Disciplined buying returned last week. The Canfax weighted average steer price eased $1.06/cwt to average $101.14/cwt while heifers transitioned $0.57/cwt lower to averaged $100.97/cwt. Lower bids early Wednesday saw fed cattle being passed or pulled off the showlist, but eventually moderate trade did develop. Almost all trade last week was on the rail and dressed prices were generally $3.00 lower than the previous week. A strong Canadian dollar and softer cattle futures were also not conducive to higher prices or exports. Fed exports to the US for the week ending June 18 totaled 9,287.

Supportive cattle futures and improving feedlot conditions invoked a competitive tone on last week’s limited feeder offering. Mid weight steer and heifer values trended relatively flat while strong buying power pushed light weight stocker prices higher. The Canfax average steer price transitioned $2.21/cwt higher while heifers experienced progressive gains of $1.64/cwt. 4-600lb heifers realigned generally $2.50/cwt higher. For the second consecutive week 900lb+ steers have taken advantage of notable gains and are now averaging $109.30/cwt. USDA reported that Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending June 18th totaled 443.

Packers continue to be aggressive purchasers of non-fed cattle. Last week D1, D2 cows took advantage of minor gains to average 74.22/cwt. D3 cows surged over $2.00/cwt higher. Butcher bulls transitioned $1.82/cwt higher to range from $75.00-98.00/cwt.

Bull factors

  • US packers are relatively short bought.

  • Despite large North American beef production, cutouts have held firm.

  • Middle beef cuts are detecting solid demand.

Bear factors

  • Cash to future basis continues to widen.

  • Canadian dollar continues to track higher.

  • Instability in the global market place has induced volatility.

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