January is nearly a done deal and the second half of the month is when we typically see a seasonal increase in fed cattle prices begin. There haven’t been any fireworks, but the market appears to be holding firm. The feedlot cattle trades were just about steady with smaller cash sales numbers again.
The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 233,080 head for the week ending January 19, compared with about 241,605 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume wasá55,459 head, compared with about 62,270 head the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 41,000 head this week and the packers have about 189,000 head for January. The national cash sales this week included 12,329 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and 21,682 head previous week.
Now looking at prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $123.98 per cwt, compared with $123.71 the previous week, which was 27 cents higher for the week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $196.99 per cwt, compared with $196.78 the previous week, which was 21 cents higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $197.67 per cwt, compared with $196.65 the previous week, making it $1.02 higher.
The Five Area region is comprised of Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico; Kansas; Nebraska; Colorado; and Iowa-Minnesota. This region accounts for more than 80% of the fed cattle production in the United States.
The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 620,000 head and that compares with 613,000 head the same week last year.
The latest average national steer carcass weight is not available because of government shutdown of USDA NASS.
The Choice-Select spread was $3.70 on Friday compared with $6.19 the previous week and a $4.70 spread last year.