In light of stronger US fed prices, local packer procurement remained disciplined. The Canfax average steer and heifer prices closed the week at $116.00/cwt and $115.50/cwt respectively, up generally $1.50 from the previous week. The bulk of the dressed trade was reported at $194.00-195.00/cwt delivered. Despite an uptick in fed prices, weaker basis levels have resulted in moderate to large carryover volumes. Last week’s cash to futures basis was reported at -15.65. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending February 16th totaled 9,316 head.

Auction volumes surged last week as background forage supplies dwindle and excellent weather continues for shipping. The Canfax average steer price was $0.87 lower while heifers eased $0.76. Light stocker steers traded $1.00 lower while heifers were mostly $1.50-2.00 lower. The western Canadian feeder index closed the week at $128.20/cwt, down $2.98. Last week Alberta auction volumes totaled 36,700. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending February 16th totaled 8,861 head.

D1, D2 cows traded fully steady with the previous week and live trade was reported from 69.00-81.00/cwt. D3 cows averaged $65.00/cwt, down $0.60/cwt from the previous week. Rail bids were reported $1.00 stronger. Butcher bulls averaged $84.75/cwt, with live trade reported from $75.00-96.00/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending February 16th totaled 8,279 head.

Bull factors

  • Last week northern US fed values were reported $6.00-7.00 higher on a dressed basis

  • Tighter placed against number in the US will continue to promote Canadian fed exports

  • Two large winter storms across the mid-west US have brought some much needed moisture to the region

Bear factors

  • Cash to futures basis is the weakest since the week ending October 26

  • Western Canadian fed slaughter continues to run well below year ago levels

  • Local packers appear to have favorable front end supplies which could restrict interest in the cash market

For more detailed information on markets this week please visit the Canfax website