It took most of the week, but packers stepped up to the negotiating table big time for the week ending August 4, paying up for fed cattle. What’s more, they bought a remarkable number on the cash market.
The feedlot cattle trades were $1 to $2 per cwt higher late in the week with formidable cash sales volume that was more than twice the volume compared to the previous week.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 142,100 head, compared with about 63,951 head the previous week. The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 238,650 head, compared with about 249,275 the previous week.
The national cash sales this week included about 16,400 head of 15- to 30-day delivery, compared with only 1,200 head the previous week. Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 26,000 head and packers have about 155,000 head for August.
Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $112.98 per cwt, compared with $111.73 the previous week, which was $1.25 higher.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $177.96 per cwt, compared with $176.22 the previous week, which was $1.74 higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $179.89 per cwt, compared with $179.09 the previous week, making it 80 cents higher.
The estimated weekly total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 626,000 head, compared with 630,000 head the same week last year. The current year-to-date total continues to climb higher than last year, up 543,000 head.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending July 21 was 872 pounds, which was 5 pounds higher than the previous week a few pounds above the 868 pounds recorded the same week last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $7.66 on Friday, compared with $6.87 the previous week and a $6.30 spread last year. It was no doubt helped by the daily Choice rib primal that has been increasing in price lately.