Fed Cattle Recap | Cash prices continue firm tone

Cash prices firmed up again with a few higher prices and the cash sales volume was higher than the previous week.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

July 28, 2020

Cash prices for the week ending July 25 carried through with the firmer tone established the week before. And for cattle feeders, that is good news indeed.

In fact, speaking at the NCBA Summer Meeting this week, Ranch Blach with Cattle-Fax said the lows in the market for both 2020 and this cattle cycle are in. Now the question is how quickly the market will rebound. With the still-burdensome number of long-fed cattle standing at feedbunks, that will take time.

Looking at volume, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 261,094 head for the week ending July 25, compared with about 253,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 99,957 head, compared with about 81,000 head the previous week. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 23,000 head for the week. The nationally reported 15- to 30-day delivery was 11,598 head along with 12,444 head the previous week. 

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price was $97.24 per cwt, which was 88 cents higher compared with the previous week. Last year the same week it was $113.68, which was just 66 cents higher than the week prior. The current Five Area weighted average live formula price was $97.92 for the week.

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $158.10 per cwt, which was 54 cents higher. The Five Area weighted average formula price was $154.94, which was 96 cents higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest on Friday, July 24, was reported at 646,000 head, which compares with 652,000 head the same week last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending July 11 was 902 pounds, which was 6 pounds higher compared with the previous week and still far above the 865 pounds the same week last year. Last year’s carcass weight was 4 pounds higher than the week prior.  

The Choice-Select spread ended the week at $11.14 on Friday, July 24, compared with $10.16 the previous week and a $23.83 spread last year. 


About the Author(s)

Ed Czerwien

Market Reporter

Ed Czerwien is a market analyst in Amarillo, Texas. From the heart of Cattle Feeding Country, Ed follows the cattle 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.

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