Fed-cattle prices rose for the third consecutive week, breaking the record highs set in early November. According to University of Missouri economist Ron Plain, the five-area average price for slaughter steers sold through Thursday of last week on a live weight basis was $127.90/cwt., up $3.00 from last week, up $2.51 from the record set in early November, and $25.28/cwt. above this week last year. Steers sold on a dressed weight basis averaged $203.32/cwt., $3.35 higher than the week before and also a new record.
The cattle slaughter totaled 666,000 head, up 17.9% from the week before, which was low because of Thanksgiving, but down 2.2% compared to the same week last year. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending Nov. 19 was 852 lbs., the same as the week before, and up from a year ago.