Memorial Day is one of the biggest grilling days of the year, and the market leading up to the day that we rightfully remember our fallen was aggressive as retailers looked to fill their meat cases. With Memorial Day now behind us, will the fed cattle market begin its seasonal decline into summer? Or will great grilling weather, strong beef demand and Father’s Day keep the market ginning?
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There will be plenty of product to meet this summer’s grilling demand. Estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 613,000 head, compared with 586,000 the same week last year. That’s 27,000 head over last year. Total year-to-date harvest numbers are 666,000 head over last year
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region—the five largest cattle feeding states of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa—was $131.50 per cwt, compared with $134.26 the previous week, for a drop of $2.76.
The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $208.61, compared with $212.62 the previous week.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 82,617 head, compared with about 74,925 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $219.52, compared with $228.18 the previous week, for a decline of $8.66. Five Area formula sales totaled 182,651 head, compared with about 165,947 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 64,000 head, compared with 48,000 head the previous week.Packers have more than 246,000 head of forward contracts available for May and 297,000 for June.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending May 13 was 4 pounds higher at 836 pounds, compared with 863 pounds last year.
And, indicating that demand for quality beef is strong, the Choice-Select spread made history again, hitting $27.15 on Friday. That was about $1.40 higher compared with the previous week and much higher than the $20.50 spread last year.