AB Direct - Steers

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AB Direct - Heifers

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US Trade- Steers

Live: 181.00-182.00 (TX, KN) 183.00 (NE)
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US Trade - Heifers

Live: 181.00-182.00 (TX, KN) 183.00 (NE)
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Canadian Dollar

February 6, 2023
by Canfax

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of February 6, 2023

Alberta direct cattle sales saw light volume trade last week, with weighted average steer prices firming almost $2/cwt higher than the previous week. The bulk of sales were reported dressed from $320-321/cwt delivered. Feedlots continued to manage contract inventories and were generally not motivated cash traders. Heifer prices were comparable with steers, but sales were not repeatable, and a weekly market trend was not fully established. Some cattle were priced to the U.S. based on the five-area average, and a few local cattle were booked off of the deferred Canfax weighted average price. Western Canadian-fed slaughter for the week ending January 28 slipped 12% lower than the previous week to 39,199 head. Fed cattle/cow exports to the U.S. for the week of January 21 totaled 9,445 head, down 5% compared to the same week last year.

Trading $1-6/cwt higher, Alberta 550 lb steer and heifer prices set new annual highs. Over the past 18 years, 550 lb steer prices have established first half of the year highs in February six times (2005, ’06, ’13, ’16, ’18, ’20). Ontario calf prices have been disappointing relative to the Western Canadian market. Over the past five weeks, Ontario 550 lb steer prices have averaged $268/cwt, $32/cwt lower than the Alberta market. Alberta calf and feeder prices in 2023 have been at a $17-19/cwt premium against the U.S. market. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. were elevated during the first quarter of 2022, averaging 6,293 head per week.

Butcher cow and bull prices have been moving in opposite directions. Cow prices traded steady to $1/cwt higher this week, setting new annual highs, while bull prices are at annual lows. Non-fed volumes through commercial auction facilities have tightened, yet slaughter volumes continue to be elevated. Since the start of the year, Western Canadian cow slaughter has averaged more than 9,000 head/week. For the month of January this is the largest cow slaughter since 2010. Over the past five years, the average increase from fall lows to first half of the year highs stands at 38%.


  • Market-ready supplies are trending more current.
  • Non-fed volumes are tightening and good demand for end meats should encourage stronger fed prices.
  • U.S. corn is moderating Canadian barley prices.


  • A worsening recession will continue to limit middle meat beef buying.
  • The USDA’s 2023 Cattle Inventory Report indicates January 1 beef cow inventories were the smallest ever recorded, down 3.6% to 28.9 million head.
  • For the week ending January 28, 20% of the Western Canadian slaughter were non-fed cattle.

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About the Author


For over 50 years, Canfax has provided expert analysis of markets and trends in the ever-changing North American beef industry. In this new millennium, cattlemen, feedlot managers, and agri-business professionals will continue to rely on up-to-the-minute information as an essential tool for maximizing profit in today’s beef sector. Whether your operation needs to plan for three hours or three years into the future, Canfax delivers timely, accurate information for 21st Century cattle industry professionals. Those interested in becoming Canfax members can sign up on the website at www.canfax.ca.

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Choice Steers

Live: 181.00-182.00 (TX, KN) 183.00 (NE)
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Choice Heifers

Live: 181.00-182.00 (TX, KN) 183.00 (NE)
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Boner Cows

Over 500 lbs: US $206.82

Canadian Dollar

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Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
25-Dec-23 - - -
22-Jan-24 234 320 -
19-Feb-24 236 330 -
18-Mar-24 238 330 -
15-Apr-24 246 334 -
13-May-24 246 340 -
10-Jun-24 252 346 -
Last Updated on September 28, 2023