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July 31, 2023 Current Markets & Forecasts
by Canfax

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of July 31, 2023

From their highs in late June, fed cattle prices have declined $12/cwt. The leverage shift from cattle feeder to packer is seasonally occurring, reflected in softer prices and weaker basis levels. That said, fed prices for July will average around $240/cwt, the second-highest monthly price on record. Dressed sales were reported at mostly $395/cwt delivered. Cattle that traded were being scheduled for the second half of August delivery. For the week ending July 22, Canadian fed slaughter totaled just more than 52,000 head, 11% lower than last year. Fed slaughter volumes have been below last year in 21 out of the past 23 weeks. Over that same time period, Canadian fed beef production is down 11% compared to last year.

Alberta feeder prices strengthened last week on a seasonally early offering of larger quality lots. Auction volumes varied across the Prairies relative to pasture/moisture conditions, and significantly more feeders were marketed in B.C., compared with the previous week. As a result, B.C. feeder prices moved significantly higher and traded generally comparable with Alberta. Saskatchewan and Manitoba sale volumes were very light last week, and most feeder price trends were not established. In the East, Ontario feeder trade was limited, and lackluster lot size and quality restricted price upside. Alberta weekly auction volumes were 158% larger than the previous week and were a whopping 609% larger than the same week last year. Although feeders coming in off grass early accounted for some of this week’s huge feeder offering, it must be noted that a significant portion of trade was electronic and scheduled for deferred August/September delivery.

D2 cows slipped $1.64/cwt lower than the previous week to average $152.21/cwt, and D3 prices were $1.27/cwt lower, averaging $137.64/cwt. Dressed cow bids trended mostly steady from $295-300/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices dipped $2.39/cwt lower than the previous week, averaging $160.50/cwt. Western Canadian non-fed slaughter for the week ending July 22 was 8% lower than the previous week at 6,526 head, and year-to-date was 7% larger, totaling 213,525 head. Increased slaughter cow offerings are anticipated moving forward.


  • U.S. cutouts are showing stability, with prices firming modestly.
  • 90% lean trim continues to add to cutout value.
  • Total U.S. beef in cold storage at the end of June was 20.3% lower than a year ago.


  • The USDA July 1 Cattle on Feed report indicates that the U.S. beef herd continues to be liquidated.
  • Market-ready supplies typically peak during the second half of August.
  • Fed market leverage is shifting towards the packer.

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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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Cattle Report

Updated: 23/02/2024


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Choice Steers

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Choice Heifers

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Boner Cows

Over 500 lbs: 212.04

Canadian Dollar

$74.24   0.07

Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
13-May-2024 230 330 --
10-June-2024 238 340 --
8-July-2024 234 -- --
5-August-2024 232 340 --
2-September-2024 230 346 --
30-September-2024 230 348 388
28-October-2024 228 348 388
Last Updated on February 16, 2024

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