Canada cattle report: Canadian cash trade a dollar lower

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Light to moderate cash trade developed last week at prices steady to $1.00 lower than the previous week. Live trade was limited and the bulk of sales were dressed from $190.00-191.00/cwt delivered. Sale volumes of 10,837 head were smaller than the previous week. American packers procured some east prairie Canadian cattle last week while interest in Alberta was inconsequential. The Alberta cash to futures basis narrowed to -15.75. Canadian fed exports to the US for the week ending March 9th totaled 10,061 head.

The Canfax average feeder steer price last week was $2.15 lower while heifers slipped $2.55. Both the western Canadian calf and feeder index trended around $4.00 lower than the previous week. Reported Alberta auction volumes last week totaled 31,868, down 28% from the previous week. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending March 9th totaled 8,280.

Butcher cow prices are now at the highest price levels since mid-September. Rail bids were reported $1.00 higher than last week. Butcher bull prices have strengthened for eight consecutive weeks to average $89.50/cwt. Canadian non-fed exports to the US for the week ending March 9th totaled 7,879.

Bull factors

  • American market ready fed volumes should tighten moving forward

  • USDA’s March 1st cattle on feed report is generally bullish

  • Grilling demand should improve seasonally

Bear factors

  • Packer inventories are long bought

  • Ample cheap pork supplies are pulling beef prices lower

  • WTO COOL amendments are complicating trading relations

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

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