Fed Cattle Recap | Cash prices backtrack

The cash market for fed cattle was mostly $1-$3 lower on smaller cash sales volume and bigger numbers of 15- to 30-day delivery.


Ed Czerwien, BEEF Magazine

Sep 09, 2020


With the Labor Day push by retailers over, the air continues to leak out of the balloon that was lifting cash prices for fed cattle. While beef movement over Labor Day appears to be good and the weather was great for grilling, the market is now anticipating heading into fall and winter.


Packers still have the leverage in the cash market as cattle feeders work through the remaining long-fed cattle. The heavy carcass weights from those cattle continue to pump plenty of product into the market. Along with other factors, that will continue to keep cattle feeders scrambling.


The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 249,059 head for the week ending Sept. 5, compared with about 261,000 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 68,090 head, compared with about 83,000 head the previous week, but the packers had big numbers of 15- to 30-day delivery to use again.


Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 27,000 head for the week. The nationally reported 15- to 30-day delivery was 35,697 head along with 28,562 head the previous week.


Now looking at prices, the Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price for the week ending Sept. 5 was $103.12 per cwt, which was $1.97 lower compared with the previous week. The same week last year, it was $101.73, which was about $4 lower than the previous week as the market worked through the aftermath of the Tyson beef plant fire. The current Five Area weighted average live formula price was $107.35 for the week.


The weighted average...


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