Posted 9/16/2020 02:25 (#8498172 - in reply to #8497266) Subject: RE: Chicago live cattle vs 5 state average
The futures prices (Chicago) are what people are betting the price of fats will be on the last business day of a contract month. There's not one single price, but a price for each contract which are every other month. If you're seeing just one price, it's probably for the nearest contract (currently October) or for the most actively traded contract. There are a bunch of technical specifications for what exactly a futures contracts represents, like 65% Choice and 35% Select, yield grade 3, weight limits, delivery points, various adjustments, etc, etc.
The 5 Area Average is referring to one of the reports put out by the AMS department of the USDA. They are reporting spot prices (current prices) as opposed to some futures price. There are a ton of reports. Here is a list. You'll need to see if they're going off of one of the Daily reports or the Weekly average. I bet it's one of the 5 Area Weeklies because the daily reports only seem to have data a couple days of the week (they're trash).
Here is a summary page the AMS puts out that contains a chart of the "5 Area Weekly Wtd Avg Steer Price". The chart doesn't specify for what grade, or FOB vs. Delivered, etc so who knows what it really means. I guess it's just showing the average for all beef fats sold live (no longhorns or dairy).