The finished cattle trade was steady to $1 per cwt higher for the week ending Feb. 11, continuing the good news for long-beleaguered cattle feeders.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the Nebraska through Texas and Colorado through Iowa feeding areas, was $119.75, compared with $118.76 the previous week, which was about $1 higher.
And that steady-as-she-goes tone came with more fed cattle heading to the plants. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 82,904 head, compared with about 77,000 the previous week.
The cash dressed steer price was $190.05, compared with $189.78 the previous week, for a gain of 27 cents.
The Five Area average formula price was $193.17, compared with $195.22 the previous week, a drop of about $2. Five Area formula sales totaled 154,911 head, compared with about 154,000 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 59,000 head, compared with 50,000 head the previous week. Packers have more than 257,000 head of forward contracts available for February and more than 204,000 head for March, along with almost 300,000 for April.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Jan. 28 was 5 pounds lower at 884 pounds, compared with 898 pounds last year. It is dropping a lot faster than last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $1.98 on Friday, which was up only about 50 cents compared to the previous week. That compares with a $3.55 spread last year.