The national slaughter cattle summary for the week ending Nov. 9 showed slaughter cattle traded $2 lower on live basis and $2.50 lower on dressed basis, according to the USDA Market News Service, Oklahoma City, OK.

Heavy carcass weights were adding more than 1% to beef tonnage from last year. This and the loss of beef sales to Japan since the BSE scare began has compounded problems for the heavy-laden supply of slaughter ready cattle. Cattle futures took heavy losses this week, as speculators abandon out front optimism. Cattle slaughter remains well under 700,000 making for a long price recovery scenario.

USDA's boxed beef cut-out values closed Nov. 8 at an average of $103.67 per cwt., down $1.75 from Nov. 7 and down $5 for two weeks. Sales of slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades totaled 202,900 through Nov. 7. Last week's full count was only 82,600 head.

Slaughter cows were steady to $2 higher. Slaughter bulls were steady to $3 higher. The heart of the fall culling season is about over and available numbers are begining to decline. Packer margins are still very strong, but this disparity will begin to close as numbers become more manageable in the next few weeks. USDA's Cutter cow carcass cut-out value closed Nov. 8 at $87.09 per cwt., up $1.88 from Nov. 2.

Midwest direct markets: Live basis, steers and heifers, 35 to 80% Choice, 900 to 1400 lbs., 63.00 to 64.00, average 63.40. Dressed basis, steers and heifers, 35 to 80% Choice, 550 to 950 lbs., 100.00 to 104.00, average 101.00.

High Plains direct markets: Live basis, steers and heifers, 35 to 65% Choice, 900 to 1400 lbs., 62.00 to 65.00, average 63.00.

Slaughter cows and bulls: Breakers, 75 to 80% lean, 1000 to 1600 lbs., Colorado, 34.50 to 38.00; Oklahoma, 34.25 to 36.50; Alabama, 34.00 to 37.00. Boners, 80 to 85% lean, 900 to 1500 lbs., Colorado, 35.00 to 38.50; Oklahoma, 33.00 to 35.75; Alabama, 35.50 to 38.50. Lean, 85 to 90% lean, 850 to 1300 lbs., Colorado, 31.00 to 34.00; Oklahoma, 31.50 to 34.00; Alabama, 31.50 to 34.50. Bulls, 88 to 92% lean, 1500 to 2200 lbs., Colorado, 50.25 to 54.00; Oklahoma, 49.50 to 53.50; Alabama, 46.00 to 52.00.

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