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 lower
The fed steer weighted average was $156.55 per hundredweight, down $4.24, and heifers were $155.52.
Prices edged higher early in the week, but then turned lower.
Dressed sales were reported mostly at $263 per cwt. delivered, $7 lower than last week.
A few Saskatchewan cattle traded. Even with Ontario prices at an $11 premium over Alberta, cattle are still going to Alberta for slaughter rather than going east.
Most of the cattle that traded were scheduled for the middle of July delivery.
Western Canadian steer carcass weights have likely bottomed. They have risen 21 pounds from their lows in May.
With seasonally larger market-ready supplies and growing carcass weights, beef production will rise and exports will be critical in managing supplies.
Canadian beef exports to the United States for April were more than last year and the five-year average. Fed prices have dropped $15 over the past two weeks but should stabilize this week.
Since the stronger than expected highs in May, fed prices have fallen 18 percent and are only 50 cents above the annual lows set in February. Based on second quarter data, this stands as the second largest price decline over the past 12 years, behind only 2007.
D1, D2 cows ranged $105-$119 to average $111.67 per cwt., up 37 cents.
D3 cows ranged $90-$105 to average $97.63. Rail grade cows were $207-$212 delivered.
Butcher bull prices were steady to average $129.05. Weekly western Canadian non-fed slaughter to June 17 fell six percent to 5,755 head.
Weekly exports to June 10 rose 18 percent to 4,259 head. For the year they are down 26 percent.
Demand remains strong.
Steer calves lighter than 500 pounds last week fell $4.50-$5.50, while similar heifers were steady to $2 lower.
Grass types 500-800 lb. were uneven with steers $3-$3.50 lower and heifers trading $2 either side of steady. Feeders heavier than 800 lb. were steady to $1.75 lower.
Calves were $35-$40 per cwt. higher than the same week last year, while yearlings were generally $20-$27 higher.
Volumes declined as they normally do at this time, falling eight percent from the previous week to 12,361 head. For the year they are up 19 percent.
Weekly exports to June 10 rose to 2,211 head. For the year they are down 43 percent.
Auction volumes will continue to wind down, and grass orders have mostly been filled.
Calf prices will likely soften on varied lot size and quality.
Prices for large feeders should seasonally firm, but profitability for fall-placed fed market has deteriorated.
Pending risk management, feeders that will be finished for the fourth quarter will break even at best. Cow-calf pairs ranged $1,900-$3,300.
Beef market down
U.S. boxed beef fell with Choice down US$9 at $242.88 and Select down $4 at $216.92 as of June 22. Beef prices usually fall as demand softens in the heat of summer.
Total U.S. beef in cold storage was down 10 percent from the previous month and 11 percent smaller than the same time last year.
Canadian prices were not available.