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For the week ending August 13th the Midwest sheep and goat market saw a strong rebound following two weeks of fairly steady price. Heavy lambs still struggled, but held with last week’s prices. Meanwhile medium weight slaughter wool lambs, hair lambs and goats were easily $10-$30/cwt higher compared to the previous week. The high quality stock in instances were up $40/cwt higher. Breeding stock saw a more gentle increase on the lines of $10-$20/cwt higher. Demand was noted as mixed in several sales with buyers coming and going from the ring. It’s not quite clear what tripped the market trigger this week to rally so extensively. It’s still great to see the market come back strongly. The market will have to hold for the next week to two weeks before there will be much confidence that the late summer low is in and the early fall seasonal could be taking effect. Rosh Hashanah is the next ethnic holiday on the calendar September 25-27th.
Highlighted quotes this week include Centennial livestock on cull hair ewes. They sold 24 head weighing 134 pounds for $110/cwt or $147/hd. Kalona Iowa sold 8 head of light weight slaughter goats weighing 43 pounds for $337/cwt or $145/hd. Kalona also sold 11 head of slaughter hair lambs weighing 49 pounds for $315/cwt or $154/hd. Kalona also sold 16 head of wool lambs weighing 55 pounds for $325/cwt or $176/hd. Sioux Falls Regional Livestock had the largest test on replacement wool ewes. They sold 125 head of yearling replacement ewes weighing 142 pounds for $112/cwt or $156/hd. Producers livestock sold the upper end of 156 head of 55 pound hair lambs for $267/cwt or $147/hd. Producers also sold 44 head of yearling replacement hair ewes weighing 88 pounds for $247/cwt or $217/hd. Producers sold 220 head of 55 pound slaughter goats weighing 55 pounds for $262/cwt or $144/hd. The upper end of the drafts brought $276/cwt or $152/hd. Columbus Sales Pavillion sold 10 mixed slaughter goats weighing 82 pounds for $254/cwt or $210/hd. Columbus also sold 80 head of 66 pound slaughter goats for $233/cwt or $154/hd. Columbus sold 4 mixed does weighing 123 pounds for $255/hd. Columbus sold 5 boer wethers weighing 106 pounds for $283/cwt or $300/hd. Alma Livestock, Alma Nebraska sold 4 head of 68 pound yearling does for $310/cwt or $211/hd.
USDA retail data for the week ending August 12th showed the lamb retail activity index 29.11% higher, feature rate reports 2.90% lower, and the special rate was steady at 3.90%. Lamb Cuts were 49.25% higher this week. The Roast ads were 73.66% lower and Chops ads were 54.54% higher for the week. This week Lamb features offered more ad space for Shoulder Blade Chops and Shoulder Round Bone Chops. The WASDE report does not include lamb or chevon outlooks, but USDA did call for higher cattle and hog prices in the last half of 2022 and early 2023. That should help support sheep and goats back to their higher prices.
Other commodity markets were mostly higher this week. The latest inflation data for the US economy showed some easing month to month. That sent the dollar sharply lower and grains rallied on higher export hopes. Friday the USDA WASDE report showed a slight decrease in yields for US corn and thus a smaller US corn crop. USDA also increased some soybean yields and trimmed acres, leaving the crop relatively unchanged from July. Coming into the close on Friday grains were mostly higher. This has analysts in two camps. One being the pre-harvest low is in and prices can only go higher. The other side hoping we have created a range with a steady low, but likely the market will continue to be volatile. Depending on which camp a livestock feeder is in this is either a buying opportunity or one that bears watching and springing when we retrace to nearby lows.
The haymarket in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming saw another $10-$15/ton increase across the region for all types of hay. Kansas noted that there is plenty of demand, but hay farmers are not quick to let the hay leave the yard. Wyoming hay farmers noted that with the phones ringing off the hook at least trucks are easier to find this year. Nebraska noted that hay grinders are trying to find all the supplies they can with plenty of spring calves being weaned early and feedlots staying full. South Dakota is getting started on third cutting and even with decent moisture tonnage sound mixed for third cutting. The forecast does not look super friendly coming into the end of August and the general consensus is that hay is only going up from this point. With that in mind everything that can be baled is being baled.
Lamb slaughter this week was estimated at 33,000 head through Saturday. That is unchanged from the previous week and 1,000 head more than last year.. Year to date lamb slaughter at 1,067,000 head -10.2% or 121,000 behind the previous year’s lamb slaughter. Live lamb weights this week were 134 pounds. That is an increase of 2 pounds from last week (this would stand to reason given the recent glut of heavy lambs that have been reported sold the past couple of weeks) and up 14 pounds from last year. Dressed lamb weights were 68 pounds. That is up 1 pound from last week from last week and an increase of 9 pounds from last year.
Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report.
20-40 lbs $170-$225/cwt
40-70 lbs $160-$325/cwt
70lbs & up $120-$225/cwt
20-40 lbs $200-$267/cwt
40-70 lbs $200-$315/cwt
70 lbs and up $115-$255/cwt
Hair Rams $105-$240/cwt
20-40 lbs $200-$370/cwt
40-70 lbs $185-$337/cwt
70 lbs & up $190-$270cwt
Slaughter medium-fleshy $120-$285/hd