USDA’s five-area accumulative average cattle price provided a volatile first three weeks of October, but a late-month rally pushed the average back to $104.24 per cwt the week of Oct. 31.

Fed cattle prices began October with a $3 decline and pushed another $5 lower before rallying $6.67 per cwt the last two weeks of the month. The low point of $97.57 marked the first weekly average below the $100 level since December 2010.

Our group of cattle industry experts who make up the Monday Market Sentiment varied quite a bit in their average guesses throughout the month. Their closest estimation was only $0.77 per cwt off the five-area fed-cattle price the second to last week of the month. However, their largest gap in guessing occurred the week prior, with an overestimation of $3.34 per cwt.

Choice boxed beef experienced a decline in October, moving from less than $200 per cwt to $177 per cwt by Oct. 18. The 27-day average as of Nov. 9 was $183.46 per cwt, with a low of $177.89 and a high of $188.74. Prices leveled off at the end of the month.

Choice primal rib prices also experienced a dip lower in value, moving from approximately $320 per cwt at the beginning of October to as low as $290 per cwt on Oct 18. The 27-day average price as of Nov. 9 was $308.05 per cwt, with a low of $290.17 and a high of $344.32. Again, prices seemed to level off at the end of the month.

Feed cattle? Like predicting market trends? Have use for a $100 gift card from Cabela's?

Each week join our Monday Market Sentiment panel of cattle industry experts in an online contest where participants are asked to pick the weekly market price projection for fed cattle. The entry closest to USDA’s five-area weighted reported fed-cattle price wins a $100 Cabela’s gift card.

October Weekly Winners:

  • Oct. 3: Terry Ryan, JBS Five Rivers
  • Oct. 10: Mike Drinnin, Drinnin Feedlots Inc.
  • Oct. 17: Wayne Lee, Cattle Empire
  • Oct. 24: Pat Knobbe, Knobbe Cattle Co.
  • Oct. 31: Pat Knobbe, Knobbe Cattle Co.

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Note: This story appears in the November/December issue of Drovers.