Bull Tackle Feed in Lexington Nebraska sponsors this weekly report. This week we hear from Neal on his mineral products.
Here’s the audio recap of the report.
For the week ending January 15th the Midwest sheep and goat market ticked higher for the second week of 2022. There were no sharp increases, but all classes of sheep and goats were at least steady if not $15-$20/cwt higher. Replacement stock especially in the goats seemed to bring a nice premium. Centennial Livestock in Colorado, Kalona Iowa, and Columbus Nebraska all sold quality 150 pound does for $340-$390/head. Sioux Falls Livestock sold 50 head of 2-4 yr old wool ewes weighing 216 pounds for $450/hd. The replacement and stocker market is being driven by a strong slaughter market with Kalona Iowa again getting $4.65/lb on 63 pound wool lambs. Hamilton Texas saw light weight goat kids 35-40lbs bring upwards of $5.50 and Centennial in Colorado sold 30 52 lb wethers for just shy of $5/lb or $256/hd. With prices again strong replacement quality stock going into slaughter is also not slowing down. That could continue to leave the market in short supply in the near future with limited numbers of quality females going back into the breeding herd. Talking with one producer after the Colby sale he noted that due to strong cull prices it actually cash flowed better for him to liquidate part of his club ewe herd and focus primarily on his commercial flock. Dry conditions could also force some liquidation in some herds if spring moisture doesn’t pan out to build back pastures.That could cause a temporary pullback on the market with too much supply, but it would quickly work itself out and leave lower supply for future demand. This all points towards a fairly steady market to come, but as we have talked before if consumer demand drops the market could still fall from it’s currently strong prices.
On the retail front USDA data was not yet updated for this week so it still shows data starting off the new year. For the first week in January the lamb cuts retail activity index was 47.47% lower. The roast ads were mostly steady while chops ad space were sharply lower. Lamb features ad space for Boneless Leg and Ground Lamb from prior week were higher. Looking at updated beef, pork and chicken retail reports, the beef and chicken retail activity index dropped slightly in the second week of the new year. Special rates rose slightly week to week for pork, but were still below a year ago. These pieces of data give us some insight that it’s likely lamb did not see much change at the meat counter this previous week. It’s also not being pressured by cheaper proteins after the holidays. Other retail sales data did drop in December which analysts didn’t expect for the most part. Some economists point to shoppers buying early for Christmas to ensure delivery hurting those sales. Hopefully that means the budget is less impacted by Christmas purchases. Leaving more for their favorite protein.
For Ethnic holidays we have Chinese new year February 1st, Passover coming April 15-23rd, Ramadan April 2nd – May 1st, Roman Easter April 17th, and Greek Easter April 24th.
Other commodity markets were mixed throughout the week once again. The grain market is torn between supply buyers and demand sellers. South America became the center of supply concern with CONAB and USDA lowering their corn and soybean production estimates. Drought continues across major portions of Argentina and Brazil’s crop growing regions. That saw sharp drops in crop condition ratings. The drought is even dropping river levels and hindering Argentina shipping their grain out of the country. These issues drove buyers, but export sales and shipment data brought demand sellers back to the market. The WASDE report out on Wednesday showed that the US has plentiful grain stocks for the time being and is set for a fairly large corp in 2022. For livestock feeders this could set up a range bound market that helps to make input costs more outlined and defined for the near term. Data for grain traders will not be quiet until February.
The hay market in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota did little this past week. Prices and movement were essentially steady. There were actually a few notes of softer prices in Kansas and South Dakota as temps warmed back up and need for supplemental feed declined. For many ranchers livestock are still on pasture with little snow cover or crop residue and the need for hay isn’t as strong as it might be in a colder snowier winter. The lingering concern there is that unless moisture recharges the soil in the spring it could be a very dry summer with need for supplemental feed. Hay cuttings would also be lighter in that scenario.
Lamb slaughter this week through Saturday was estimated at 33,000 head. That is 2,000 head less than last week and 3,000 head less than last year. Labor shortages continue to impact slaughter for all livestock. Goat slaughter under federal inspection this week was estimated at 10,589 head. Lamb production started the year off at 2.1 million pounds which is pretty standard. Live lamb weights were 125 pounds this week with dressed weights of 63 pounds. That is within a couple pounds of the previous week and year.
Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report.
40-70 lbs $280-$465/cwt
70 lbs & up $190-$370/cwt
20-40 lbs $340-$450/cwt
40-70 lbs $325-$460/cwt
70 lbs and up $240-$385/cwt
Hair Rams $170-$260/cwt
20-40 lbs $240-$550/cwt
40-70 lbs $300-$490/cwt
70 lbs & up $275-$425/cwt
Slaughter medium-fleshy $200-$325/hd