Light dressed trade saw prices steady to $2/cwt lower than thin trade seen the previous week from $388-390/cwt delivered. Light live trade was comparable from $230-231.25/cwt. Weighted average steer prices trended steady, with scant trade seen previously closing the week at $231.76/cwt. Scattered light heifer trade was not repeatable, and a weekly price trend was not established. Kill schedules are reported for the second half of September to early October. Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending August 26 eased 3% lower than the previous week, and YTD Western fed slaughter was down 7% compared with the same week last year. Year-to-date fed cattle/cow exports were down 6%, totaling 289,992 head.
Over the past month, light calves from 3-400 lb saw prices advancing $40-50/cwt. The 850-lb steer to heifer price spread was more than $34/cwt last week, the largest on record. Looking at the calf market throughout the past three years, the average decline for a 6-weight steer from October to November stands at 3%. Based off electronic sales in August, Western Canadian 6-699 lb steers for October delivery averaged $366.17/cwt, while November delivery prices were at $363.75/cwt. Based on electronic sales over the past two months, the market is pricing in a 1% decline from October to November. AB/SK 750-775 lb pre-conditioned steers that have been weaned for 45+ days recently traded in the low $340/cwt for December delivery. Prices are right in line with the spot market.
Alberta and Ontario cow prices have been moving in opposite directions as of late. Alberta cow prices have declined $2.50/cwt over the past couple of weeks, while Ontario cow prices have advanced nearly $8/cwt and are currently $4/cwt shy of their highs set back in early June. The non-fed market is fighting an uphill battle, as cow prices have declined from August to September in 14 out of the past 15 years. Over those 14 years, the average month-over-month decline stands at 6% and would put prices on track to average in the $140/cwt area in September. Canadian bull export volumes to the U.S. totaled 1,127 head, the largest export volume seen this year.