Fed prices steady
Canadian fed prices remained strong and steady despite slowing fed exports and lower northern U.S. fed prices.
Packer interest in the cash market was mixed with most sales going to one buyer.
In light trade, steers averaged $119.25 per hundredweight and heifers $118.61, which was mostly steady with the previous week.
Dressed sales were $200-$201 per cwt. delivered.
Packer-owned supply is increasing, and the time it takes for them to take delivery appears to be stretching out to 14 days or beyond.
The Alberta fed cash-to-futures basis weakened to -$12.90 and is in line with the average for this time of year.
Weekly Canadian fed exports totalled 3,179 head, the second lowest export volume this year.
Fed prices are unseasonably strong, but feedlots might be pushing marketing dates into October, which could pressure prices in that month.
Processing margins are positive, but beef cut-out values could come under pressure following Labour Day.
September is typically a sluggish time for beef demand because consumers are cash strapped with back to school and summer holiday expenses.
Cow prices fall
Reduced demand and lackluster buyer interest pressured slaughter cow prices lower.
D1, 2 and D3 cow prices slid $2 to average $75.50 per cwt. and $68.50, respectively.
Rail grade prices fell to $146-$151 per cwt. delivered.
Butcher bulls were mostly steady, averaging $88.07 per cwt.
Weekly western Canadian non-fed slaughter to Aug. 31 was modest at 4,180 head, down 19 percent from the previous week.
Weekly non-fed exports to Aug. 24 were steady at 5,752 head.
The heat has hurt pasture condition, which could increase non-fed marketings.
The market is expected to be weak again this week.
Light feeders gain
Light calves traded sharply higher, while middle weight feeders were steady, with prices 50 cents lower to $1 higher compared to the previous week.
Yearling prices fell and steers heavier than 800 pounds fell about $1.50 per cwt. Similar weight heifers were little changed.
Deliveries fell because of a work week shortened by Labour Day and harvest in full swing. The Alberta auction volume fell 28 percent to 24,344 head.
The auction volume is up 12 percent over last year at the same time.
Weekly feeder exports to Aug. 24 rose 50 percent to 3,295 head. Exports are up 69 percent.
Dry pasture conditions will force some marketings. Calf prices should firm next week on anticipated bumper grain yields and potentially improved feeding margins.
Heavy feeder prices could struggle on varied quality and availability.
American buyer interest is expected to become more price supportive.
U.S. boxed beef trade was uneven with Choice at $195.86 US per cwt., up 15 cents, and Select at $181.91, down $1.29 on Sept. 5.
Weekly Canadian cut-out values to Aug. 30 are unavailable.
For the week ending Aug. 23, cutouts were steady to lower following the uptick in the first half of August.
AAA was down $1.46 to $197.99 Cdn per cwt. while AA was up 39 cents to $190.49.
Rib and chuck prices are expected to remain strong while other categories may be steady to weaker.
Montreal wholesale prices rose to $224-$225 per cwt.
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.