Eroding technical levels and larger showlist volumes worked against the cash market. The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week at $114.75/cwt and $113.75/cwt respectively, down $1.50 from the previous week. The bulk of dressed trade was reported $192.00-193.00/cwt delivered. Sluggish front end beef movement has offered no incentive to ramp up fed production. Accumulated sale volumes last week totaled 12,300. Last week’s cash to futures basis closed the week at -11.27. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending February 2nd totaled 6,012.

The Canfax average feeder steer price was $1.92 lower while heifers eased $2.07. Light 3-400 lb stocker prices slid $4.00-6.00/cwt lower on seasonally light volume and questionable quality. Lackluster demand for feeders over 800 lbs pressured prices $1.00-2.00/cwt lower. The western Canadian feeder index was reported at $130.15/cwt, down $2.84/cwt. Auction volumes last week totaled 35,500. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending February 2nd totaled 6,260.

D1, D2 cow prices trended $1.30 higher with live trade reported from $68.00-80.00/cwt. Last week D3 cows averaged $65.75/cwt, up $0.50 from the previous week. Rail bids continue to hold firm ranging from $140.00-145.00/cwt delivered. Butcher bulls averaged 81.00/cwt, up $3.00 from the previous week. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending February 2nd totaled 7,645.

Bull factors

  • U.S. national boner cow prices and western Canadian non-fed values strengthened last week

  • Alberta/Saskatchewan February 1 cattle on feed report should be interpreted as bullish

  • Retailers should be looking to cover some of their early spring beef needs

Bear factors

  • Western Canadian fed slaughter volumes continue to trend below year ago levels

  • Northern U.S. fed values were reported $3-4 lower on a dressed basis

  • With reduced kill levels packers have struggled to force cutout values higher

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