It’s been an interesting year for the cash market, but cattle feeders have long known that you take the market as it comes and adjust accordingly. However, for the week ending Oct. 21, cattle feeders didn’t have to adjust much at all, as cash prices and volumes tracked closely with the week before.

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $110.87 per cwt, compared with $111.01 the previous week, $0.14 lower. The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $174.92, compared with $174.96 the previous week, only $0.04 lower.

The Five Area average formula price was $175.87, compared with $173.89 the previous week, making it $1.98 higher. The Five Area region includes the major feeding states of Texas, Kansas, Nebraskad, Colorado and Iowa.

The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 199,767 head, compared with about 210,660 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 95,400 head, compared with about 97,311 head the previous week.   

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was down slightly at 629,000 head, compared with 602,000 head the same week last year, 27,000 head over last year. Year to date, the total is almost 1.4 million head higher than last year.

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 55,000 head, compared with about 53,000 head the previous week. The packers have about 225,000 head of forward contract cattle available for October and 242,000 head for November.       

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Oct. 7 was 895 pounds, which was $1 higher. This week’s carcass weight compares with 911 pounds the same week last year.    

The Choice-Select spread was $8.72 on Friday, compared with $8.17 the previous week and $13.05 last year.