Over the previous two weeks, Western Canadian fed cattle prices have averaged in the low $160s/cwt while Ontario prices have averaged in the low to mid $170s/cwt. Last week Alberta fed prices were at an estimated $12.50/cwt discount to the U.S. market. Eastern Canadian prices did move to a slight discount to the Nebraska market, but prior to that, Ontario prices were the highest in North America. In western Canada dressed sales were reported from $265-276/cwt delivered. Cattle that traded were being scheduled for the week of February 21st and 28th delivery. One packer was limiting the amount of cattle they were buying from each producer.
The feeder market tone was generally softer last week. Calves over 600 lb were $1.00-2.75/cwt lower than the previous week with feed grain supply issues and negative feeding margins softening demand. Large feeders over 800 lb saw prices continue to seasonally soften again this week and prices will likely continue to ease lower through February. Auction volumes totaled 36,555 head and were 52% larger than the same week last year and YTD auction volumes were 10% larger than year ago.
Non-fed prices firmed higher last week as larger slaughter volumes continue to work through first quarter market supplies. Selective buying continued with premiums for heiferettes/young feeder cows and speculative cows in calf. D2 slaughter cow prices firmed $1.75/cwt higher at auction and D3 prices surged almost $3.50/cwt higher. Butcher bull prices traded fully steady this week averaging $101.62/cwt and should see improved grind demand and stronger prices heading toward summer.
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