Tighter market ready supplies and strong local packer demand helped propel fed prices last week. Establishing annual highs, the Canfax average steer and heifer prices closed at $118.00/cwt and $117.00/cwt respectively, up generally $1.50 from the previous week. The bulk of dressed trade was reported at $198.00/cwt delivered. Alberta fed cash to futures basis strengthened to close the week at -9.10. Showlist supplies were cleaned up last week and accumulated sale volumes totaled 13,400. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending November 17th totaled 11,248.

The Canfax average steer price closed $0.08 lower while heifers eased $0.90. 300-400 lb steers and heifers were $1.00-4.00 lower while 700+ feeders traded fully steady. The Western Canadian calf index closed at $148.27/cwt, up $0.75 from the previous week. Alberta auction volumes totaled 63,100. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending November 17th totaled 1,213. Large packages of quality calves/yearling are testing the top end of the Canfax price range.

Packer procurement remained disciplined as ample supplies were reported through commercial auction facilities. D1, D2 cows eased $1.25 lower with live trade reported from $55.00-77.00/cwt. D3 cows averaged $58.50/cwt, down $0.75/cwt from the previous week. Rail bids were reported from $130.00-134.00 delivered. Butcher bulls traded fully steady averaging $74.50/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending November 17th totaled 8,683.

Bull factors

  • Weekly fed exports to the U.S. have not been reported below 10,000 head since the beginning of October

  • Alberta/Saskatchewan showlist has been cleaned up and market ready supplies remain manageable

  • Cash to futures basis has not been this strong since the start of September

Bear factors

  • U.S. cutouts could be pressured lower as holiday buying is wrapping up

  • On a light test of the market, US fed values were reported lower by Friday afternoon

  • Export issues and negative processing margins will restrict production

For more detailed information on markets this week please visit the Canfax website www.canfax.ca.