The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week at $118.00/cwt and $117.00/cwt respectively, up $2.75-4.00/cwt from the previous week. Packer competition was evident and bids strengthened over the course of the week. Two-tier pricing was evident with premium being paid for long fed cattle verses greener calves. Accumulated sale volumes totaled 9,200. The Alberta fed cash to futures basis strengthened to close at -12.04. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending April 13th totaled 11,336 head.

The Canfax average steer price closed the week $0.22 lower while heifers eased $0.14. Stockers and feeders less than 700 lbs traded $0.50-1.50/cwt lower last week and feeders over 700 lbs trended $1.00 higher. The Western Canadian calf index closed at $144.17/cwt, down $1.54. Alberta auction volumes totaled 21,400. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending April 13th totaled 10,291 head.

An increase in calving culls pressured prices last week. D1, D2 cows traded $1.75 lower with live trade reported from $73.00-86.00/cwt. Last week D3 cows averaged $70.00/cwt. Rail bids were reported fully steady. Butcher bulls averaged $88.45/cwt, down $1.15 from the previous week and live trade was reported from $79.00-97.00/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending April 13th totaled 7,874 head.

Bull factors

  • Captive and front-end packer supplies have started to tighten

  • With retailers covering their holiday beef needs the beef complex should firm

  • Showlist volumes were cleaned up and are sitting more current

Bear factors

  • Beef and pork in cold storage continues to trend above year ago levels

  • North American packers continue to supplement hook space with non-fed cattle

  • Higher fed prices will stress packer margins

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