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 near low
The Canfax fed steer average was $137.60 per hundredweight, down 93 cents. There was no heifer average.
The price in Alberta was the lowest since last November and feeding margins have narrowed a lot. Many cattle are being sold at or below break-even levels.
Over the past three weeks Alberta fed prices have fetched a premium over the Nebraska market. If the strong basis persists, there is a good chance of fewer Saturday shifts compared to August.
Packers lifted cattle in a timely manner this summer, but recently there are rumblings that one Alberta packer is behind.
Western Canadian steer carcasses increased 23 pounds last week, the largest week over week increase this year. Steers averaged 905 lb., topping 900 lb. for only the second time this year.
Weekly fed exports totaled 4,258, the first time since the beginning of May that volumes were below year ago levels.
The annual low for fed prices will likely be later this year than last year when the low was hit the first week in September.
There have only been two times in the past decade where September prices averaged higher than August — in 2009 and 2014. In those years, the month over month increase was less than one percent.
In the U.S., dressed sales in the north were US$4-$8 lower than the previous week.
Live sales in Texas and Kansas were down $2, with most of the trade at $104 to $105.
U.S. slaughter volumes are running close to maximum capacity.
D1, D2 cows ranged C$90-$106 per cwt. to average $95.50, down $3.50 on ample supply.
D3 cows ranged $80-$92 to average $86.20. Railgrade cows fell to $182-$187 delivered. Butcher bulls fell $3 to average $113.45.
Weekly western Canadian non-fed slaughter to Aug. 26 surged 10 percent to 7,173 head.
Weekly exports to Aug. 19 rose to 4,266 head.
North American non-fed marketings will likely increase and prices seasonally are expected to trend lower.
Alberta feeder prices rose on good demand for feeders heavier than 700 lb.
Calf offerings were light and prices were generally lower on limited volume and quality.
Electronic sales offered a few more larger lots of quality calves and mid-weight steer calves for September-October delivery saw prices steady to modestly higher than the conventional auction trade.
Yearling supplies appear limited.
Steers heavier than 700 lb. saw prices firm $4.50-$5. That is $7-$14 higher than year ago.
Yearling heifers heavier than 700 lb. rose $3-$4.
Pasture conditions are deteriorating and yearling volumes at auction should rise. Calf marketings will also rise modestly, but significant volumes are not anticipated until the end of the month.
Cow-calf pairs ranged $1,700 to $2,200.
U.S. beef stabilizes
U.S. Choice cut outs to Aug. 31 were US$191.91, up only 16 cents, and Select was up $2.68 at $191.34.
The smaller percentage grading Select production is supporting Select prices.
Beef demand often slips in September as grilling weather ends and school restarts.
Canadian prices were not available.