Fed Cattle Recap | Will a weather market please stand up?

The cash market for fed cattle was about $1 lower with slightly smaller cash sale numbers.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

April 9, 2019

And the beat(ing) goes on. Another major storm is forecast to whack a wide swath of country later this week, with the Northern Plains and Midwest the main target.

However, the storm will have a much wider effect, with rain, snow and colder weather forecast for the central and northern mountains and the central Plains, among other areas.

The storm will certainly affect feedyards and ranchers already weary and reeling from one of the toughest winters on record. Will it affect the market? Nobody knows, but packers have the leverage and a full weather market has yet to show itself.

Now looking at the fed cattle market for the week ending April 6, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 231,955 head, compared with about 221,350 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 69,406 head, compared with about 75,703 head the previous week. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 51,000 head for the week. Packers have 305,000 head lined up for April, which is 75,000 head higher than last year.

The National cash sales this week included 15,855 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and about 19,700 head the previous week.     

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending April 6 was $125.30 per cwt, compared with $126.34 the previous week, which was $1.04 lower for the week.  

April 6 price graph.png

The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $204.41 per cwt, compared with $205.60 the previous week, which was $ 1.19 lower. 

The Five Area weighted average formula price was $204.90 per cwt, compared with $205.32 the previous week, making it 42 cents lower.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 621,000 head and that compares with 615,000 head the same week last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending March 23 was 866 pounds, 1 pound higher than the previous week and 12 pounds below the 878 pounds the same week last year. 

The Choice-Select spread was $6.65 on Friday, compared with $7.15 the previous week and an $8.71 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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