The give and take in the cash market is alive and well, although it seems that cattle feeders are giving and packers are taking. That role was reversed just a bit for the week ending July 6. Packers still have the leverage, but feedyards are current and while carcass weights are increasing, they are still slightly below a year ago.
The feedlot cattle trades were steady early in some areas but up to $2 per cwt higher as the week progressed. Meanwhile, total cash sale numbers were very close to the previous week but included very low numbers of 15- to 30-day delivery.
The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 241,437 head, compared with about 266,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 71,995 head, compared with about 72,000 head the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 38,000 head for the week ending July 6 after the previous week’s big number at 84,000 head. The packers have 191,000 head for July and 226,000 head for August.
National cash sales for the week included only about 4,366 head of 15- to 30-day delivery. But packers had 40,000 head from the previous two weeks. We’re seeing a typical seasonal drop in 15- to 30-day sales now.
Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending July 6 was $111.24 per cwt, which was $1.11 higher for the week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price was $180.09, $1.07 higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $178.15 per cwt, which was $1.91 lower.
The July 5 estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 573,000 head. That compares with 570,000 head the same week last year. The year to date total is now 201,000 higher than last year but nothing like 2017 when it was closing in on a million head higher than 2016.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending June 22 854 pounds, which was 5 pounds higher than the previous week and slightly below 858 pounds the same week last year. Last year, we saw increasing carcass weights as summer feeding weather kicked in.
The Choice-Select spread was $22.87 on Friday, compared with $24.10 the previous week and s $9.32 spread last year when it was dropping fast.