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.
The Canfax weighted average steer price was $158.34 per hundredweight, up $1.67 while heifers were $156.48, up 25 cents.
Alberta fed prices have been stuck in a $4 trading range since the start of the year.
Both Alberta packers were active cash bidders and delivery was mostly for the end of the month.
Top end dressed sales were up to $267 per cwt. delivered.
Bids for March delivery were at a significant discount.
Packers appear to have added a few additional hours to their schedules.
Weekly western Canadian fed slaughter to Feb. 11 totaled 28,300 head, the most for a week this year.
Cash-to-futures basis remained at +$6. That is a lot better than the five-year average of -$13.50 for February.
Weekly exports were 5,424 head, the most this year.
There should not be a big influx of cattle heading into March.
Strong basis levels will encourage producers to market cattle ahead of schedule.
In the U.S., dressed sales in the north were at US$190, steady with the previous week. Live sales in Texas and Kansas were $119-$120, also steady.
D1, D2 cows ranged C$90-$103 to average $96.38 up $3.13.
D3 cows ranged $77-$91 to average $84.50, up $2.
Railgrade cows ranged $182-$187, up by $1-$2.
Butcher bulls surged more than $6 to average $108.80.
Weekly western Canadian non-fed slaughter to Feb. 11 rose three percent to 9,192 head.
Weekly exports to Feb. 4 were steady at 4,516 head. Marketing volumes should start to fall.
Light feeders rise
Steer calves lighter than 700 pounds rose $1-$2.50 while heifers traded mixed.
Steers 700-900 lb. fell $1.50 while heifers rose $1.50- $2.75. Large feeders heavier than 900 lb. saw lackluster interest. Prices fell $2-$3.
Weekly auction volumes surged 36 percent to 31,000 head as the cold snap broke and road conditions improved.
Weekly exports to Feb. 4 rose to 2,378 head. Exports this year are up 21 percent at 5,903 head.
Marketings will climb the next three weeks but should be manageable with anticipated seasonal demand for grass types.
Interest from eastern buyers should also support prices.
Calf prices could rise this week but heavier cattle will likely seasonally soften.
U.S. boxed beef rose with Choice up 51 cents at US$189.22 per cwt. and Select up $2.37 at $188.19.
In the second half of February, the Choice-Select spread should widen as Choice prices climb.
The Canadian Boxed Beef model has been updated to reflect the changes in the USDA boxed beef model.
Canadian cutouts to Feb. 11 saw AAA fall $2.37 to C$256.64 and AA fell $2.26 to $251.03.
The AAA cutout fetched a $7.77 premium over Choice, and AA was $4.93 higher than Select.
Cattle on feed
The Alberta-Saskatchewan cattle on feed report showed 831,883 head in lots on Feb. 1, down nine percent from last year.
January placements were 80,102 hear, down 19 percent from last year. Placements under 700 lb. rose seven percent but those over 700 lb. were down 29 percent.
January marketings were 100,054, down one percent from last year and the smallest for the month since the report began in 2000.