Moderate trade on Wednesday saw average steer prices $0.50/cwt higher than the previous week and a light volume of heifers traded fully steady. By Thursday, cattle futures had softened and packer bids tightened to wrap up trade for the week. The majority of dressed trade last week was $1.00/cwt higher than the previous week at $188.00 delivered. The Saskatchewan fed market remained mostly quiet. Accumulated sale volumes totaled 18,273 and were 5% smaller than the previous week. Moderate carryover from last week was rolled over into this week. Canadian fed cattle exports for the week ending August 4th were 5% lower than the previous week at 5,133 head.

The Canfax average feeder steer price eased $0.39 last week while heifers traded $0.15 higher. 900 lb+ steers and heifers traded $3.00-4.00/cwt higher last week. In some instances 900-1000 lb heifers for September and October delivery are trading $3.00-5.00/cwt back of their steer counterparts. Alberta auction volumes totaled just over 20,500, up sharply from the previous week. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending August 4th totaled 237 head.

Last week D1, D2 cows traded from $74.00-85.00/cwt. D3 cows averaged $70.80/cwt, up $0.75/cwt from the previous week. Rail bids were reported $1.00/cwt higher than the previous week. Butcher bulls traded $0.20/cwt lower to average $93.25/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports for the week ending August 4th totaled 4,345.

Bull factors

• Alberta steer carcass weights were lower last week
• Cutouts remain supportive
• Market ready supply should moderate moving forward

Bear factors

• Post Labour Day beef demand is expected to be lackluster
• Packer margins have deteriorated
• Retail beef buying is hand to mouth

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