It was steady as she goes in the cash market for fed cattle, with prices generally steady with the previous week. However, the volume of cash cattle offered for sale for the week ending Sept. 30 slipped just a little.

Five Area formula sales volume, which includes the major feeding areas of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, totaled  203,707 head, compared with about 210,489 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 92,211 head, compared with about 112,882 the previous week.   

Total fed cattle harvest, on the other hand, continued to run above a year ago. The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 648,000 head, compared with 615,000 head the same week last year, a jump of 33,000 head over last year. Year to date, the total is over 1.3 million head higher than last year.

Nationally reported forward contracted cattle harvest was about 51,000 head, compared with about 55,000 head the previous week. Packers have about 221,000 head of forward contract cattle available for October and 233,000 head for November.       

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $108.01 per cwt, compared with $108.50 the previous week, which was 49 cents lower. The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $171.73, compared with $170.64 the previous week, $1.09 higher.

The Five Area average formula price was $170.44, compared with $167.92 the previous week, making it $2.52 higher  

The latest average national steer carcass weight for the week ending Sept. 16 was 1 pound higher at 897 pounds, which compares with 905 pounds the same week last year.   

The Choice-Select spread was $8.12 on Friday, compared with $2.87 the previous week and $9.48 last year. That $5 jump was on the heels of the $24 jump in the Choice rib primal in one week, which was awesome. 

The rib normally improves every fall after the weather cools down and people return to grilling. One of the biggest rib primal rallies will be later in November prior to the Christmas party season when Prime Rib is a big part of company Christmas parties.