The Western Producer (Canada)
April 1, 2021
This cattle market information is selected from the weekly report from Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. More market information, analysis and statistics are available by becoming a Canfax subscriber by calling 403-275-5110 or at www.canfax.ca.
Back to the grid
Alberta direct cattle sales were limited by a smaller cash offering last week as many feedlots revert out of cash and back to the formula grid market. Total weekly marketings last week were the smallest so far this year.
Light steer trade was marked at $250 per hundredweight delivered, generally steady with the previous week. Heifer sales were reported steady to $5 per cwt. lower than the previous week from $245-$250 per cwt. delivered.
Most of the cattle traded last week were scheduled for the week of April 19. Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending March 20 firmed three percent larger than the previous week at 41,734 head and year to date was 14 percent larger than a year ago at 447,713 head.
Western Canadian steer carcass weights have slipped six pounds lower over the past two weeks to average 902 lb. and were modestly three lb. larger than a year ago. Canadian fed cattle/cow exports to the United States for the week ending March 13 were generally steady with the previous week at 9,458 head.
Ontario saw moderate volume cash trade last week at $240 per cwt. delivered, steady with the lower end dressed trade. Weighted steer average prices closed last week mostly steady, while heifer prices eased $1 per cwt. lower.
Packers have maintained large harvests through the first quarter, but COVID-19-related labour issues continue to be a concern for the industry, and fears of reduced kills persist. Stronger U.S. fed prices supported higher cattle futures last week.
The U.S. fed cattle market moved higher last week after spending the last seven weeks around US$114 per cwt. Live trade in the south was mostly at $115-$116 per cwt., while dressed trade in the north jumped $2-$3 per cwt. to mostly $185 per cwt.
Last week’s slaughter was an estimated 19,000 head larger than the previous week as a packing plant that was down for maintenance came back on stream. However, slaughter last week was about 40,000 head below last year’s 685,000 head, though that was the largest weekly kill since 2011.
Good cow demand ...
U.S. cutout rises ...