Fed Cattle Recap | Prices inching higher

The cash market for fed cattle was mostly $1-$2 higher and the cash sales volume was higher than the previous week.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

August 25, 2020

Cash fed cattle prices continue to work higher, dollar by dollar. The gap between North and South has largely been erased and placements at 111% of last year in the latest Cattle on Feed report could mean that the backlog of long-fed cattle is beginning to grow smaller. Those long-fed cattle are still there, but appear to becoming less of a market factor.

Looking at volume, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 251,185 head for the week ending August 24, compared with about 226,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 114,888 head, compared with about 109,000 head the previous week. 

The nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 24,000 head for the week. The nationally reported 15- to 30-day delivery was 19,555 head along with 26,339 head the previous week. 

August 25 Fed Cattle Prices.png

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending August 24 was 106.59 per cwt, which was $1.53 higher compared with the previous week. The same week last year, it was $107.12, which was about 50 cents higher than the previous week. The current Five Area weighted average live formula price was $105.80 for the week.

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $169.41 per cwt, which was $1.37 higher. The Five Area weighted average formula price was $165.01 which was $5 higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest on Friday, August 21, was reported at 652,000 head which compares with 657,000 head the same week last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending August 8 was 906 pounds, which was 1 pound higher compared with the previous week. Carcass weights are still far exceeding a year ago. Weights came in at 878 pounds the same week last year, which was 6 pounds higher compared to the previous week.  

The Choice-Select spread ended the week at $16.95 on Friday, August 21, compared with $14.95 the previous week and a $24.81 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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