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Fed Cattle Recap | Cash market turns around

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Seemingly thumbing its nose at the summer slump in fed cattle prices, the cash market made a U-turn the week ending July 15 and finished on a higher note. The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region, which includes the major feeding areas of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, was $119.51 per cwt, compared with $117.58 the previous week, for a jump of $1.93.

The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $190.06, compared with $188.18 the previous week, about $1.88 higher.

The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 98,995 head, compared with about 84,299 the previous week.

The Five Area average formula price was $191.86, compared with $196.60 the previous week, for a drop back of $4.74. Five Area formula sales totaled 221,202 head, compared with about 178,087 the previous week.

Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 33,000 head, which was 23,000 head less than the previous week. Packers have more than 139,000 head of forward contracts available for July and 225,000 for August.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending July 1 was 4 pounds higher at 859 pounds, compared with 868 pounds last year. So, while carcass weights continue to climb, but are still below last year.

The Choice-Select spread was $13.93 on Friday, compared with $16.33 the previous week and $12.33 spread last year. The Daily Choice rib primal hit a $438 per cwt top prior to Father’s Day, but dropped to $312 by Friday, a $126 drop, and the Choice loin followed similar path, so the Choice-Select spread continues to narrow.

Estimated total federally inspected harvest was 637,000 head, compared with 598,000 head the same week last year, which was 39,000 head over last year. The estimated year-to-date total is closing in on a million head over last year, with the current estimated total at 950,000 head over last year.

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