The cash market for fed cattle continued its April bounce for the week ending April 20, notching a $2 per cwt jump on average for the Five Area region. There was some difference North to South, and overall prices have rebounded nicely the past several weeks.
The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 257,427 head, compared with about 231,157 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 112,499 head, compared with about 68,097 head the previous week.
Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 71,000 head this week. The packers have 305,000 head for April and 183,000 head lined up for May.
National cash sales this week included 31,758 head of 15- to 30-day delivery and about 11,700 head the previous week.
Now looking at prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending April 20 for the Five Area region was $128.42 per cwt, compared with $126.19 the previous week, which was $2.23 higher for the week.
The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $207.76 per cwt, compared with $204.91 the previous week, which was $2.85 higher.
The Five Area weighted average formula price was $200.52, compared with $202.33 the previous week, making it $1.81 lower.
The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 641,000 head and that compares with 627,000 head the same week last year. During the last five weeks, harvest has been 91,000 head higher than last year.
The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending April 6 was 865 pounds, exactly the same as the previous week. Carcass weights are still running lower; weights were 872 pounds the same week last year, also the same as the previous week.
The Choice-Select spread was $13.16 on Friday, compared with $7.73 the previous week and an $11.85 spread last year.