Fed Cattle Recap | Higher volume, lower prices

The cash market for feedlot cattle was mostly $3 lower.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

August 29, 2017

2 Min Read
Fed Cattle Recap | Higher volume, lower prices

The cash trade for fed cattle saw some ups and downs for the week ending Aug. 26, especially in the volume department. Cash prices, however, continued their summer slump.

The Five Area formula sales volume, which includes the major feeding areas of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, totaled 211,699 head, compared with about 201,657 the previous week. 

However, fewer fed cattle traded in the cash, with the Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume at 74,958 head, compared with about 96,528 head the previous week.

Taking a look at the national picture, the national cash-type sales totaled over 85,900 head. That includes 74,900 head of Five Area cattle, so the area makes up a large portion of the national total.

These cash sales are mostly cattle bought for 1-14 day delivery period with 50,500 head, but there was also over 35,400 head bought for 15-30 delivery, 41% of total cash sales. Much bigger numbers have been sold for later delivery the last three weeks, which will start coming to town right now. 

Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 53,000 head, compared with about 43,000 head the previous week. Packers have about 247,000 head of forward contracts available for September.       

As for prices, the summer slump is in full effect. The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $106.78 per cwt, compared with $109.68 the previous week, which was $2.90 lower. The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $169.70, compared with $175.25 the previous week, down $5.55 per cwt.

The Five Area average formula price was $181.51, compared with $186.55 the previous week. The weekly weighted average Five Area region formula dairy-bred price, which includes many Holsteins but also other breeds, was $170.91, compared with $176.83 the previous week.   

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Aug. 12 was 2 pounds higher at 882 pounds, which compares with 887 pounds the same week last year.   

The Choice-Select spread was $3.02 on Friday, compared with $1.79 the previous week and a $5.91 spread last year.                                                                          

The estimated weekly total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 639,000 head, compared with 610,000 head the same week last year, 29,000 head more than a year ago. 



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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