Alberta fed prices have been disappointing relative to the U.S. market and a historically weak fed basis. Last week’s cash market did however establish new annual price highs. Dressed sales were reported at $304/cwt delivered, with cattle being scheduled for mid-December delivery. U.S. packer interest was quiet with no reported trade going south. For the week ending October 29th, Western Canadian steer carcass weights are record high averaging 980 lb. Packers seem reluctant to add additional Saturday shifts and Western Canadian fed slaughter has been below year ago for the past four weeks. In Ontario, dressed sales were reported from $303-306/cwt delivered, steady to $3/cwt higher than the previous week.
Alberta feeder prices dipped $2.25/cwt lower last week on a seasonally large offering and surging feed grain prices. Benchmark 5-600 lb calves traded mixed, with steer prices mostly steady, while similar weight heifers eased $1.50-2.00/cwt lower. Big calves from 6-800 lb traded unevenly lowe, with steers down $2.50-3.50/cwt and good quality heifers saw a modest $1/cwt week over week decline. Manitoba saw good demand from Ontario buyers and was the only province to see 6-800 lb steer calf prices strengthen. Alberta auction volumes were 9% larger than the previous week and likely set an annual peak at just over 100,000 head. YTD auction volumes were 4% lower than year ago at 1,341,401 head. Canadian feeder exports to the U.S. for the week ending October 22nd rebounded significantly larger to 2,382 head, but were 39% lower than the same week last year.
Non-fed cattle eased seasonally lower last week on ample offerings as buyers switch focus to fed middle meats for the holiday season. Slaughter cow prices were generally $3-5/cwt lower than the previous week through auction and dressed bids slipped to around $178-183/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices were the lowest seen since the first week of September, down $2.84/cwt from the previous week to average $124.70/cwt.
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