Competition on the Western Canadian cash market was decent, and a stronger price tone was noted as the week progressed. Weekly dressed sales were reported from $295-297/cwt delivered. Delivery dates seem to be tightening up a little bit, cattle that traded were being scheduled for late August/early September delivery. Alberta fed prices traded at an estimated $4/cwt discount against the Nebraska market, right in line with 2017 and 2021 levels. In both of those years the Alberta cash to cash basis did strengthen from August to September, eventually moving to a premium to the Nebraska market.
Weekly Western Canadian auction volumes were the smallest seen this year and prices strengthened on continued good demand for all weights. Benchmark 5-600 lb calves saw prices firm around $1.75/cwt higher. Large calves and feeders over 600 lb saw prices surge over $6/cwt higher than the previous week on a limited supply. Grass yearling marketings were light again last week, as decent pasture conditions have extended the grazing season. Large feeders over 900 lb for deferred September-October delivery traded at a marked premium to spot. Alberta auction volumes were 76% smaller than the same week last year and YTD were significantly 164% larger than year ago at 140,172 head.
Non-fed marketings shifted last week with fewer slaughter cows at auction, while an increased offering of butcher bulls were marketed as the breeding season winds down. Continued good trim and grind demand maintained steady to stronger slaughter cow values, with D2’s trading steady to average $113/cwt and D3 cows firming $2.75/cwt higher to $101.25/cwt. Dressed cow bids firmed around $1/cwt higher than the previous week ranging from $216-221/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices eased modestly lower to average $130.33/cwt. Slaughter bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending July 23rd were 3% lower than the previous week at 1,107 head and YTD total 20,561 head.
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