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 weekly weighted average for fed steers was $139.36 per hundredweight, down $2.85 and heifers were $138.41, down $4.46.
Alberta direct cattle sales this week saw average prices 22 percent lower than highs set at the beginning of 2016.
Both fed steers and heifers established new annual lows and average fed prices are the lowest seen since March 2014. The majority of reported dressed sales were $5-$10 per cwt. lower than the previous week at $230-$233 delivered.
The weekly cash to futures basis continued to weaken to -$6.44. Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending Aug. 20 surged to 53,952 head and was the largest weekly fed kill since July 2011.
YTD Canadian fed slaughter of 1,380,456 head was four percent larger than year ago. Steer carcass weights for the same week were three pounds heavier. Heifer weights jumped 16 lbs.
Canadian fed cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending August 13 were 13 percent larger than the previous week at 4,407 head.
YTD fed exports of 180,434 head are 35 percent larger than year ago.
With packers buying fed cattle as far out as October, prices next week could once again test annual lows.
In the U.S., the majority of national live trade was reported $3 lower than the previous week at $114 -$115.50. The majority of dressed sales in the North were from $181-$184 per cwt. delivered, and were $5-$6 per cwt. lower than last week’s rail average.
D1, D2 cows ranged C$93-$108 to average $99.70, down 44 cents. D3 cows ranged $70-$96 to average $87.58, down $1.17.
Western Canadian cow slaughter volumes totalled 4,856 head and marks the fifth consecutive week where cow slaughter volumes have been below year ago levels.
For the first three weeks of August cow slaughter volumes are down just over 1,500 head compared to 2015. Even though non-fed volumes continue to be seasonally light through commercial auction facilities butcher cows prices have seen a modest set back.
January highs remain intact at $110.50 and based off the five and ten year average the market has risk of trading in the low to mid $80s into the fourth quarter.
Yearling and calf prices have been moving in opposite directions and from a seasonal standpoint this is quite normal for this time of year.
This is the first time since February 2014 where 550 lb. steers averaged below $200 per cwt.
From lows in early May, 850 lb steers have rallied $13 and are now trading at the highest levels seen since the beginning of April.
On a cash to cash basis western Canadian yearling prices are trading steady to a slight premium against the Northern U.S. state prices.
With a strong cash to cash basis against the U.S. market one could anticipate to see a Saskatchewan/Manitoba yearlings coming west and few being exported south.
Grass cattle are coming in heavier than last year. The 1,000 to 1,100 lb. steer prices ranged from $161-$169 per cwt.
U.S. boxed beef values trended flat this week with Choice down US 50 cents at $200.36 per cwt. and Select was up two cents at $194.15.
Canadian boxed beef prices for the week ending August 20 traded flat with AAA down 85 cents to $254.05 per cwt. and AA down 10 cents to $244.99.