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January 16, 2023
by Canfax

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of January 16, 2023

The Canfax fed steer price closed the week at around $186/cwt, fully steady with the previous week. For early January this is the second-highest price on record; the only year that was higher was 2015. Last week, dressed sales were reported from $310.50-311/cwt FOB the lot. Cattle were being scheduled anywhere from the week of February 6 – 20 delivery. All reported cash sales traded locally, and U.S. packer was quiet. Over the past two weeks, Alberta-fed cash-to-futures basis has been around -$25/cwt. Basis levels are historically weak. YTD 2022 Western Canadian-fed slaughter volumes were 3,400 larger than 2021.

Compared to the end of December, 4-600 lb steer and heifer calves are $15/cwt higher, while feeders over 800 lb are up $10/cwt. Alberta 550 lb calves are $74/cwt higher than last year and are trading at the highest point since September 2015. Western Canadian calf and feeder indices closed the week at $281.09/cwt and $250.70/cwt respectively. Last week, Alberta auction volumes totaled 25,000 head, 3,000 head more than the same week last year. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending December 31 totaled 899 head. YTD 2022 feeder cattle exports to the U.S. totaled 198,565 head, 38% more than 2021.

Alberta D2 cows traded $5/cwt higher last week, and live trade was reported from $90‑106/cwt. D3 cows averaged $87/cwt. Butcher cow prices are at the highest point since mid-October. Butcher bulls traded $0.75/cwt lower, averaging $124/cwt and trade was reported from $105-140/cwt. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending December 31 totaled 20 head. YTD 2022 Canadian bull exports totaled 42,623 head, 16% more than 2021.


  • Alberta/Saskatchewan January 1 cattle on feed inventories are 3% below las year.
  • With higher beef cutout values over the past month, U.S. processing margins have gone from negative to positive.  
  • U.S. feedlot inventories are becoming more current. Over the past two months, U.S. steer carcass weights have dropped 16 lb.


  • U.S. beef exports for the month of November were 6% lower than last year.
  • U.S. pork cutout values have struggled, trading at the lowest point in one year.
  • U.S. steer by-product values declined 4% last week and prices are also below last year.

Disclaimer: Not for further distribution without permission from Canfax. 

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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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Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
21-Aug-23 216 300 -
18-Sep-23 216 306 332
16-Oct-23 218 310 334
13-Nov-23 216 308 330
11-Dec-23 214 298 324
8-Jan-24 - - -
5-Feb-24 222 304 336
Last Updated on May 25, 2023