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Fed Cattle Recap | Cash market higher again

Fed Cattle Recap
The cash market for fed cattle was mostly $1-3 higher on slightly lower immediate cash sales but larger out-front cash volume.

The cash trade was higher again for the week ending Oct. 12, and now has essentially returned to the level it was at prior to the August 9 fire at the Tyson Finney County beef plant. Whether or not the cash trade can hold the line remains to be seen—plenty of factors both bullish and bearish are at play between now and the end of the year.

Looking at volume, the Five Area formula sales totaled 253,069 head, compared with about 245,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 71,335 head, compared with about 76,000 head the previous week. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 48,000 head for the week. The packers have 213,000 head for October along with 209,000 head bought for November. National cash sales included 20,864 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and 13,000 head from the previous week.  

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending Oct. 12 was $109.21 per cwt, which was $1.91 higher than the week prior.    

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $171.77, which was $1.98 higher. 

The Five Area weighted average formula price was $170.12 which was $4.88 higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 645,000 head, which compares with 647,000 head the same week last year. The year to date total is about 264,000 head higher than last year.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending Sept. 28 was 898 pounds, 2 pounds higher than the previous week and compared to 900 pounds the same week last year. Last year’s weight was 4 pounds higher than the week before.       

The Choice-Select spread was $26.98 on Friday, compared with $25.04 the previous week and a $10.43 spread last year.   



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