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Fed Cattle Recap | Cash prices continue downward trend

Cash prices for fed cattle were steady to $3 lower and the cash sales volume was marginally higher than the previous week.

The Labor Day push by retailers is over, yet good grilling weather remains for a couple more weeks at least. But now is the time when beef demand begins to change along with the weather.

What’s in store for the beef complex? That remains to be seen. There are still long-fed cattle standing at the feedbunk and carcass weights remain very heavy. Retailers have plenty of pork and poultry available and competition for the consumer dollar among the major proteins will stay strong. Stay tuned and remain flexible.

The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 213,962 head for the week ending Sept. 12, compared with about 249,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 69,663 head for the week, compared with about 68,000 head the previous week. But the packers still have big numbers of 15- to 30-day delivery to use again.

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 28,000 head for the week. The nationally reported 15- to 30-day delivery was 21,121 head along with 35,697 head the previous week. 

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending Sept. 12 was $101.21 per cwt, which was $1.91 lower compared with the previous week. Last year the same week, it was $100.07 which was about $1.50 lower than the week prior. The current Five Area weighted average live formula price was $105.97 this week.

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $160.66, which was $2.41 per cwt lower. The Five Area weighted average formula price was $168.34, which was $2.25 lower.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was reported at 574,000 head, which compares with 636,000 head the same week last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending August 29 was 916 pounds, 6 pounds higher compared with the previous week. That compares with 884 pounds the same week last year which was exactly the same compared with the previous week.  

The Choice-Select spread ended the week at $12.79 on Friday, Sept. 11, compared with $16.55 the previous week and a $22.28 spread last year. 


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