It was another week of steady prices for the western Canadian market, but prices lost ground to the U.S. market. Alberta fed prices are now estimated at around a $10.50/cwt discount to the Nebraska market and basis levels are the weakest in one year. With barley prices setting new annual highs and feedlot space tight across the western prairies, some producers were motivated to get their cattle priced to secure a hook spot. Light to moderate dressed trade last week ranged from $261-263/cwt delivered. Cattle traded last week were being scheduled for the week of December 13th delivery. U.S. packer interest was noted but no cattle ended up going South.
Volatile feed grain prices/supplies and limited feedlot bunk availability softened feeder demand last week and prices eased $2-3/cwt lower. Light steer calves from 4-600 lb traded $4.50/cwt lower than the previous week and mid-weight 5-600 lb steer calves traded at the lowest level since the first quarter of 2017. Large feeders over 800 lb saw continued good demand and prices were generally steady to $2/cwt lower. Weekly auction volumes were 40% smaller than the previous week at 47,680 head and were 15% lower than year ago. YTD auction volumes were 25% larger totaling 1,527,878 head. Feeder exports to the U.S. for the week ending November 6th surged 36% larger than the previous week to 4,879 head and were 54% larger than the same week last year.
Non-fed prices rebounded higher last week on seasonally tighter supplies. Slaughter cow prices realigned from historic lows seen the previous week and were around $4/cwt higher at auction. D2 and D3 cows averaged $64.67/cwt and $56.07/cwt respectively. Dressed cow bids firmed $1/cwt, ranging from $123-128/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices rallied $3/cwt higher last week averaging $95.95/cwt.
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