Beef Producer this week starts carrying a market intelligence blog from Doug Ferguson, a stocker/backgrounder and sell-buy cattle marketer in southern Nebraska.
Ferguson is in the market every day, and buys and sells regionally at multiple barns within a few hours of his home near Beatrice, Nebraska. He is not just an observer, but a participant, and one with real marketing savvy.
We don't have his blog space properly set up on the webpage yet, but I wanted to give you the first installment from him. Watch for his blog in the future on Fridays under the title "Doug's Market Intel."
From Ferguson on Friday, Feb. 1:
How people react to things and influence the market is always fascinating. While the weather has discouraged some people recently, this week was the opposite.
Despite the sub-zero temperatures, there was great interest among buyers. Most of the runs picked up this week, providing plenty of cattle of all classes to bid on. I know most people at the auctions I attend regularly, and this week they were handing out bidder numbers on the fly to people I did not know. Internet bidding and order buyers were also very active.
I’d call the market steady to five higher. Buyers strongly reaffirmed their desire to purchase eight-weight cattle. Last week six-weights didn’t have many fans and this week that vacuum was filled. Mid five-weight cattle seemed to get the short end this week along with four-weights.
The greatest value of gain was from 400 to 500 pounds and from 700 to 800 pounds.
Fleshy cattle only had a slight discount this week. With most cattle being weaned this time of year, calves carried a significant discount. I also noticed there is a $20 to $40 roll-back on lightweight heifers but only $8 to $15 in the heavier weights. I also noticed in the Plains area that feeder bulls have a $20 discount where in other regions no significant discount was notable. Fancy OVC heifers had a $15 to $20 premium attached to them.
Weigh cows started the week off on a positive note and gained momentum as the week went on.
In some regions the fall calves have started coming to town already. I think it’s too early to determine if this is a trend. Speculation is that hay supplies are getting a little thin. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect the hay market/supply situation has on the cattle market in coming months.