AB Direct - Steers

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July 26, 2021 Current Markets & Forecasts

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of July 26, 2021

Alberta direct cattle sales saw light to moderate cash trade last week with weighted average steer prices easing $1.73/cwt lower than the previous week. Dressed prices were steady to $5/cwt lower than the previous week from $252-253/cwt delivered. Light live trade was reported comparable with rail sales. Recent western Canadian fed slaughter totaled 52,919 head and YTD volume totaled 17% larger than a year ago at 1,172,990 head. Canadian steer carcass weights were 7 lbs lower than the previous week and 8 lbs heavier than year ago at 883 lbs. Canadian fed cattle/cow exports to the US for the week ending July 10th rebounded 53% larger than the previous week to 5,947 head.

Strengthening $1-2/cwt last week, 8-900 lb steers/heifers established new annual price highs. One might expect to see a little bit of a premium for October delivery yearlings but that has not been the case as there is very little price difference between Aug/Sept/Oct delivery prices. For the first half of July, 550 lb steer calves are averaging a $10.25/cwt premium against the US market compared to $28.50/cwt in June. The forward calf market was lightly tested, AB/SK steer calves weighing from 5-600 lbs for fall delivery traded from $203-226/cwt with a weighted average price of $218.41/cwt based at 574 lbs, $10+/cwt lower compared to a couple weeks ago.

Dry conditions continue to bring cows to market, and supply is outpacing demand. Over the past six weeks butcher cow prices have dropped $17/cwt. Over that same time frame Alberta cow prices have moved from a $14-18/cwt premium against the US market to a discount this week. Western Canadian cow slaughter for the week ending July 17th totaled just over 7,000 head; for the middle of July this is the largest slaughter since 2009.


  • Total Canadian slaughter for the week ending July 17th was the largest reported in over ten years at 72,841 head
  • US cutout values are expected to seasonally strengthen heading into August
  • Feedlot inventories are generally current


  • Dry conditions have elevated feed costs
  • Packers could maintain significant fed market leverage through the 3rd quarter
  • A surge in non-fed marketing is anticipated moving forward

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.

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Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
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17-Apr 200 230 -
15-May 202 238 -
12-Jun 206 248 -
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Last Updated on November 24, 2022