Grilling demand lit a fire under fed cattle cash prices.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

June 12, 2018

Beef demand, especially for the higher quality cuts, remains one of the fundamental drivers in the fed cattle market. And that was clearly evident in the fed cattle market for the week ending June 9.

Sneering in the face of seasonal market trends that dictate fed cattle prices decline as summertime temperatures heat up, the feedlot cattle trades jumped up $4 to $5 per cwt in some areas late in the week. That was accompanied by a very big jump in formula and cash sales volume and no doubt helped by upcoming Father’s Day and Fourth of July grilling season sales.

The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 244,580 head, compared with about 204,712 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 116,320 head, compared with about 87,496 head the previous week. The national cash sales this week include about 21,800 head of 15- to 30-day delivery, which was over double the previous week.

Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $114.66 per cwt, compared with $110.55 the previous week, which was $4.11 higher for the week. 

The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $182.75 per cwt, compared with $177.35 the previous week, which was $5.40 higher.    

The Five Area weighted average formula price was 1$79.80 per cwt, compared with $184.12 the previous week, making it $4.32 lower. This is typical for formula sales, which lag the cash market by a week.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 658,000 head, compared with 636,000 head the same week last year. The current year-to-date total is about 422,000 head higher than last year. The latest USDA meat production report for June 8 shows year to date, we’re 404 million pounds of beef higher than last year.  

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending May 26 was 848 pounds, 2 pounds higher than the previous week and 10 pounds heavier than the 838 pounds recorded the same week last year.

The Choice-Select spread was $23.03 on Friday, compared with $22.73 the previous week and $30.92 last year. The spread was high last year because of the Choice rib primal which traded at $436 this week last year,  compared with $385 this 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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