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.
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