The Canfax fed steer and heifer price closed the week at around $197.50/cwt, $1.50/cwt higher than the previous week. Fed cattle prices have strengthened for 10 consecutive weeks. Last week dressed sales reported from $330.50-333.50/cwt FOB lot. On most sales, cattle were purchased flat with no heavy-weight carcass discounts. Most of the cattle that traded were being scheduled for the first half of March delivery. U.S. packer interest on the Western Canadian fed market was quiet last week.
The Canfax average feeder steer and heifer price was $2-2.50/cwt higher. Year over year the largest price gains have been on light-weight steer calves weighing less than 500 lb, with prices up $87-91/cwt. Last week heifers weighing from 500-800 lb traded $3-6/cwt higher. Feeders over 800 lb traded steady to $2/cwt weaker. The Western Canadian calf index closed the week at $299/cwt, up over $2/cwt and is the highest price seen this year. Alberta auction volumes totaled just over 24,000 head, 4,000 head fewer than the same week last year. On a cash-to-cash basis Alberta calf and feeder prices are trading at a premium to the U.S. market. As a result, Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. have been below last year.
Alberta D2 cows traded $1.75/cwt higher than the previous week, and live trade was reported from $95‑11/cwt. D3 cows averaged $94.50/cwt. Butcher bulls traded $1.50/cwt higher, averaging $129/cwt, and trade was reported from $110-152/cwt. YTD 2023 Western Canadian cow slaughter is 20% larger than last year. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending February 11 totaled 449 head.