We noted a saying last week that has been around for about as long as people have been trading commodities with each other—what goes up must come down.
Last week, the cash market for fed cattle took a breather. For the week ending July 21, the cash market got its wind back. The feedlot cattle trades rebounded late in the week after the Cattle on Feed report was released and gained what it lost the previous week, increasing $1 to $3 per cwt dollars with very big cash sales volume.
Looking first at the numbers traded, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 229,238 head, compared with about 239,404 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 128,312 head, compared with only 50,357 head the previous week.
As a reminder, we use the Five Area figures reported by USDA since those data represent the vast majority of fed cattle in the Country. The Five Area region is comprised of Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico; Kansas; Nebraska; Colorado; and Iowa
National cash sales this week include about 18,600 head of 15- to 30-day delivery. Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 26,000 head.
Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $112.61 per cwt, compared with $110.50 the previous week. The increase of $2.11 for the week regained almost exactly what it lost the previous week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $179 per cwt, compared with $174.05 the previous week, which was $4.95 higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $179.70 per cwt, compared with $175.67 the previous week, making it $4.03 higher.
The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 635,000 head, compared with 618,000 head the same week last year. The current year-to-date total is higher than last year by 534,000 head.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending July 7 was 867 pounds, up 2 pounds from the previous week and only 1 pound higher than the 866 pounds notched the same week last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $7.17 on Friday, compared with $7.77 the previous week and a $12.11 spread last year.