For the week ending April 23 the Midwest sheep and goat markets were steady to higher in isolated sales. Demand was noted as good to strong in all the sales highlighted within this report. It’s impressive to see this market continue to hold the line with other livestock like hogs who continue to experience robust prices. Goat and lamb may not be the main staple meat counter meat at the moment, but reflecting current prices there seems to be some gaining popularity. USDA released their cold storage report on Thursday afternoon and showed that all red meat in cold storage was down 4% month to month. Pork in particular though was down 27% year to year. Pork is traditionally thought of as a more consumer friendly protein with a lower price point. However that may start to shift in the near term with available supplies continuing to shrink and export shipments holding strong. Cash prices are also eating into packer margin and there is rumor that chain speeds are slowing to try and slow the out cash flow for finished hogs. If pork continues to rise in price, consumers may not balk at higher lamb and goat meat prices. They are already gaining a taste for lamb and goat and if the price seems relative to other proteins it could continue to strengthen demand. The ethnic market is likely also helping current price as we enter the mid way of Ramadan month of fasting. Dry conditions continue to hold in the Northern plains of the US and this could still cause more herd culling which typically benefits longer term markets. Unfortunately though drought culling can also eliminate good genetics. Going into the last week of April and soon to start the month of May the sheep and goat market may have to fight to keep off a seasonal downturn towards the end of spring and first of summer.
Other commodity markets were strongly higher again this week. Corn broke through $6 then through $6.50 before the week was out. Meanwhile soybeans cruised through $15. These prices have definitely started to ration demand with another round of lower export sales this week. There is still plenty of talk in the trade that Southern cattle feeders are also switching rations to wheat. However Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures closed in on $7 this week gaining more than 10%. The high prices even had China’s agriculture ministry urging livestock feeders to change up rations and try to limit usage of corn and soybeans. The major reason for continued rally in grain prices stems from extremely dry conditions in Brazil which is burning up the Safrinha corn crop. The crop rating has dropped 30% in recent weeks to 62% good to excellent. As for North America there is a lot of growing season to go and planters are just starting to roll. Do note that if you are considering changing up your rations it’s always a good idea to consult a nutritionist.
Other feed input markets to report include the hay market. Kansas and Nebraska both reported steady prices on all hay classes. Kansas noted slower movement of hay as field work began and some in the southern part of the state took livestock to early grass. As for Nebraska the grind market continued strong through the cold snap. There is even some talk from grinder operators that they may not have enough forage to get them to the first cutting of the season. Which brings some concern of how high hay prices will be this fall. NASS reports that alfalfa price has a tendency to follow corn prices higher.
For the week ending 4/24 lamb slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 36,000 head on Friday. There is an expected Saturday slaughter of a 1,000 head. That will bring the total weekly slaughter to 37,000 head. That’s 2,000 head more than last week and 3,000 head less than the previous year. Year to date lamb slaughter at 600,000 head. About 1.2% or 7,000 head more than a year ago. Cattle slaughter joined lamb slaughter this week 1.6% ahead of the previous year. Hog slaughter though is still 2.1% behind last year. USDA data shows that goat slaughter under federal inspection was 10,035 head for the week as of 4/23. That compares to 9,921 head the prior week. Lamb and mutton production under federal inspection through 4/23 is estimated at 2.4 million pounds. That is 100,000 pounds more than last week. Year to date lamb and mutton production is estimated at 40.3 million pounds. 2021 continues to exceed 2020 lamb production by 2.2% or 900,000 pounds. The average live lamb weight for the week ending 4/23 was 130 pounds, down 3 pound from last week and up 6 pounds from last year. Dressed weights for lambs this week were 65 pounds. That is a decrease of 2 pounds from last week and 3 pound heavier than a year ago.
Sale reports from the week
Hamilton Commission Company Hamilton Texas sold 3,331 head of sheep and goats on Monday 4/19. That compares to 2,413 head in the previous week’s sale. Dorper lambs were $15-$20 lower, wool lambs were $15-$20 lower, barbado lambs were $15-$20 lower, ewes steady, kids steady, and nannies steady. Highlighted quotes from the sale include dorper and dorper cross lambs weighing 40-70 lbs brought $255-$300/cwt. Wool lambs 70 pounds and up brought $235-$290, kid goats weighing 40-70 lbs brought $375-$475/cwt.
Producers Livestock San Angelo Texas sold 8,100 head of sheep and goats on Tuesday 4/20. That compared to 9,142 head the previous week and 7,876 head last year. Compared to last week slaughter lambs under 70 lbs 10.00-15.00 higher, heavier weights 5.00-10.00 lower. Slaughter ewes weak to 5.00 lower. Feeder lambs not well tested. Nannies and kids steady. Trading fairly active, demand good. Highlighted quotes from San Angelo include; 55 head of slaughter lambs weighing 85 pounds brought $260-$266, 17 head of slaughter lambs averaging 97 lbs brought $246/cwt, 366 head of hair breed slaughter size lambs averaged 55 lbs brought $296-$318/cwt, 742 head of hair breed slaughter lambs weighing 74 pounds brought $270-$292/cwt, 307 head of feeder goats weighing 45lbs brought $450-$462/cwt, 166 head slaughter goats weighing 61 lbs brought $440-$472/cwt.
Centennial Livestock Fort Collins Colorado sold 785 head of sheep and goats on Wednesday 4/21. That compared to 777 head the week prior and 1,754 head a year ago. Compared to last week, not enough feeder lambs for a trend. Slaughter Sheep and Lambs traded mostly steady to firm on a lighter supply. Slaughter Kids and Nannies traded mostly steady to firm. Slaughter Bucks mostly steady. Not enough Wethers for a trend. Supply was light. Trade activity and demand good. Highlighted quotes from Fort Collins; 9 head of feeder lambs weighing 52 pounds brought $270-$285/cwt, 34 head slaughter lambs weighing 85 lbs brought $290-$315/cwt, 23 head of slaughter lambs weighing 111 pounds brought $300-$320/cwt, 14 head of hair breed lambs weighing 51 pounds brought $285-$305/cwt, 22 head of feeder kids weighing 33 lbs brought $130-$165/head, 10 head of slaughter goats weighing 62 lbs brought $265-$277.50/head, 8 head of slaughter goats weighing 94 pounds brought $275-$320/hd, 2 wethers weighing 178 pounds brought $455/hd
Sioux Falls Regional Livestock in Worthing, South Dakota sold 2,086 head of sheep and goats on Wednesday 4/21. That compared to 3,169 head last week and 1,736 head last year. Very light test of traditional slaughter weight lambs, to few to make a meaningful comparison. Lambs weighing 100-150lbs were 4.00 to 5.00 higher. Non traditional weights have been the majority of the lambs sold in the last few weeks. Demand for this large offering was good. Slaughter Ewes Good 4-5 and Utility 1-2 7.00 to 10.00 lower, Good 2-3 12.00 to 15.00 lower, Cull 1 to few to make a meaningful comparison. Highlighted quotes from Sioux Falls; 22 head of feeder lambs weighing 47 pounds brought $270-$320/cwt, 273 head of feeder lambs weighing 74 pounds brought $255-$285, 188 head of slaughter lambs weighing 135 pounds brought $202-$230/cwt, 32 head of slaughter lambs weighing 154 pounds brought $171-$195/cwt, 51 head of feeder goats weighing 25 pounds brought $500-$600/cwt, 15 head of slaughter goats weighing 60 pounds brought $450/cwt, 2 wethers weighing 558 pounds brought $370/cwt.
Kalona Iowa sale barn sold 1,904 head of sheep and goats on Wednesday 4/21. That compared to 1,986 head the prior week and 0 head a year ago. Compared to the previous Wednesday slaughter lambs 40-60 lbs. 10.00 higher, 60 100 lbs. firm, hair lambs 50-80 lbs. 4.00 higher, slaughter ewes 2.00-5.00 lower, hair ewes 10.00 higher, slaughter bucks steady. Slaughter kids mostly steady, slaughter nannies 10.00-15.00 lower. Trade active with good demand for the large offering. Highlighted quotes from Kalona; 52 head of feeder lambs weighing 45 pounds brought $295-$356/cwt, 183 head of slaughter lambs weighing 83 lbs brought $285-$318/cwt, 49 slaughter lambs weighing 93 lbs brought $295-$304/cwt, 120 head of hair breed slaughter lambs weighing 54 lbs brought $301-$321/cwt, 77 head of hair breed slaughter lambs weighing 75 pounds brought $297-$308, 11 head of feeder goats weighing 46 pounds brought $220-$245/hd, 26 head slaughter goats weighing 57 pounds brought $240-$300/hd, 60 wethers weighing 111 pounds brought $310/410/hd.
Clay Patton has a recap of the report you can listen to here: