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Fed Cattle Recap: Cash trade continues upward trajectory

Fed Cattle Recap
The feedlot cattle trades were a little over $1 higher, with cash sales volume that dropped big time.

The cash market for fed cattle, finding strength in holiday demand and currentness in feedyard inventories (for the moment anyway), continued to reach higher for the week ending Nov. 3.

But unlike last week, the volume of live cattle that moved in the market took a nosedive south. Will this have implications as we approach year’s end? Time will tell.

The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 81,900 head, compared with about 130,954 head the previous week. The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 231,201 head, compared with about 219,361 the previous week. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 36,000 head this week and packers have about 204,000 head lined up for the remainder of November. National cash sales this week included only 11,867 head of 15- to 30-day delivery along with 45,000 head previous week and 48,000 head two weeks ago.

Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region for week ending Nov. 3 was $114.95 per cwt, compared with $113.81 the previous week, which was $1.14 higher for the week. 

The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $180.27 per cwt, compared with $179.70 the previous week, 57 cents higher.

The Five Area weighted average formula price was $179.75 per cwt, compared with $177.20 the previous week, making it $2.55 higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 643,000 head, compared with 646,000 head the same week last year. The year-to-date total for federally inspected harvest is 658,000 head higher than last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Oct. 20 was 894 pounds, down 5 pounds from both the previous week and the same week last year. 

The Choice-Select spread was $17.03 on Friday, compared with $14.64 the previous week and a $15.66 spread last year.  


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