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March 6, 2023

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

The Canfax fed steer and heifer price closed the week at around $201/cwt, $3.50/cwt higher than the previous week. Last week dressed sales reported from $335-336.50/cwt FOB lot. Dressed fed cattle prices are within $4/cwt of their all-time highs set back in May 2015. Competition on the cash market was limited with one packer buying most of the cattle. Most of the cattle that traded were scheduled for the second half of March delivery. Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending February 25 totaled just more than 42,000 head, steady with last year.

The Canfax average feeder steer and heifer price was $2-3/cwt higher. Last week the largest price jump was heifer calves, with prices advancing $6-8/cwt. Alberta steers weighing from 5-700 lb traded $1.50/cwt higher. Since the beginning of January, 550 lb steers are up $21/cwt. Steers and heifers weighing more than 900 lb traded $1-2/cwt higher; prices are $46-53/cwt higher than last year. The Western Canadian calf index closed the week at $303.41/cwt, up over $4/cwt compared to the previous week. Alberta auction volumes totaled just more than 26,000 head, 5,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for the week ending February 18 were 1,749 head, 82% lower than last year.

Alberta D2 cows traded $6/cwt higher than the previous week, and live trade was reported from $100‑125/cwt. D3 cows averaged $100.50/cwt. Butcher bulls traded $8.25/cwt higher, averaging $137/cwt, with a trading range from $110-152/cwt. Butcher cows are trading at the highest point in seven months, while bull prices are the highest since October 2015. Canadian butcher bull exports to the U.S. for the week ending February 18 totaled 457 head.


  • Based on the five-year average, Alberta fed basis levels historically strengthen from February to March.
  • U.S. second quarter beef production is forecasted to be down 6.7% compared to last year.
  • According to Statistics Canada’s January 1 hog inventory report, total Canadian hogs are 1.7% lower compared to last year, pointing to tighter pork supplies for 2023.


  • In the U.S. for the end of January, total beef and pork in cold storage are 1% and 19% larger respectively compared to last year.
  • Over the past couple of weeks, U.S. cattle slaughter volumes have been below last year.
  • Over the past eight trading sessions, the May lean hog contract has dropped 4%.

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


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Updated: 12/06/2024


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Boner Cows

Over 500 lbs: 264.41

Canadian Dollar

$73.09   0.37

Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
2-Sep-24 234 326 --
30-Sep-24 232 328 376
28-Oct-24 230 328 372
25-Nov-24 228 324 370
23-Dec-24 232 318 368
20-Jan-25 234 320 --
17-Feb-25 236 324 382
Last Updated on June 7, 2024

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