AB Direct - Steers

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AB Direct - Heifers

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US Trade- Steers

Live: 170.00-171.00 (TX, KN)
Rail: 267.00-272.00 (NE, IA)

US Trade - Heifers

Live: 170.00-171.00 (TX, KN)
Rail: 267.00-272.00 (NE)

Canadian Dollar

October 30, 2023 Current Markets & Forecasts
by Canfax

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of October 30, 2023

The Alberta fed market has now been range bound for 10 straight weeks and prices once again trended sideways. Dressed sales were marked at $390/cwt delivered and thin reported live trade was generally comparable. The weighted average steer price closed the week at $232.53/cwt. Heifer trade was limited and a weekly price trend was not established. The cash basis was estimated at around -$23.24/cwt, but failed to attract U.S. buying interest despite a softer Canadian dollar. YTD Western fed slaughter was down 7% from the same week last year to 1,696,358 head. YTD fed cattle/cow exports were down 1% to 376,196 head.

Over the past four weeks, AB auction volumes (sale ring and electronic) totaled just over 307,000 head, 34,000 head larger than last year. For the month of October, this is the largest auction volume since 2005. The combination of historically larger auction volumes, weakness in the futures market, and poor weather conditions, caused some logistic issues. It was a tough week for the calf and feeder market, with prices $10-15/cwt lower. From an observation perspective, we’re seeing larger discounts than normal on some of the Northern Alberta calves, resulting in wider price ranges for some weight classes this week. Over the past five weeks, 550 lb steer prices have declined $21/cwt, while 550 lb heifer calves have dropped $34/cwt over that same time frame.

Non-fed volumes have seasonally increased, with some auction facilities reporting large volumes of slaughter cows at their weekly sales. Despite larger numbers, D2 cows traded $1.50/cwt higher this week and have gained $5/cwt over the past month. Western Canadian cow slaughter for the week ending October 21st totaled just over 8,000 head; for the second half of October; this is the largest slaughter since 2013. Butcher bulls have struggled relative to cow market. This week, butcher bulls traded steady and are at the lowest point since April.


  • Feed grain prices continue to soften.
  • Fed prices typically bottom last week of October and firm higher towards year end.
  • The fed basis is seasonally weak and should encourage U.S. buying interest.


  • Sluggish fed cattle demand is increasingly giving up hooks to non-fed slaughter cows.
  • Beef at retail is seeing price resistance and middle demand is sluggish.
  • Geo-political unrest is causing commodity volatility.

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About the Author


For over 50 years, Canfax has provided expert analysis of markets and trends in the ever-changing North American beef industry. In this new millennium, cattlemen, feedlot managers, and agri-business professionals will continue to rely on up-to-the-minute information as an essential tool for maximizing profit in today’s beef sector. Whether your operation needs to plan for three hours or three years into the future, Canfax delivers timely, accurate information for 21st Century cattle industry professionals. Those interested in becoming Canfax members can sign up on the website at www.canfax.ca.

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Choice Steers

Live: 170.00-171.00 (TX, KN)
Rail: 267.00-272.00 (NE, IA)

Choice Heifers

Live: 170.00-171.00 (TX, KN)
Rail: 267.00-272.00 (NE)

Boner Cows

Over 500 lbs: 192.31

Canadian Dollar

$73.46   0.15

Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
26-Feb 212 278 -
25-Mar 216 280 -
22-Apr 220 284 -
20-May 224 292 -
17-Jun 230 302 -
15-Jul 224 - -
12-Aug 220 304 -
Last Updated on December 1, 2023

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