It may not be a Midsummer’s night dream, but at least it wasn’t a nightmare. The cash trade for fed cattle took a breather for the week ending July 29, dropping back $2 to $3 per cwt.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $117.16, compared with $119.33 the previous week, which was $2.17 lower.
The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $187.48, compared with $189.74 the previous week, for a drop of about $2.26.
The Five Area average formula price was $192.95, compared with $192.15 the previous week, for a slight increase of 80 cents.
However, we had good volume again this week, with the Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume reaching 99,721 head. That compares with about 116,360 the previous week, down slightly but still a good number.
Five Area formula sales totaled 206,739 head, compared with about 205,963 the previous week.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending July 15 was 1 pound lower at 865 pounds, compared with 880 pounds last year. However, this is the time of the year when carcass weights normally continue to climb until late fall, even with some heat-related slowdowns at times, like this last reported week.
The Choice-Select spread was $9.40 on Friday, compared with $12.11 the previous week and $7.97 last year.
Estimated total federally inspected cattle harvest was 627,000 head, compared with 580,000 the same week last year. Continuing the trend,that’s 47,000 head over last year. The estimated year-to-date total harvest is edging ever closer to a million head over last year, with 991,000 more to date than a year ago.
Czerwien is a market reporter in Amarillo, Texas. From the heart of Cattle Feeding Country, Ed follows the fed cattle, feeder cattle, slaughter cow and wholesale markets to keep beef producers up-to-date on the market moves that affect them. He previously worked with USDA as a Market News Reporter. Ed is now semi-retired and continues to work with cattle trade analysis.