While the cash market for fed cattle remained essentially steady for the week ending June 10, the big news is the continued very strong bullish tone in the wholesale trade. It was another week, another record for the Choice-Select spread.
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The Choice-Select spread was $30.92 on Friday, compared with $27.18 the previous week and $23.37 last year. There was a time not too long ago when a $20 spread was considered the highest it could go. But a confluence of factors, including strong beef demand, have broken through that ceiling in a big way.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major feeding areas of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, was $136.07 per cwt, compared with $136.27 the previous week, 20 cents lower.
The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $218.36, compared with $216 the previous week, for a $2.36 jump.
And again, the market held its ground in the face of higher harvest numbers. Estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 622,000 head, compared with 594,000 the same week last year, which is 28,000 head more than a year ago.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 98,754 head, compared with about 101,931 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $215.16, compared with $214.24 the previous week, 92 cents higher. Five area formula sales totaled 184,962 head, compared with about 157,437 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 57,000 head, exactly the same as the previous week. Packers have more than 300,000 forward contracts available for June but only 133,000 head for July.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending May 27 was 2 pounds higher at 838 pounds, compared with 859 pounds last year.