The Canfax fed steer and heifer price closed the week at around $193.50/cwt, $2.50/cwt higher than the previous week. Fed cattle prices have strengthened for nine straight weeks, gaining $12/cwt. Fed prices are within $9/cwt of their all-time highs set back in May 2015. Last week, dressed sales were reported from $323.50-325.50/cwt FOB the lot. Cattle were being scheduled for the week of March 6 and 13 delivery. All reported cash sales traded locally, and U.S. packer interest was quiet. Western Canadian-fed slaughter for the week ending February 4 totaled just more than 40,000 head, 2% fewer than the same week last year.
The Canfax average feeder steer price was $6.75/cwt higher, while heifer prices strengthened $5.50/cwt. Week over week, the large prices increase was on lighter-weight calves with prices advancing $12-13/cwt. Steers weighing more than 800 lb traded $2-5/cwt higher, while same weight heifers were reported $6-8/cwt stronger. Last week, Alberta 550 lb steers averaged $308/cwt; for the first half of February prices are record high. The Western Canadian feeder index closed the week at $261.06/cwt, up over $6/cwt. Alberta auction volumes totaled 18,000 head, 5,000 head fewer than the same week last year. For the month of January, Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. were down 33% compared to 2022.
Alberta D2 cows traded $2/cwt higher than the previous week, and live trade was reported from $94‑112/cwt. D3 cows averaged $89.50/cwt. Butcher bulls traded $2.50/cwt higher, averaging $123.50/cwt and trade was reported from $109-146/cwt. Since the beginning of January, Western Canadian cow slaughter volumes have averaged more than 9,000 head/week. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending January 28 totaled 562 head.
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