The Canfax fed steer and heifer price closed the week at around $213.50/cwt, $2.75/cwt higher than the previous week. Fed prices have traded higher for 15 consecutive weeks, gaining $31/cwt. Last week, dressed sales were reported from $351.50-360.50/cwt FOB the lot. Most of the cattle that traded were being scheduled for mid-April delivery. Competition on the cash market was decent, with both major packers buying cattle. A few Alberta fed cattle were also marketed on the Canfax average price, based on the week the cattle will be delivered.
The Canfax average feeder steer and heifer price was $1-5/cwt higher. Last week, the largest price jump was heifers weighing from 5-800 lb, with prices advancing $5-7/cwt. The steer/heifer calf (550 lb) price spread is now the narrowest it has been all year. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a few special replacement heifer sales. Demand has been mixed; first-cut heifers are going to breeding programs, while second-cut heifers are ending up in the feedlot. Open replacement heifers have been trading anywhere from $1,900-2,400/head. Alberta auction volumes totaled just more than 36,000 head, 11,000 head greater than the same week last year. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending March 18 totaled 3,063 head, 60% lower than the same week last year.
Alberta D2 cows traded $2/cwt lower than the previous week, and live trade was reported from $124‑142/cwt. D3 cows averaged $119/cwt. Just recently, Alberta cow prices have moved to a slight premium to the U.S. market. Alberta cow prices are the highest in North America. Butcher bulls traded $3.75/cwt higher, averaging $149/cwt, with a trading range from $125-174/cwt. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending March 18 totaled 590 head.
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