Cash prices for fed cattle continued to claw their way upward for the week ending November 2. Consumer demand remains strong and retailers are gearing up for strong middle meat action as we enter the holiday season. Packers have incentive to keet chains moving, which helps avoid any backlog of cattle moving to harvest.
Looking at volume, the Five Area formula sales volume totaled 249,031 head, compared with about 257,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 75,790 head, compared with about 72,000 head the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 44,000 head for the week. The packers have 210,000 head lined up for November. National cash sales included 23,165 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and 12,000 head from the previous week.
Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending November 2 was $113.03 per cwt, which was $2.90 higher than the previous week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $179.39 per cwt, which was $4.83 higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $176.67 per cwt, which was 96 cents higher.
The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 655,000 head, which compared with 653,000 head the same week last year. The year-to-date total is about 291,000 head higher than last year.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending October 19 was 900 pounds, 1 pound lower than the previous week and still running behind the same week last year, when we saw 894-pound carcasses.
Last year’s weight was 5 pounds lower than the week prior. Last year, weights dropped for three weeks in a row then jumped back up to the year top of 904 pounds.
The Choice-Select spread was $25.69 on Friday, November 1, compared with $25.60 the previous week and a $17.03 spread last year.