The domestic fed market has underperformed in comparison to seasonal trends and expectations. The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week at $112.75/cwt and $112.00/cwt respectively, which is steady to $1.00 lower than the previous week. The bulk of dressed trade was reported at $188.00-190.00/cwt delivered. Despite smaller showlist volumes in the Northern US, packer inquiries were light. The cash to futures basis did strengthen last week. Moderate carryover volumes will be added to the next showlist, accumulated sale volumes totaled 10,400. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending March 30th totaled 13,125 head.

The Canfax average steer price and heifer price eased generally $1.00 lower last week. Light stocker steers and heifers traded $0.75-2.50/cwt lower while Larger feeders over 800 lbs generally trended $1.75 lower. The Western Canadian calf index closed the week at $144.27/cwt, down $1.28. Alberta auction volumes last week totaled 32,500. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending March 30th totaled 7,450 head.

Slaughter cow prices continued to trend seasonally higher. D1, D2 cows strengthened $1.25 with live trade reported from $73.00-84.00/cwt. Last week D3 cows averaged $69.90/cwt. Butcher bulls traded $0.75 lower but average prices still remain above year ago levels. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending March 30th totaled 7,009 head.

Bull factors

  • Strengthening pork cutout values will be supportive to the beef complex

  • Canadian fed exports volumes are at the largest reported this year

  • With more calves being marketed carcass weights should turn lower

Bear factors

  • Moderate carryover over volumes during the past couple of week has slowed the fed pipeline

  • North American feeding margins remain negative

  • Fund liquidation in the broad commodity markets has pressured cattle futures

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