The finished cattle trade set a steady to weaker tone for the week ending Jan. 28. The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the five Area region, which includes the major central feeding areas, was $121.22 per cwt, compared with $121.89 the previous week, which was 67 cents lower.
The cash dressed steer price was $193.46, compared with $194.80 the previous week, notching $1.34 lower.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 86,468 head, compared with about 107,000 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $192.69, compared with $189.00 the previous week, which was $3.69 higher. Five Area formula sales totaled 161,034 head, compared with about 155,000 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 57,000 head, compared with 54,000 head the previous week. Packers have more than 245,000 head of forward contracts available for January and more than 256,000 head for February.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Jan. 14 was 7 pounds lower at 898 pounds, compared with 898 pounds last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $3.76 on Friday, which was down only 2 cents from the previous week. That compares with a $1.52 spread last year. As we have mentioned in the past, this is the time of the year when the spread is narrow because of demand for chuck and round products which are less dependent on grading Choice.