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Fed Cattle Recap | Cash trade slide continues unabated

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The cash market for fed cattle continues to lose ground as seasonal factors chip away at prices. Will the market turn around and begin it fall rally as retailers stock up for Labor Day and the last major grilling holiday of the year? Stay tuned.

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $109.68 per cwt, compared with $115.17 the previous week, for a drop of $5.49. The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $175.25, compared with $183.87 the previous week, for a plummet of $8.62.

The Five Area average formula price was $186.55, compared with $188.27 the previous week. The weekly weighted average Five Area formula dairy-bred price, which includes many Holsteins but also other breeds, was $176.83, compared with $178.81 the previous week.

The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume, which includes the major feeding areas of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, was 96,528 head, compared with about 112,024 head the previous week. The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 201,657 head, compared with about 203,733 the previous week.

National cash-type sales totaled over 107,000 head and are mostly cattle bought for 1-14 day delivery period, with 66,000 head sold with these conditions. In addition, there were 41,000 head bought for 15-30 day delivery which was 38% of total cash sales, the fourth highest percentage on record. The last two weeks had bigger numbers sold for later delivery.

Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 43,000 head, compared with about 49,000 head the previous week. Packers have over 227,000 head of forward contracts available for August and about 246,000 head for September.

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending Aug. 5 was 5 pounds higher at 880 pounds, which compares with 886 pounds the same week last year.

The Choice-Select spread was $1.79 on Friday, compared with $3.48 the previous week and compared with a $6.47 spread last year.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 634,000 head, compared with 602,000 head the same week last year, which is 32,000 head over last year.

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