt
Hair Rams $81-$180/cwt
20-40 lbs $135-$355/cwt
40-70 lbs $185-$335/cwt
70 lbs & up $180-$250cwt
Slaughter medium-fleshy $110-$300/hd