This cattle market information is selected from the weekly report from Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. More market information, analysis and statistics are available by becoming a Canfax subscriber by calling 403-275-5110 or at www.canfax.ca.
Fed cattle edge higher
The Canfax fed steer average was $119.17 per hundredweight, up 37 cents and heifers were $118.52, up 83 cents. Dressed trade was reported at $200-$201 per cwt. delivered.
There was U.S. buyer interest and a few cash cattle traded south.
Sale volumes rose 57 percent to 17,523 head. That was down four percent from last year.
Alberta fed cash-to-futures basis strengthened 79 cents to close at -$10.47.
Western fed slaughter is running about 12 percent behind last year at this time.
Weekly fed cattle exports to Aug. 17 fell eight percent to 3,614.
Waning beef demand as fall approaches should begin to pressure fed prices lower, but fairly tight market-ready supply during September should limit the downside.
Cows fall sharply
Problems at the JBS plant in Brooks, Alta., caused it to stop buying cows last week, resulting in a $3.50-$4.75 price decline.
D1, D2 cows ranged $72-$82 to average $77.70 per cwt. D3s ranged $63-$77 to average $70.43.
Railgrade prices were not available.
JBS re-entered the market Aug. 30 and prices moved higher.
With strengthening calf prices, older pairs are being split.
Following the normal seasonal trend, non-fed volumes should increase into September.
Feeder prices pressured
The yearling market remains strong but downward pressure was noted mid-week on steers and heifers 900 pounds and heavier.
Alberta buyers have been able to source some feeders from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but competition from buyers in the northwestern U.S. and Ontario has been noted.
In some instances, load lot packages in Manitoba and Saskatchewan shipped to eastern buyers were trading steady or at a slight premium over Alberta prices.
The calf market was lightly tested in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Alberta steers 780-825 lb. for September delivery traded from $149-$153.25 per cwt.
Preconditioned steers at 965 lb. and heifers at 850 lb. in Saskatchewan for December delivery traded at $139.50 and $137.75 respectively.
Auction volumes totalled 33,623 head. It was the seventh consecutive week where Alberta auction volumes were above year-ago volumes.
The general tone of the market is bullish but there is uncertainty about U.S. country of origin labelling.
By Sept. 10 it should be known if a preliminary injunction regarding COOL will be granted.
The U.S. Choice cutout fell 13 cents to close at $195.71 per cwt., while Select fell $2.08 to $183.20.
Beef prices will likely follow the seasonal trend, falling until late September when American buyers start to stock up for the U.S. Thanksgiving.
Weekly Canadian cut-out values to Aug. 23 were unavailable. Loins are reported to be pressured by lower priced U.S. imports. Byproduct prices continue to be rise