The cash market for fed cattle spent much of 2016 acting like a lamb, but exited the year much like a lion—or perhaps more like a bull.
The finished cattle trade was mostly $2-$3 per cwt higher for the week ending Dec. 31, settling at $118 in the Southern and Northern Plains. Dressed carcass prices were $185-$190, ending the year $5-$9 higher than the week before.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major central feeding areas in the U.S., was $117.44, $2.30 higher than the previous week.
The cash dressed steer price was $188.86, compared with $179.79 the previous week.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 100,208 head, compared with about 105,000 the previous week.
Five Area formula sales totaled 157,096 head, compared with about 167,000 the previous week. The Five Area average formula price was $180.44, compared with $176.66 the previous week.
The Texas average live weight dropped quite a bit, ending at 1,341 pounds for the week ending Dec. 24, which was 19 pounds lower compared with the previous week, but higher than the 1,336 pounds recorded same week last year.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending Dec. 17 was the same at 908 pounds, compared with 907 pounds last year.