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Fed Cattle Recap

Fed Cattle Recap | Cash trade bounces back

Cash prices for fed cattle stay strong, increasing almost $5 per cwt.

If what goes up must come down, then what comes down must surely go back up again. Right?

That doesn’t always work in normal cattle market, but the cattle market in the spring of 2017 has been anything but normal. Cash trade in the fed cattle market for the week ending June 3 showed that. After several weeks on the defensive, cash prices rebounded with a vengeance.

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The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the top five cattle feeding states of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, was $136.27 per cwt, compared with $131.50 the previous week, for a jump of $4.77.

The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $216 per cwt, compared to $208.61 the previous week, for an increase of about $7.39.

And those higher prices come with continued higher slaughter numbers. Estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 550,000 head, compared with 527,000 the same week last year, which was 23,000 head over last year. Total year-to-date slaughter is 698,000 head over last year 

The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 101,931 head, compared with about  82,617 the previous week. 

The Five Area average formula price was $214.24, compared with $219.52 the previous week, for a decline of $5.28. That’s normal, as formula prices lag the cash market by a week. Five Area formula sales totaled 157,437 head, compared with about 182,651 the previous week. 

Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 57,000 head, compared with 64,000 head the previous week. Packers have more than 298,000 head of forward contracts available for June and 130,000 for July.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending May 20 held steady at 836 pounds, compared with 862 pounds last year.                               

The Choice-Select spread was $27.18 on Friday, steady with the previous week. That compares with a $24.25 spread last year.  



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