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For the week ending March 16, the cash market for fed cattle showed little movement based on the weather. We may never get a fully accurate estimate of cattle losses, and time will tell how the market reacts to the ongoing storm news.
Looking at volume, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 228,828 head for the week ending March 16, compared with about 233,285 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 81,043 head, compared with about 65,331 head the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 51,000 head compared with about 35,000 head the week prior. The packers have 221,000 head for March along with 303,000 head for April. March and April now are 56,000 and 60,000 head higher than last year.
The National cash sales this week included 21,836 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and about 25,000 head previous week.
Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for week ending March 16 was $127.14 per cwt, compared with $128.15 the previous week, which was $1.01 lower for the week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $204.25 per cwt, compared with $205.07 the previous week, which was 82 cents lower.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $205.51 per cwt, compared with $203.66 the previous week, making it $1.85 higher.
The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 597,000 head. That compares with 601,000 head the same week last year.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending March 3 was 874 pounds, exactly the same as the previous week and 9 pounds less than the same week last year, which was also the same as the previous week.
The Choice-Select spread was $9.65 on Friday, compared with $7.35 the previous week and an $8.73 spread last year.