The finished cattle trade took a breather the week ending Feb. 4, with the cash trade for market-ready fed cattle mostly $2-$3 per cwt lower.
The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major central feeding areas, was $118.76, compared with $121.22 the previous week, which was $2.46 lower.
The cash dressed steer price was $189.78, compared with $193.46 the previous week, notching a $3.68 drop.
The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 77,399 head, compared with about 86,000 the previous week.
The Five Area average formula price was $195.22, compared with $192.69 the previous week, which was $2.53 higher. Five Area formula sales totaled 154,452 head, compared with about 161,000 the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 50,000 head, compared with 57,000 head the previous week. Packers have more than 257,000 head of forward contracts available for February and more than 204,000 head for March, along with almost 300,000 for April.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Jan. 21 was 9 pounds lower at 889 pounds, compared with 899 pounds last year.
The Choice-Select spread was $1.47 on Friday, down $2.29 from the previous week. Last year art this time, the spread was $4.09.
The latest weekly steer and heifer grading report for week ending Jan. 28 showed 79.31% Choice and Prime compared with 75.51% last year, so we continue to run over a year ago.