If the crisp morning air isn’t enough, the cash market for fed cattle in recent weeks is a sure sign that the summer slump is over. Again for the week ending Oct. 14, the cash trade inched higher. And did so on larger volume.

Looking at data from the Five Area region, which includes the major feeding areas from Texas up through Nebraska along with Colorado and Iowa, formula sales volume totaled 210,660 head, compared with about 194,535 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 97,311 head, compared with about 75,627 head the previous week.   

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 622,000 head, compared with 601,000 head the same week last year, an increase of 21,000 head over last year. Year to date, the total is over 1.3 million head higher than last year.

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 53,000 head, compared with about 57,000 head the previous week. The packers have about 225,000 head of forward contract cattle available for October and 241,000 head for November.       

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $111.01 per cwt, compared with $109.45 the previous week, which was $1.56 higher. The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $174.96, compared with $172.43 the previous week,  $2.53 higher.

The Five Area average formula price was $173.89, compared with $172.83 the previous week, making it $1.06 higher  

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Sept. 30 was 894 pounds, 3 pounds lower than the week before and qu8ite a bit lower than the 909 pounds recorded the same week last year.    

The Choice-Select spread was $8.17 on Friday, compared with $9.99 the previous week and $9.82 last year.