Thank you again to Bull Tackle Feed in Lexington Nebraska for being our new sponsor of the weekly sheep and goat market report. Check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bulltackle
For the week ending September 25th the Midwest sheep and goat market was steady in the South and softer in the North. Demand was noted as moderate, but buyer attendance seems to be picking up. That leads one to wonder if we are about to start ramping up the market slowly now that we are officially in the fall. That would follow seasonal trends that we have seen the past couple of years. For sales in the North it seemed that heavy lambs and cull ewes were the least desirable. Centennial Livestock in Colorado noted that heavy supply of cull ewes bogged the market down slightly. Kansas South there was no class that was on fire this week, but all classes seemed to hold their own. Talking with Leeland Wilson at Colby heavy lambs may have had a lower undertone, but for the most part everything was steady. Again we’ll get a look at the breeding market this week as Mid States expects a large sale of replacement quality females and breeding males. For all livestock this week had plenty of data to present. For the cattle it was cattle on feed Friday. While hogs received their quarterly numbers from USDA.
For lambs USDA released the latest cold storage data. Cold storage showed lamb built up about 5% from July to August 2021 at just over 22 million pounds. That is still 44% lighter than it was a year ago. Beef and pork also saw similar month to month builds, but they are less than 10% behind 2020. Showing either retailers aren’t concerned with refilling cold stocks of lamb or that demand is running hot enough retailers are not setting much back because they can easily sell the meat. The only thing that has seen a similar decline to the lamb meat in the year over year data is pork bellies. Bacon wrapped leg of lamb flying off the meat counter maybe? USDA retail data for last week shows the lamb cut retail activity index decreased by 61.30%. The roasts decreased by 56.45% while chops decreased by 52.86%. Loin Chops were the most widely featured items among the Lamb features as prices were lower than the previous week. Lamb at the meat counter has encountered pressure for the last couple of weeks. That could eventually impact live lamb prices if demand does not start to increase in the coming weeks.
In terms of ethnic holidays Rosh Hasanah is behind us and it appears there are no major holidays until the Prophet’s Birthday October 18th and 19th.
Other commodity markets were mixed with higher undertones this week. Unfortunately Chinese economic concerns put pressure on the entire market complex and ag commodities were not immune. Grains started to recover towards the end of the week, but those concerns look to linger for a while to come. Input prices are skyrocketing on South American farmers as they plant their next crop this is leading analysts to believe yields won’t be as strong in South America. That starts an early case that global stockpiles of grain will be tight. Unfortunately for livestock feeders that means high feed costs are likely here to stay.
Other feed input markets to report include the hay market. Kansas and Nebraska hay markets reported steady prices and slowing in state demand as farmers get underway with fall harvest. Out of state demand was also noted as softer this week in Nebraska with some of the Northern plains seeing beneficial rain. The first frost of the season was noted in the Panhandle of Nebraska on Wednesday and with that put pressure on millet and cane feed crops. Most farmers noted that the alfalfa crop rode through the cold with no issues and they will move forward with a 4th cutting of alfalfa. With in-state demand likely to be quiet for the next couple of weeks with harvest, livestock feeders will be taking close inventories to see if they can get ahead of any potential rush to demand after harvest.
For the week ending 9/24 lamb slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 30,000 head on Friday. There is an expected Saturday slaughter of 1,000 head. That will bring the total weekly slaughter to 31,000 head. That’s 2,000 head less than the previous week and 5,000 head less than the previous year. Year to date lamb slaughter is at 1,385,000 head. About -1.0% or 14,000 head less than a year ago. Cattle slaughter continues to keep pace ahead of the previous year at 3.5%. Hog slaughter continues to slide behind 2020 now -1.8% behind. USDA data for goat slaughter this week was 9,229 head on Friday afternoon. Lamb and mutton production under federal inspection through 9/24 is estimated at 1.8 million pounds. That is down 200,000 pounds from the previous week. Year to date lamb and mutton production is estimated at 88.4 million pounds. Production continues to drop behind 2020 for the third month now by 4.3% or about 3.9 million pounds. The average live lamb weight for the week ending 9/24 was 119 pounds, that is unchanged from the previous were and up 2 pounds from last year. Dressed weights for lambs this week were 60 pounds. That is unchanged from the previous week and 1 pounds heavier than a year ago.
Sale reports from the week
Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report. For a look at an individual sale follow the links to that sale.
20-40 lbs $200-$315/cwt
40-70 lbs $185-$290/cwt
70 lbs & up $230-$298/cwt
20-40 lbs $2-$352/cwt
40-70 lbs $255-$340/cwt
70 lbs and up $225-$315/cwt
Replacement $175/hd on limited test
Wool bucks $127.50-$232.50/cwt
20-40 lbs $275-$415/cwt
40-70 lbs $270-$380/cwt
Wethers 70-100 lbs $200-$335/cwt
Slaughter medium-fleshy $150-$210/cwt