Canfax report

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

Canada implemented a 10 percent tariff on cooked beef products from the U.S. July 1.

This action had little impact on the U.S. marketplace as live cattle futures hit three months highs last week.

Fed cattle rally

Fed cattle rallied $10.50 per hundredweight and are trading at the highest level in seven weeks. Fed prices are trading $9-$10 per hundredweight higher than last year.

Next week, prices are expected to trend steady to lower.

Fed cattle supplies should be strong for the next three months, and there is a basis risk to the fed market.

Alberta fed cash to futures basis was reported at $13.08 per cwt. This is the strongest cash to futures basis for the month of July in 30 years.

Dressed sales ranged from $250-$260 per cwt. delivered last week.

Western Canada carcass weights are up again to average 837 pounds. However, these are the smallest weights for this time period since 2014. Last week, steer carcasses averaged 849 pounds while heifers were 788 lb.

Slaughter volumes were 41,035 head, up five percent from last year at this time.

Year-to-date slaughter is up nine percent at 1.457 million head compared to last summer. Total domestic beef production is also up eight percent.

Feeder supplies dwindling

Feeder exports have been below average. So far this year 131,000 head have been exported with most coming from Western Canada.

Calf supplies are dwindling across the West with the smallest lot size offered this past week. Quality was variable.

Total calf volumes were down 30 percent from last week, and year to date volumes were down seven percent.

However, yearlings weighing more than 800 lb. were targeted as premium bunk replacements. On the electronic sales, some yearlings on the spot market were at a premium to fall delivery calves.

No trade was reported from British Columbia and only limited numbers were sold in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

In Alberta, steers weighing 500-600 lb. averaged $222.20 per cwt. while 800-900 lb. cattle averaged $189.71 per cwt.

Ontario steers were slightly below Alberta. Steers weighing 500-600 pounds averaged $226.53, an 11 percent improvement over last week. Steers in the 800-900 pound category were up 21 percent and averaged $185.11.

Non-fed trade

Cow prices showed a modest increase over last week.

No D1 prices were reported, but D2 bids trended 68 cents per cwt. higher than last week, D3 cows were up $1.50 per cwt. On the rail, non-fed cattle averaged $170-$175 per cwt.

Butcher bulls went up $2 per cwt. to average $111 per cwt.

Cull cow and bull exports continue to be well below last year’s trade. Cows are down 29 percent, and bulls are down 25 percent. So far, 67,447 head have gone stateside.

Quality grades

Quality grades are comparable to last year with 52 percent of the total federally inspected kill rated AAA, while 43 percent made AA and 3.6 percent were stamped with the A grade. More than 80 percent of finished cattle continue to be sold on a carcass basis.

U.S. meat

Beef and pork production in the U.S. continues to be strong with both meats up three percent over last week.

Dressed sales in the northern U.S. ranged from $175-$180 per cwt, $6-10 higher than last week.

Live sales in Texas and Kansas ranged from $112-$113.50 per cwt., also stronger over last week.

U.S. cutouts saw a generally heavy offering last week, and seasonal values slipped lower.

U.S. slaughter for the week was 562,000, which was a strong offering even during a short week due to the July 4 holiday.

Markets at a glance


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