After a strong run-up to end 2016 and begin the New Year, the cash market for fed cattle took a breather for the week ending Jan. 7. The finished cattle trade was mostly steady in a lighter test of cash sales.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major central feeding areas, was $117.67 per cwt, compared with $117.44 the previous week, which was 23 cents higher.
The cash dressed steer price was $187.97, compared with $188.86 the previous week, almost 90 cents lower.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 75,546 head, compared with about 100,000 the previous week.
Five Area formula sales totaled 152,636 head, compared to about 157,000 the previous week. The Five Area average formula price was $185.88, compared with $180.44 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 45,000 head, compared with 37,000 head the previous week. Packers have about 243,000 head of forward contracts available for both January and February.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Dec. 24 was 11 pounds lower at 897 pounds, compared with 906 pounds last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $5.59 on Friday, down about $5 from the previous week but up slightly from the $5.22 spread last year. The spread normally drops this time of the year. The daily Choice rib dropped in the last few weeks from $397 down to $291 on Friday. Also, the Chuck and round rallied, which are less dependent on grading Choice.