Annual and historic high fed prices were established last week. Strong prices over the past month have helped to push fed supplies forward and generally speaking feedlot inventories are very current. The Canfax average steer and heifer price closed the week at $122.50/cwt and $120.50/cwt respectively, up $0.50-0.75 from the previous week. Dressed trade was reported at $204.00-205.00/cwt delivered. Last week’s cash offering was cleaned up and accumulated sale volumes totaled 15,900. The Alberta fed cash to futures basis continues to remain strong. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending May 25th totaled 8,676 head.

The Canfax average steer price eased $0.50 while heifers strengthened $1.00. Calves and light weight stockers from 3-500 lbs were steady to $5.00 lower as supply and quality dwindles. 700+ steers and heifers traded $1.50-3.00/cwt higher last week. The western Canadian feeder index closed the week at $130.36/cwt, mostly steady with the previous week. Alberta auction volumes totaled 18,600 head. Auction volumes are larger than last week and the same time last year. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the short week ending May 25th totaled 3,937 head.

D1, D2 cows strengthened $1.50, with live trade reported from $72.00-84.00/cwt. Last week D3 cows averaged $69.50/cwt. Rail bids were reported fully steady with the previous week. Last week butcher bulls averaged $87.25/cwt, and live trade was reported from $80.00-97.00/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending May 25th totaled 6,264 head.

Bull factors

  • Western Canadian steer carcass weights have trended lower for the past five weeks
  • Canadian hog prices have strengthened
  • Local fed calf supplies are very current

Bear factors

  • Historically, cash to futures basis levels from May to June weaken
  • Beef cutout values should seasonally trend lower
  • Increasing market ready supplies in the US, could restrict interest in Canadian fed cattle