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Fed Cattle Recap | Total cattle harvest continues higher

Feedlot cattle trade was mostly lower as cash sales volume dropped week over week.

Ed Czerwien

February 5, 2020

The five-area formula sales volume totaled 249,536 head compared to about 245,000 the previous week. Meanwhile, the five-area total cash steer and heifer volume was 66,979 head compared to about  85,000 head the previous week.

Nationally reported forward-contracted cattle harvested was about 39,000 head this week. The packers have 195,000 head for January. The national cash sales this week included 13,508 head of 15-30 day delivery but the packers already had 50,000 head available now.

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for Wednesday, February 1 for the five-area region was $122.04, which was $2.26 lower. Last year the same week it was $123.87, which was just a little higher that week last year. 

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $194.72 which was $4.07 lower.  

The five-area weighted average formula price was 199.24 which was $ 0.03 higher.

The estimated weekly total FIS cattle harvest was 637,000 head, which compared to 593,000 head the same week last year. This means during the last two weeks there have been 83,000 more head harvest than the same two weeks last year.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for Wednesday, January 18 was 907 lbs., which was 3 lbs. higher than the previous week. That compares to 886 lbs. the same week last year.

The Choice-Select spread was 2.34 on Friday, January 31 compared to 3.79 the previous week.

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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