The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week at $119.25/cwt and $118.25/cwt respectively, fully steady with the previous week. The bulk of dressed trade was reported from $200.00-201.00/cwt delivered. Local and US packer interest in the cash market was supportive last week. Showlist volumes were cleaned up, accumulated sale volumes totaled 16,400 head. Last week’s Alberta fed cash futures basis strengthened to close at -1.26. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending April 27th totaled 9,675 head.

The Canfax average steer price was $0.40 higher while heifers eased $0.81/cwt lower. Feeder heifers from 400-600 lbs trended $1.75/cwt lower while 6-800 lb steers strengthened $0.50. The Western Canadian calf index was reported at $146.28/cwt, virtually unchanged from the previous week. Alberta auction volumes last week totaled 30,000 head. Auction volumes still remain seasonally larger for this time of year. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending April 27th totaled 10,974 head.

Despite somewhat ample supplies, non-fed prices tracked higher. D1, D2 cows strengthened $1.50 with live trade reported from $74.00-85.00/cwt. Last week D3 cows averaged $70.00/cwt. Rail bids were reported generally $2.00 higher than the previous week. Butcher bulls averaged $89.00/cwt, up $1.00 and live trade was reported from $80.00-99.00/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending April 27th totaled 6,995 head.

Bull factors

  • Drop credit/by-product values remain strong

  • Choice cutout values surged and remain at historically high levels

  • Cash to futures basis is the strongest since May 2011

Bear factors

  • North American market ready supplies will start to increase

  • May 1st Alberta/Saskatchewan cattle on feed indicated a sharp increase in placements

  • US fed values have likely peaked for the spring

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