With investors taking a long position in the cattle complex, live cattle futures posted impressive gains. Canadian fundamentals expressed a positive tone but fell well short of price projections. Local packer interest remained relatively light but heightened competition from the US to procure cattle boosted bids. Rail trade last week was generally $1.00-3.00/cwt lower. The Canfax average steer and heifer price ended the week at $101.71/cwt and $101.03/cwt respectively. Accumulated sales totaled 20,600. USDA reported 8,075 of Canadian fed cattle were exported to the US for the week ending August 27th. Auction volumes last week were smaller which may indicate producers are getting into harvest mode. Light stocker prices eased lower last week. Middle weight feeder steers traded fully steady and 400-800 lb heifer prices firmed $1.00 higher. The Canfax average steer price transitioned $0.51/cwt lower while heifers experienced gains of $0.28/cwt. Auction volumes last week were 35% lower than the previous week. Feeder exports to the US for the week ending August 27th were 38% lower than the previous week at 398 head. Non-fed cattle saw moderate volume at auction last week. D1, D2 cows were on the defensive averaging $67.33/cwt. Softer packer demand pushed D3 values $3.00/cwt lower. Butcher bulls could not avert the downward pressure falling $2.50/cwt, and ranged from $70.00-88.00/cwt.

Bull factors

  • Live cattle futures have experienced strong gains.

  • Canadian dollar continues to trade near par.

  • Cutouts have remained composed with strong boxed movement.

Bear factors

  • Our cash to futures basis widened substantially to close the week at -14.41.

  • North American packer margins remain narrow.

  • Chicken continues to hold a price advantage at retail.

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