Was it because it’s turkey time or just a market correction? Maybe both were factors in the cash market for fed cattle taking a breather for the week ending Nov. 18. Market weakness that began toward the end of the prior week spilled into the market last week, and cattle feeders ended up selling cash cattle for several dollars lower than recent weeks.

The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 177,239 head, compared with about 165,929 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 94,070 head, compared with about 94,559 head the previous week. The Five Area region includes the major feeding areas from Texas up through Nebraska, along with Colorado over through Iowa. 

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 639,000 head, compared with 629,000 head the same week last year, 10,000 head over last year. The year-to-date total now is well over 1.4 million head higher than last year. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 55,000 head, compared with about 60,000 head the previous week. The packers have about 247,000 head of forward contracts available for November and 204,000 head in December.

Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $119.35 per cwt, compared with $122.71 the previous week, down $3.36. The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $189.31, compared with $191.62 the previous week, $2.31 lower.

The Five Area average formula price was $196.62, compared with $190.91 the previous week, making it $5.71 higher  

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Nov. 4 was 902 pounds, which was 1 pound higher than the week prior but less than the 913 pounds recorded the same week last year.    

The Choice-Select spread was $19.39 on Friday, compared with $19.34 the previous week and $15.94 last year.