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Fed Cattle Recap | Prices continue upward swing

Fed Cattle Recap
Cash prices for fed cattle were $1 to $2 higher while the cash sales volume was slightly lower than the previous week.

Cash prices for the week ending Oct. 10 continued to grind higher, and there appears to be room for even more uplift as we go through the fourth quarter. Cattle in Texas are much greener than they’ve been for a long time, evidence that the market is beginning to see the end of the backlogged cattle.

That doesn’t mean the supply situation is fully reversed, however. Plenty of cattle from higher-than-expected placements in recent months will soon start to appear on showlists. We’ll need the exceptional demand we’ve seen for this year to carry over into 2021 to keep market momentum going.

The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 229,789 head for the week ending Oct. 10, compared with about 258,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 96,077 head, compared with about 101,000 head the previous week and the packers still have big numbers of 15- to 30-day delivery to use yet.

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 38,000 head for the week. The nationally reported 15- to 30-day delivery purchases for the week were 30,779 head along with 37,535 head the previous week, so big numbers for many weeks.

Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending Oct. 10 was $108.26 per cwt, which was $1.14 higher compared with the previous week. Last year the same week it was $109.21 which was about $2 higher than the prior week. The current Five Area weighted average live formula price was $108.73 on the week with over 68,000 head.

The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $169.67 per cwt, which was $1.97 higher. The Five Area weighted average formula price was $170.24, $2.53 higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was reported at 637,000 head, which compares with 648,000 head the same week last year. 

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending Sept. 26 was 924 pounds, 5 pounds higher compared with the previous week. The same week last year, weights came in at 898 pounds, 2 pounds higher compared to the previous week.  

The Choice-Select spread ended the week at $14.24 on Friday, Oct. 9, compared to $11.27 the previous week and a $26.98 spread last year. 


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