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April 4, 2022 Current Markets & Forecasts

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of April 4, 2022

Last week the Canfax fed steer and heifer price closed around $162.50/cwt, steady with bids and sales during the previous week. Alberta fed prices have averaged in the low $160’s/cwt for the past seven weeks. Dressed sales were reported from $272.00-273.50/cwt FOB lot. Cattle that traded last week were being scheduled for the week of April 25th and May 2nd delivery. Over the past four weeks, western Canadian fed slaughter averaged 43,761 head/week compared to 41,003 head/week last year.

The Canfax average feeder steer and heifer price closed the week $2.00-2.50/cwt higher. Heifers weighing from 6-800 lb traded $1-2/cwt higher. Trading $1/cwt stronger, 7-800 lb steers established new annual price highs last week. Alberta feeders weighing over 900 lb are $8-10/cwt higher than last year. The western Canadian calf index closed the week at $224.37/cwt. Alberta weekly auction volumes totaled just over 25,000 head last week, 6,000 head more than last year. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending March 19th totaled 7,645 head.

Alberta D2 cows traded $0.75/cwt higher last week and live trade was reported from $88-107/cwt, D3 cows averaged $86/cwt. Butcher bulls traded $3.25/cwt higher to average $121/cwt and live trade was reported from $100-140/cwt. Butcher bull prices are at the highest point since July 2017. Canadian butcher bull exports to the US for the week ending March 19th totaled 585 head, steady with the same week last year.  

Bull.

  • In 11 out of the past 15 years, Alberta fed prices have strengthened from March to April.
  • June and July 2022 lean hog contracts established new highs last week.
  • Seasonally, carcass weights should decline as more fed calves start entering the slaughter mix.

Bear.

  • Western Canadian packers are comfortably bought out in front, suggesting sellers don’t have a lot of leverage.
  • For the end of March, Alberta fed cash to futures basis was the weakest since 2014.
  • U.S. March 1st cattle on feed inventories are record large.

For over 50 years, Canfax has provided expert analysis of markets and trends in the ever changing North American beef industry. In this new millennium, cattlemen, feedlot managers, and agri-business professionals will continue to rely on up-to-the-minute information as an essential tool for maximizing profit in today’s beef sector. Whether your operation needs to plan for three hours or three years into the future, Canfax delivers timely, accurate information for 21st Century cattle industry professionals.

Those interested in becoming Canfax members can sign up on the website at www.canfax.ca

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Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
20-Feb 192 226 -
20-Mar 194 228 -
17-Apr 200 230 -
15-May 202 238 -
12-Jun 206 248 -
10-Jul 202 - -
7-Aug 202 246 -
Last Updated on November 24, 2022