Sort & Cull

Cash Cattle and Feeder Cattle Prices Score New Highs Yet Again

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
It was thrilling to watch both the fed cattle and feeder cattle market hit new all-time highs last week in the countryside as buyer demand hasn't weakened whatsoever. (DTN file photo by Jim Patrico)

Last week was an incredible showing throughout the cattle complex as both the fed cattle and feeder cattle markets saw new highs scored in each of their markets. Tight supplies amid unbelievable buyer demand has continued to push the market to reach for new highs.

Last week at Superior Livestock's Corn Belt Classic video sale, where more than 60,000 head sold, feeder steer prices in Region 2 (Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado and Utah) steers weighing 500 to 740 pounds averaged $17 to $35 per hundredweight more in 2024 than they did in 2023. Which is noteworthy, given that in 2023 the steer prices for the same region jumped $59 to $76 per hundredweight higher than steer prices in 2022. Which means in the last two years, steer prices have gained $66 to $101 per hundredweight -- if you want to talk about true price discovery, well, there it is! And it wasn't only Superior's video sale that saw tremendous demand as the CME feeder cattle index closed at $256.13 Friday afternoon -- which is another record-breaking price point for the index which took out the previous top made last September at $254.

The cash cattle market was late to trade again last week as feedlot managers knew that packers were going to try to get cattle bought at cheaper prices, but thankfully feedlot managers saw the week through, and waited patiently for packers' interest to improve. Northern dressed cattle traded anywhere from $301 to $311, but mostly at $305 to $306, which is $4 to $5 higher than the previous week -- and new all-time high prices for the North. Last week, new all-time high prices were scored for Nebraska as dressed cattle averaged $306, in Iowa as dressed cattle averaged $304.54, and the week's five-area live steer price averaged $192.55. Southern live cattle traded for $184 to $195, but mostly at $187 which is $2 higher than the previous week's weighted average.

Needless to say, last week's market was captivating to watch as this is a prime example of how true price discovery works in the marketplace. Hats off to all of those who worked the market to its greatest potential last week -- I'm eager to see what this week's market accomplishes.

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at


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