The finished cattle trade was steady to $1 per cwt higher late in the week ending Feb. 18. However, cash prices started the week steady to $1 lower before catching its breath to finish the week on a positive note.
The estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 572,000 head, compared with 525,000 head the same week last year.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major feeding areas, was $119.59, compared with $119.75 the previous week, which was about 16 cents lower.
The cash dressed steer price was $189.91, compared with $190.05 the previous week, down 14 cents.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 108,593 head, compared with about 82,000 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $190.61, compared with $193.17 the previous week, about $2.50 lower.
Five Area formula sales totaled 158,130 head, compared with about 154,000 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvested was about 62,000 head, compared to 59,000 head the previous week. Packers have over 260,000 head of forward contracts available for February and over 207,000 head for March, along with over 302,000 for April.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Feb. 4 was 3 pounds higher at 887 pounds, compared with 899 pounds last year, so weights are running well below last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $1.25 on Friday, which was only about 75 cents lower compared with the previous week. That compares with a $3.51 spread last year.