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For the week ending May 27th the Midwest sheep and goat market was fully steady on slaughter lambs of all classes and sizes. Slaughter goats meanwhile were steady to $15/cwt lower. Talking with folks who attended the Sunflower Classic in Kansas the breeding hair sheep market is in good shape with plenty of demand. Rain continues to fall in some of the most drought stricken areas of the high plains, but time is still needed to grow forage back. Still moods and outlooks have improved greatly over the past couple of weeks. With that in mind this will likely improve demand for breeding and replacement stock as ranchers look to grow herds once again.
It is the Memorial Day holiday weekend and often times seen as the unofficial start to the summer grilling season. Going into the weekend pork loins were costing similar to ground beef. That is quite the price disparity and we may get an idea soon of where the US consumer wants to put their money when it comes to protein. Economic data released on Friday showed that US consumer spending increased 0.8% in April. That was double what analysts were expecting and outpaced the increase in US income. So people are settling into the inflationary economy
USDA released the latest cold storage report for April and as of April 30 the US has 24.5 million pounds of lamb and mutton in commercial cold storage. That is down 5% or 1.2 million pounds from March 2023. It is unchanged from the amount of lamb held in commercial cold storage a year ago. That would continue to highlight that we are staying more current on our slaughter lambs and current prices are keeping US lamb competitive vs. imports. Beef saw the largest yearly drop at 16% at 447 million pounds. That is the tightest beef stocks the US has seen in 19 months. Pork meanwhile saw a 6% increase from a year ago to 565 million pounds.
Highlighted quotes this week include Centennial Livestock where they sold 24 head of 122 lb slaughter goat wethers for $334/cwt average or $274/hd. The upper end of the draft sold for $360/cwt or $295/hd. Sioux Falls Regional Livestock in South Dakota sold 393 head of 97 lb slaughter wool lambs for $192.50/cwt or $187/hd. Kalona Iowa sold 38 head of 107 lb slaughter wool lambs for $191/cwt or $204/hd average. The upper end of the draft brought $220/cwt or $235/hd. Producers Livestock in San Angelo Texas sold 163 head of 94 lb slaughter hair lambs for $189/cwt or $178/hd average. The upper end of the draft brought $198/cwt or $186/hd. Producers Livestock sold 51 head of young open does weighing 74 lbs brought $289/cwt or $214/hd. Colby Livestock sold 14 head of 40 lb slaughter goats for $317.50/cwt or $127/hd.
Lamb slaughter this week was estimated at 33,000 head through Saturday. That was down 2,000 head from last week and down 1,000 head from last year. Year to date lamb slaughter at 754,000 head 6.1% or 44,000 head more than the previous year’s lamb slaughter. Live lamb weights this week were 128 pounds. That was an increase of 1 lbs from last week and a decrease of 10 pounds from last year. Dressed lamb weights were 65 pounds. That was an increase of 1 lbs from last week and a decrease of 5 lbs from last year.
Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report.
20-40 lbs $150-$205/cwt
40-70 lbs $155-$240/cwt
70lbs & up $125-$215/cwt
20-40 lbs $175-$257.50/cwt
40-70 lbs $160-$240/cwt
70 lbs and up $155-$220/cwt
Hair Rams $70-$150/cwt
20-40 lbs $170-$337/cwt
40-70 lbs $225-$370/cwt
70 lbs & up $250-$330/cwt
70 lbs & up $235-$285/cwt
Slaughter medium-fleshy $115-$250/hd