Daily Cattle Report

February 23, 2018

Slaughter Report Last updated February 23, 2018

Feeder Report Last updated February 23, 2018

Alberta Cattle Industry Market Report

Alberta direct cattle sales Thursday saw light trade develop with dressed sales marked at 277.00 delivered. Initial sales are 1.00 higher than the previous week. Tentatively cash to futures basis levels did weaken this week but remain stronger than the five-year historical average. Some producers were looking for more money than what was being offered, the way things are looking producers will likely carry cattle into next week.

Yesterday Live Rail
Steers No trade No trade
Heifers No trade 277.00 del

In the cow and bull trade in Southern Alberta on Thursday:

D1, D2 Cows D3 Cows Bulls
88.00-94.00 77.00-83.00 95.00-110.00

US Trade

In the US, 6,000 head of cattle traded between Iowa and Nebraska yesterday with dressed sales steady with prices seen on Wednesday and are steady to 1.00 lower than the previous week. Live sales in Texas and Kansas were reported at 128.00, sales are 2.00 lower than last week. Business has likely wrapped up in the southern feeding states while light clean up trade is still possible in the north. USDA is scheduled to release its February 1st cattle on feed report this afternoon. Pre-report estimates are indicating January placement volumes to be even with last year while fed cattle marketings are forecasted to be up 6%.

Yesterday Live Rail
Choice Steers 128.00 204.00-205.00
Choice Heifers 128.00 204.00-205.00

National slaughter cows traded:

Boner Cows Rail Avg
Over 500 lbs 121.79

Canadian Dollar

The nearby Canadian dollar at 8:30 this morning was trading at 78.86, down 0.20

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, in midsession trade, live cattle futures are as follows:

February April June
128.17, -0.17 125.22, -0.15 116.75, -0.05

Replacement Trade

Information provided on this report is supplied by various auction markets throughout Alberta. In reference to the following prices, producers are reminded to check with individual markets on current prices and trends. Prices quoted include top quality cattle only.

Feeder and stocker prices in Northern Alberta on Thursday

  Steers Heifers
900+ --- ---
800-900 --- 161.00-170.00
700-800 183.00-196.00 170.00-177.00
600-700 203.00-221.00 178.00-195.00
500-600 230.00-243.00 194.00-206.00
400-500 248.00-251.00 210.00-221.00
300-400 249.00-250.00 214.00-218.00
Bred Cows Bred Heifers Cow/Calf Pairs
n/a n/a n/a

All information sourced from Statistics Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Canfax.

Canfax Weekly Article

Report for the week of February 19, 2018

Alberta direct cattle sales were seasonally light again last week, and average prices firmed $1.00/cwt higher than the previous week. A handful of live trade was reported $3.00/cwt higher than the pervious week and dressed sales of $276.00 delivered were fully steady. Some of last week’s fed offering was carried over and soft cattle could easily remain on feed three to four more weeks. Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending February 10th eased 6% lower than the previous week and YTD western slaughter was 9% larger totaling 173,667 head. Canadian fed cattle exports to the US for the week ending February 3rd totaled 4,373 and YTD are 7% smaller at 22,154 head.

From their lows in late January, 550 lb steer calves have rallied 5.5% and are now trading at the highest point since November. Last week, the soft spot in the market seemed to be heavy weight heifers. For the first two weeks of February, 900 lb+ heifers traded just over $14.00 back of their steer mates, right in line with the three-year average for the month of February. Western Canadian feeder prices are sitting at roughly a $3.00 premium to the US market. The western Canadian feeder index was reported at $187.70 at 789 lbs.

Butcher cow prices traded over $1.00 higher through commercial auction facilities and rail bids appeared to be a couple dollars stronger as well. Non-fed slaughter volumes have likely peaked for the first half of the year. With volumes seasonally tightening, it would not be out of the question to think butcher cow prices have likely bottomed and should trend higher into the spring. The Canadian/US cow price spread has narrowed from the start of the year going from $22.00 premium to more recently an $11.00 premium. Canadian trim prices are trading 2% higher than last year.  


  • Leverage has shifted to the cattle feeder
  • North American fed supplies are tight
  • Spring beef demand historically strengthens towards March


  • The cash basis has steadily softened since Jan 1st
  • Chain speed has been reduced
  • Canadian dollar has strengthened on a weak American greenback

For more detailed information on markets this week please visit the Canfax website www.canfax.ca.

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