The national slaughter cattle summary for the week ending July 27 reported receipts 431,400 head, compared with 278,100 head last week and 361,500 head last year, according to the USDA Market News Service, Oklahoma City, OK.

The report covered Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and southern Minnesota.

Slaughter cattle $1.50 to $2.50 lower than last week. Demand again was fairly light for numbers that need to be moved. Cattle are fairly well backlogged, due to the past two weeks of lighter than needed slaughter rates. Too many feedlots are behind in marketings. Slaughter rates need to be running 720,000 to 730,000 head per week, rather than another meager 700,000 week. Carcass weights growing each week, adding tonnage to this seasonably low beef demand period.

USDA'S boxed beef cut-out values average $110.26 per cwt., down 31 cents from last week. The normal summer lull in beef demand combined with sizeable front end supply of market ready yearling placed cattle has increased beef tonnage and closed the gap between Choice and Select to a normal $5.65 per cwt. spread.

Midwest direct markets: Steers, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 1100 to 1350 lbs., 65.00 to 66.00. Heifers, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 1050 to 1300 lbs., 65.00 to 66.00. Dressed basis, steers and heifers, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 1100 to 1350 lbs., 103.00 to 104.50.

High Plains direct markets: Steers, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 1100 to 1350 lbs., very few, 65.00 to 65.50. Heifers, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 1000 to 1250 lbs., very few, 65.00 to 65.50.

Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana: Steers and heifers, dressed basis, Select and Choice, 2 to 3, 102.00 to 104.00, few, 105.00 (Montana).

Slaughter cows and bulls were steady to $1 higher. USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut out value July 27 was $2.18 higher than last week, at $82.76 per cwt. This still is $8.75 lower than highs posted in late June early July. However, it probably marks the start of the cow beef upswing prior to Labor Day weekend. Steer and heifer front quarters most likely will find their way into cow beef channels, limiting the normal upswing that could be expected.

Slaughter cows: Breakers, 75 to 80% lean, 1000 to 1600 lbs., 41.25 to 44.00 Colorado; 41.50 to 43.50 Oklahoma; 36.00 to 39.00 Alabama. Boners, 80 to 85% lean, 900 to 1500 lbs., 40.25 to 43.75 Colorado; 40.00 to 43.00 Oklahoma; 38.00 to 41.50 Alabama. Lean, 85 to 90%, 850 to 1300 lbs., 38.75 to 42.00 Colorado; 38.50 to 42.00 Colorado; 34.50 to 37.50 Alabama.

Slaughter bulls: 88 to 92% lean, 1500 to 2200 lbs., 49.00 to 54.50 Colorado; 51.00 to 54.00 Oklahoma; 49.00 to 52.50 Alabama.

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