The western Canadian fed market has been disappointing on many levels. Weekly dressed sales were reported from $260-275/cwt delivered. Cattle were being scheduled for the week of March 14th delivery. On some sales, a $2/cwt dressed premium would be added to the negotiated sale price if the cattle graded over 70% AAA. Western Canadian steer carcass weights averaged 922 lb, for the beginning of February this is the second largest weight on record. On a cash-to-cash basis Alberta fed prices are trading at an $18+/cwt discount to the Nebraska market. In Ontario, dressed sales were reported at $290/cwt delivered, fully steady with the previous week. Cattle were being booked for February 21st delivery.
Light calves less than 500 lb rallied $4-5/cwt higher than the previous week and middle weight 500-700 lb calves surged $4-8/cwt higher on improved feeding margins and early grass interest. Larger feeders over 800 lb were generally $3.50/cwt stronger than the previous week on tightening supplies. Auction volumes eased 16% lower than the previous week but were 51% larger than the same week last year. YTD auction volumes of 156,849 head are 19% and 21% larger than year ago and the five-year historic average respectively. Weekly feeder exports to the U.S. continued to track significantly larger than year ago.
Non-fed prices firmed higher last week on renewed trim demand and reduced offerings. D2 slaughter cow prices were almost $2/cwt higher at auction and D3 prices were $1.20/cwt higher. Dressed cow bids realigned sharply higher with reports from $160-165/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices traded fully steady with the previous week averaging $103.42/cwt.
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