The seasonal shift of leverage from the packer to the cattle feeder has not materialized, as packers continue to have the upper hand on the market. Packers were also limiting the amount of cattle they were buying from each producer. Dressed sales ranged from $304-305/cwt, $1-4/cwt higher than the previous week. Cattle were being booked for the week of January 2nd and 9th delivery. Since the beginning of July, Canadian fed slaughter volumes are 49,000 head lower compared to last year. Based on USDA weekly fed cattle import data, U.S. imports of Canadian fed cattle from July to present are 5,000 head larger than last year. To a certain degree, lower marketing rates for the second half of the year has under pined the market.
Benchmark 5-600 lb calves traded steady to stronger, with prices comparable in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Manitoba once again traded at a significant premium to the other prairie provinces and 550 weights were $12/cwt stronger than Ontario. The price tone for steers over 600 lb was $1.25/cwt lower, while heifers ranged over $3/cwt either side of steady. Alberta auction volumes were 32% larger than the previous week and were 57% larger than a year ago. Canadian feeder exports to the U.S. for the week ending November 5th surged 61% larger to 4,360 head and were 11% lower than the same week last year. YTD feeder exports were 60% larger than year ago, totaling 180,437 head.
Non-fed prices trended steady to softer on ample offerings. Slaughter cows traded mixed with D2’s steady and D3’s slipped over $1/cwt lower. Dressed cow bids were generally steady from $175-180/cwt delivered. For the week ending November 12th, Alberta D2 cows traded at almost a $10/cwt discount to US Utility. Butcher bull prices were the lowest since April, down $2.40/cwt from last week to $120.10/cwt. Western Canadian non-fed slaughter for the week ending November 12th was reported 26% larger than the previous week at 8,743 head.
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