Canfax Report – for Oct. 14, 2010

The Canfax weekly weighted average steer price was $88.42 per hundredweight, down $1.60, and heifers averaged $88.07, down $1.41.

There was a good sampling of live sales but most of the trade was on the rail in the $147.50-$147.85 range.

There was some carryover into this week.

The sales volume was 19,347 head, down 23 percent.

The cash to futures basis narrowed to -$8.61 compared to -$9.54 the week before.

Compared to the same week last year, fed prices were $8.27 per cwt. higher.

Weekly carcass weights Oct. 2 were slightly lower than the previous week.

The Canadian fed market diverged a little from the American market to narrow the basis.

With lower third quarter placements, anticipated market-ready supplies are expected to be moderate.

Higher corn prices due to tight supply could reduce the number of cattle placed in U.S. feedlots.

NON-FED CATTLE MIXED

D1, D2 cows traded in a range of $50-$64 to average $56.25, up $1.05.

Rail cows slipped to $105-$111 per cwt.

D3 cows were $40-$53 to average $48.25, down 21 cents.

Butcher bulls were $60-$76 to average $67.16, down 31 cents.

Prices will likely soften as cows and bulls are moved from pasture and harvest slows, allowing more deliveries.

FEEDERS STEADY

The feeder market was static and prices were generally steady in light trade as producers concentrate on harvest.

Wide price ranges persist, indicating two different quality grades of cattle on offer, with little in between.

Stocker steer prices were firm while yearling steer prices were $1-$1.71 per cwt. lower.

Feeder heifers as a group were mostly steady.

Average steer prices were 29 cents lower while heifers were 13 cents higher.

Auction volume totalled 44,272 head, up 22 percent from the week before but 12 percent lower than last year.

Auction volumes should increase as harvest winds down, but many ranchers have ample forage stocks and may retain calves to background before sending them.

A light offering of bred cows saw prices firm at around $5 per cwt. over slaughter value.

Volume should increase soon.

A significant number of bred sales are now booked for November.

BEEF DOWN

The Choice cutout closed at $151.98 US per cwt., down $3.24, while Select closed at $144.61, down $2.38.

The market is wondering if U.S. packers will slow slaughter to push beef prices higher.

Canadian slaughter volumes for the week ending Oct. 2 at 64,734 head were steady with the week before and last year. The Montreal wholesale market for delivery this week was steady at $181-$183.

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 .

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