Despite a fundamental boost from the lower Canadian dollar, packer procurement remained disciplined as fed values stabilized. With a relatively small cash offering, trade was slow to develop. The Canfax average steer price closed at $114.75/cwt down $0.71/cwt from the previous week. Last week’s showlist incorporated a large percent of short fed yearlings. Last week’s cash to futures basis weakened 3.05 to close at -8.23. USDA reported 9,572 Canadian fed cattle were exported to the US for the week ending December 3rd. Auction volumes have slowed down as the holidays approach. Feeder prices last week continued mostly steady with the Canfax average steer price $0.03/cwt higher while heifer transitioned $0.25/cwt lower. Last week the Western Canadian feeder index closed at $139.90/cwt, down $1.98 from the previous week. Reported auction volumes totaled 36,900, down 31% from the previous week. USDA reported 992 Canadian feeders were exported to the US for the week ending December 3rd. Inquiry for all non-fed cattle intensified last week. D1, D2 cows traded $1.33 higher to average $68.38/cwt. D3 cows traded moderately higher ranging from $52.00-66.00/cwt. Local rail bids are now ranging from $130.00-135.00/cwt delivered. Butcher bulls traded $1.64 higher to average $74.85/cwt. USDA reported 3,879 Canadian non-fed cattle were exported to the US for the week ending December 3rd.

Bull factors

  • Strong box beef movement.

  • Domestic yearling supplies have been aggressively pulled forward.

  • USDA December 1st cattle on feed reported marketings higher than pre-report estimates.

Bear factors

  • A weaker cash to futures basis could obstruct fundamentals.

  • US packer interest could be limited as market ready supplies grow in the Northwest states.

  • Consumers will likely be drawn to holiday specials of turkey and ham.

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