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 market quiet
In light trade, the cash market has a stronger tone, but volumes were too few to establish a trend.
A few cattle traded up to $309 per hundredweight rail grade delivered.
That would equate to a cash-to-futures basis of almost -$12, the weakest basis in 2015.
Packers were not aggressive and feedlots were generally current in their marketing.
Feedlots are willing to be patient as lift times will likely be in early September.
Weekly western Canadian fed exports to July 25 rose 40 percent and were the highest since April.
The summer low may be in, with moderate price improvements anticipated in August when beef demand starts to pick up.
The Canadian dollar and basis levels will be critical, as the basis has weakened more than $30 since the beginning of May.
Basis levels tend to weaken into September.
Improved U.S. buyer interest would further support local prices.
As of our deadline Aug. 7, the cash trade standoff between packers and feedlots in the U.S. continued, but Canfax thought feedlot resolve would force prices $1-$2 higher into the high US$140s.
Cow prices rise
D1, D2 cows were steady, ranging $130-$147 to average $139.94 per cwt. D3 cows surged higher to range $120-$136 to average $130.15, up $3.
Rail cow bids on load size lots rose to $267-$272 delivered.
Slaughter bulls were steady to average $169.
Weekly western Canadian slaughter to Aug. 1 rose one percent to 4,947 head.
Weekly exports to July 25 slipped to 5,298 head.
Cow sorting at auction has intensified and sales are being reported for a variety of types. This diversity has supported salvage values.
Improved moisture should keep non-fed marketings manageable and prices well supported.
In light trade, Alberta feeder prices were steady.
Following the seasonal trend, the Alberta auction offering was the smallest this year.
Stocker calves 300-400 pounds saw an inconsistent trading range, but the market tone was stronger.
Mid-weight feeders 400-800 lb. were steady to higher, while feeders heavier than 800 lb. were modestly lower.
Most of the week’s auction offering was made up of non-fed cattle and there were few feeders.
Weekly sales volume was 8,958 head, down 25 percent.
Forage harvest has distracted producers from cattle marketing.
Weekly feeder exports to July 25 fell 13 percent to 4,468 head.
Volumes at auction should begin to increase.
Large special grass cattle sales have been scheduled and yearling prices remain well supported.
Bred cows were $1,700-$2,300 and cow-calf pairs were $1,950-$3,500.
U.S. feeder cattle last week saw improved buying interest and prices were steady to $5 higher.
Boxed beef prices were mixed, as Choice on Aug. 6 was US$135.19 up $1.85 and Select was $228.39, down 93 cents.
The Choice-Select spread was up to $6.80, the highest since mid-June.
Canadian boxed beef prices for last week were not available.