The Canfax fed steer price closed the week around $184/cwt, $1/cwt higher than the previous week. Last week, dressed sales were reported from $304.50-305.50/cwt FOB the lot. Cattle were being scheduled for the second half of January delivery. Light volumes of Alberta-fed cattle traded to the U.S. Depending on freight and dressing percentage, U.S. sales were working back to the upper $180s/cwt FOB the lot. Last week on a cash-to-cash basis Alberta-fed prices were at an estimated $29/cwt discount against the Nebraska market. This is one of the weakest basis levels seen this year.
The Canfax average feeder steer price was $1/cwt lower, while heifer prices eased $3/cwt. Last week Alberta 5-600 lb steers traded $3/cwt higher, establishing new annual highs. Over the past twenty years, this is only the second time calf prices have set annual highs in December. Last week, steers over 800 lb traded $4-6/cwt lower. Western Canadian calf and feeder indices closed the week at $270.24/cwt and $249.91/cwt respectively. Cold temperatures slowed auction traffic, and in some cases sales were cancelled. Last week, Alberta auction volumes totaled 16,000 head, 3,000 head larger than the same week last year. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending December 10th totaled 2,669 head. YTD feeder cattle exports to the U.S. are 44% more than last year.
Alberta D2 cows traded $3/cwt higher last week, and live trade was reported from $80‑95/cwt. D3 cows averaged $75.50/cwt. Over the past couple of weeks, Alberta cow prices have been trading at a $12-16/cwt discount against the U.S. utility cow market. Butcher bulls traded $0.50/cwt higher, averaging $117.50/cwt and trade was reported from $100-138/cwt. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending December 10th totaled 755 head, 33% more than the same week last year.
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