Last week’s US BSE announcement was cause for some serious marketing anxiety in the US, but local Canadian feedlots with mostly current inventory remained cool and composed despite Tuesday’s deteriorating technical support. The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week just above 110.00/cwt, fully steady with the previous week. The cash to futures basis was at seasonal levels for the first time since February. With softer bids on green calves to start the week producers elected to carry cattle into next week. Accumulated sales volumes totaled 20,400. USDA reported Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending April 14th totaled 9,493.
Given the market volatility in the US last week and a strengthening Canadian dollar, the feeder market remained composed. The Canfax average steer price was $0.26 lower while heifers eased $0.81. Last week, 3-500 lb steers and heifers eased $1.00-2.00 lower; dwindling calf supplies are making load lots difficult to assemble. The Western Canadian feeder index closed the week at $141.98/cwt, down $1.06 from the previous week. Reported auction volumes were fully steady with the previous week totaling 26,500. USDA reported Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending April 14th totaled 4,606.
Tighter non-fed volumes at commercial auction facilities remain price supportive. Last week butcher cows traded mixed. D1, D2 cows traded from $74.00-86.00/cwt. D3 cows are averaging $69.58/cwt, down $0.25 from the previous week. Butcher bull values strengthened $0.44 higher and are trading from $80.00-103.00/cwt. USDA reported Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending April 14th totaled 2,770.
• Our cash to futures basis strengthened substantially
• North American packer margins are improving
• As beef demand improves the Choice/Select spread should continue to widen
• North American beef exports remain sluggish
• The strong Canadian dollar has reduced US packer interest
• Technical support could ease as April LC contracts are set to expire
For more detailed information on markets this week please visit the Canfax website www.canfax.ca.