Over the past three weeks fed cattle prices have rallied $4/cwt moving back over $154/cwt. Light trade developed last week with the bulk of sales reported at $260/cwt delivered, and cattle were being scheduled for the second half of September delivery. For the week ending August 21st Western Canadian fed slaughter totaled just over 49,000 head, the second largest slaughter seen this year. On top of big slaughter volumes, Canadian fed cattle exports to the US have also picked up. Based on USDA Canadian fed cattle import data, over the past three weeks, U.S. imports of Canadian fed cattle averaged 4,403 head/week compared to 3,767 head/week last year.
Light calves less than 600 lb traded unevenly steady last week while larger calves and feeders over 600 lb saw strong demand and prices rallied $3-4/cwt higher. Deferred October calf delivered prices are generally steady with the spot market. Total weekly auction volumes were significantly 70% larger than the same week last year. YTD auction volumes are 34% larger than year ago at 811,170 head. Feeder exports to the US for the week ending August 14th realigned lower following a significant surge during the first week of August but were 145% larger than year ago.
Alberta D2 cows averaged generally steady with the previous week at $76.44/cwt while D3 prices slipped almost $2/cwt lower. D2 cow values have softened $26.69/cwt over the past ten weeks from the mid-June annual high. US utility cows last week saw a significant $15/cwt premium to Alberta. Dressed cow bids continued steady with the previous week around $150-155/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices remain range bound averaging $106.85/cwt. Western Canadian non-fed slaughter for the week ending August 21st was 17% lower than the previous week at 6,123 head.
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