The fed price tone softened as the week progressed and dressed sales were reported from $260-265/cwt delivered last week. A few producers opted out and carried cattle over into this week. Cattle that traded were scheduled for the end of November delivery. Alberta fed cash to futures basis against the nearby October live cattle contract was +$0.54/cwt. Since most of the cattle that traded would not be picked up until late November, cash to futures basis levels against the December LC contract was around -$5.15/cwt.
Keen interest was observed for light steer calves less than 400 lb to background for the grass market and prices firmed $2.25/cwt higher. Lackluster feeding margins for 500-800 lb calves pressured prices $2-5/cwt lower than the previous week. In contrast, 800-900 lb feeders to place against the early spring fed market saw a modest $1.65/cwt decline. Weekly auction volumes surged 82% larger than year ago and YTD were 34% larger totaling 1,223,572 head. Feeder exports to the U.S. for the week ending October 9th were 22% smaller than the previous week at 3,811 head.
Non-fed supplies outpaced demand last week and prices were sharply lower. D2 cows traded almost $6/cwt lower than the previous week to a new annual low of $69.92/cwt and D3 cows were $6.75/cwt lower averaging $59.36/cwt. Dressed cow bids deteriorated as the week progressed ranging from $128-133/cwt delivered. Butcher bull prices slid over $5/cwt lower to average $96.50/cwt. Slaughter cow prices typically bottom in November and rebound towards spring.
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