The fed cattle trade for the week ending Nov. 24 didn’t show any fireworks, but it didn’t sink the ship either. Steady as she goes was the mantra as the market bounced either side of steady.

Volume of trade was lighter with the Five Area formula sales volume at 170,245 head, compared with about 177,239 the previous week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 73,369 head, compared with about 94,070 head the previous week.   

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 572,000 head, compared with 549,000 head the same week last year, for an increase of 23,000 head over last year. The year to date total is still well over 1.4 million head higher than last year. 

Nationally reported forward contract cattle harvest was about 46,000 head, compared with about 55,000 head the previous week. The packers have about 247,000 head of forward contracts available for November and 205,000 head in December.

Now looking at the prices, the weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $118.97 per cwt, compared with $119.35 the previous week, only 38 cents lower. The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $189.09, compared with $189.31 the previous week, only 22 cents lower.

The Five Area average formula price was $195.04, compared with $196.62 the previous week, making it $1.58 lower  

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Nov. 11 was 902 pounds, which was the same as last week but compared to 918 pounds the same week last year, which was the high for the year.

The Choice-Select spread was $23.14 on Friday, compared with $19.39 the previous week and a $16.34 spread last year. However, we’re approaching early December when the daily Choice rib primal normally starts a very big plunge in prices.