Stocker Demand Remains Strong

Dr. Curt Lacy (UGA)

In spite of high corn prices, demand for lightweight steers remains very strong. This week’s chart depicts prices for 400-500 pound steers versus last year and the five-year average. Following the summer swoon brought on by high corn prices, calf prices have firmed up and continue to run well ahead of one-year ago levels.

2012 10 26 Calfpricesoct2012

Much of these high prices can be traced back to continuing tight supplies as well as strong demand for stocker operators in the Plains. High wheat prices combined with adequate moisture has led to plenty of wheat pasture being planted. This increases the fall demand for stocker calves and helps support prices.

Most market watchers anticipate this strength to continue for a few more weeks and then begin weakening as buyers get cattle bought and Thanksgiving approaches.

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