Once again, the fed cattle trade, which has long struggled with generating sufficient cash trade, ended the week of Oct. 7 with fewer fed cattle trading in the cash market.

The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 75,627 head, compared with about 92,211 head the previous week. The Five Area formula sales volume totaled 194,535 head, compared with about 203,707 the previous week. The Five Area region includes the major feeding areas from Texas up through Nebraska along with Colorado and Iowa.

The weekly weighted average cash steer price for the Five Area region was $109.45 per cwt, compared with $108.01 the previous week, climbing $1.44 higher. The weighted average cash dressed steer price for the Five Area region was $172.43, compared with $171.73 the previous week, which was 70 cents higher.

The Five Area average formula price was $172.83, compared with $170.44 the previous week, making it $2.39 higher.

The estimated weekly total federally inspected cattle harvest was 632,000 head, compared with 610,000 head the same week last year, which is 22,000 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 57,000 head, compared with about 51,000 head the previous week. The packers have about 221,000 head of forward contract cattle available for October and 235,000 head for November.       

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending Sept. 23 was the same at 897 pounds, which compares with 904 pounds the same week last year. The carcass weight dropped 1 pound last year at this time.    

The Choice-Select spread was $9.99 on Friday, compared with $8.12 the previous week and an $8.56 spread last year. The jump comes on the heels of another $15 jump in the Choice rib primal, which has increased $40 in two weeks.