Light to moderate volume trade was reported steady with the previous week at $275/cwt delivered and thin comparable live trade developed at $161.50/cwt. Kill dates were spread across the first three weeks of May. Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending April 2 surged 11% larger than the previous week to 47,194 head, and year-to-date (YTD) volume was 6% larger at 551,770 head. Canadian fed cattle/cow exports to the U.S. for the week ending March 26th were generally steady with the previous week at 11,607 head. YTD export volume increased 8% to 128,993 head.
Alberta feeder prices were $1/cwt softer last week on volumes 17% larger than the same week last year. The greatest pressure was on 5-600 weights down $3.25-3.50/cwt from the previous week. Steers remain $1/cwt higher than last year, and heifers are $2.25/cwt softer than last year. While heavier 6-900 lb heifer prices remain $1-5/cwt above last year’s levels, lighter weight 3-600 lb heifers are tracking below year ago. Heavy steers 5-900 lb are $1-9/cwt above last year, while the lighter 3-500 lb categories are only $2-6/cwt below last year. Auction market volumes at 19,768 head were down 33% from last week, but up 17% from last year. YTD auction volumes are up 3% from last year.
D2 slaughter cows traded 82 cents stronger last week at $97/cwt, to be $9/cwt higher than last year. D3 cows were 70 cents softer at $86/cwt, but remain $6.63/cwt higher than last year. Over the last four weeks, fed cattle/cow export volumes have been 18-31% above year ago levels. Butcher bull prices were basically steady at $121/cwt. Exports of slaughter bulls from the west jumped to 1,105 head for week ending March 26th from 480 head the prior week. YTD slaughter bull exports are down 2% from last year.
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