Fed cattle prices have now strengthened for five weeks in a row. Most dressed sales last week were reported from $264.00-265.50/cwt delivered and cattle that traded were being scheduled anywhere from the second half of September to early October delivery. After trading at a discount to the U.S. market for the past nine weeks, Alberta fed prices have moved back to a very slight premium against the U.S. market. In Ontario, dressed sales were reported at $270/cwt delivered, and Ontario had the highest priced market in North America.
With the Monday Labor Day holiday, last week’s feeder market was sluggish and the market tone was slightly softer. Good demand continued for 4-500 lb calves last week and prices were unevenly steady. Calves from 5-700 lb generally saw prices ease $1.00-1.50/cwt lower than the previous week on a limited offering, and large steers over 700 lb traded $1.50-3.00/cwt lower. Load lots of Alberta and Saskatchewan 5-600 lb steer calves for October delivery saw a modest premium to spot delivery last week. YTD auction volumes continue larger than year ago at 870,543 head. Feeder exports to the U.S. for the week ending August 28th were 47% lower than the previous week but were 152% larger than year ago at 3,184 head.
Modest non-fed offerings were reported for this short four-day market week and good demand was observed for immediate delivery. D2 cows strengthened $1.29/cwt last week following a 12-week price decline from annual highs to $77.69/cwt. D3 prices firmed $1.50/cwt higher. Dressed cow bids were generally steady with the previous week at around $150-155/cwt delivered. Butcher bulls traded fully steady this week averaging $104.96/cwt.
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