Fed prices established new annual highs last week and are now trading at the highest point in 14 months. Competition was noted from all three Western Canadian packers. Dressed sales were reported from mostly $262-267/cwt delivered, and cattle were being scheduled for the weeks of May 10th and 17th delivery. Over the past couple of weeks a few fed cattle from Saskatchewan and Manitoba traded with prices comparable to Alberta and will be coming west for slaughter. Alberta fed prices have returned to a significant premium over the US market.
Calves traded mixed last week with 400-600 lb steers firming modestly higher while similar weight heifers eased $1-2/cwt lower. Good demand for 500-600 lb steer calves established a new annual high. Middle weight steers up to 800 lbs saw a moderate price retraction and heifers were around $2-3/cwt softer. Yearlings over 900 lbs appear to have bottomed and are poised to build higher toward late summer. Total auction volumes were 19% lower than the previous week at 21,010 head. YTD auction volumes were 26% larger at 448,370 head. Canadian feeder exports to the US for the week ending April 17th were 30% larger than the previous week and YTD total 23,237 head.
Non-fed prices rallied to new annual highs last week with D2 slaughter cow prices up $1.80/cwt, the highest price for this week since 2017. Butcher bull prices firmed $1.25/cwt to a new annual high of $115.75/cwt. Ontario slaughter cow prices last week were reported at a $9-10/cwt discount to Alberta. Western Canadian non-fed slaughter for the week ending April 24th was 5% larger than the previous week at 5,864 head and YTD was down 15% to 112,253 head.
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Photo: Canada Beef Inc.