After a run that left just about everybody surprised, but very pleasantly so, the cash market for fed cattle turned south for the week ending June 17. Is this the beginning of the seasonal decline in prices, now that Memorial Day and Father’s Day is behind us? Time will tell.
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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 $130.12 per cwt, compared with $136.07 the previous week, which was $5.95 lower.
The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $205.94, compared with $218.36 the previous week, for a drop of about $12.42.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 81,006 head, compared with about 98,754 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $220.53, compared with $215.16 the previous week, $5.37 higher. Five area formula sales totaled 186,306 head, compared with almost 185,000 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 78,000 head, which was quite a bit higher than the 57,000 head the previous two weeks. Packers have more than 300,000 head of forward contracts available for June, so quite a few more to go yet.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending June 3 was 9 pounds higher at 847 pounds, compared with 864 pounds last year. June normally starts to see large jumps in carcass weights.
The Choice-Select spread was $30.04 on Friday, compared with $30.92 the previous week and that compares with a $22.22 spread last year. The daily Choice rib primal was $438 on Monday and dropped to $433 by Friday and the Choice loin followed similar path, so we’re starting to narrow the spread.
Estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 628,000 head, compared with 606,000 the same week last year, which is 22,000 head over last year. The estimated year-to-date total is 771,000 head over last year.