Daily Cattle Report

August 18, 2017

Slaughter Report Last updated August 18, 2017

Feeder Report Last updated August 17, 2017

Alberta Cattle Industry Market Report

Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with prices steady to higher from early Wednesday into Thursday. Dressed sales have been reported from 236.00-240.00 delivered. Initial sales are steady to 1.00 higher than the previous week. Yesterday live sales were reported at 142.25 which is 1.50 higher than last week's weighted average price.    

Yesterday Live Rail
Steers No trade No trade
Heifers No trade No trade

In the cow and bull trade in Southern Alberta Thursday:

D1, D2 Cows D3 Cows Bulls
90.00-100.00 82.00-89.00 110.00-118.00

US Trade

In the US, around 10,000 head of cattle traded between Iowa and Nebraska yesterday with dressed sales a couple dollars lower than prices seen on Tuesday and Wednesday and are 10.00 lower than the previous week. Light trade was reported in Texas and Kansas with live sales ranging from 109.00-110.00. Prices are 5.00-6.00 lower than last week. Looking at the beef market. Choice and Select cutout values closed 1.00-2.00 lower yesterday. Choice cutout values are now trading at the lowest levels seen since February.

Yesterday Live Rail
Choice Steers 109.00-110.00 (South) 173.00-176.00 (North)
Choice Heifers 109.00-110.00 (South) 173.00-176.00 (North)

National slaughter cows traded:

Boner Cows Rail Avg
Over 500 lbs 140.86

Canadian Dollar

The nearby Canadian dollar at 9:00 this morning was trading at 79.53, up 0.44

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

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

August October December
106.05, -1.07 105.00, -1.22 107.07, -1.20

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 Central Alberta on Wednesday

  Steers Heifers
900+ 170.00-178.00 159.00-162.00
800-900 178.00-191.00 162.00-170.00
700-800 185.00-205.00 171.00-182.00
600-700 n/a 177.00-187.00
500-600 n/a n/a
400-500 n/a n/a
300-400 n/a n/a
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 August 14, 2017

Last week’s early fed trade started out at $236.00 delivered, generally $3.00-5.00/cwt lower than the previous week.  Prices did improve to $238.00-239.00 delivered, helping shore up weighted average prices, and steers last week were a modest $1.22/cwt lower.  The Alberta cash to futures basis strengthened last week to +2.87.  Western Canadian fed slaughter for the week ending August 5th slipped 17% lower than the previous week and YTD was 9% larger totaling 1,054,353 head.  Canadian fed cattle exports to the US for the week ending July 29th were 16% smaller than the previous week and YTD are 7% larger at 183,151 head.

There has always been a close correlation between fed prices and calf/feeder cattle prices.  When fed cattle prices experience a larger than average decline it is not out of the question to see a larger than average decline in the calf market as well.  This year fed cattle prices have declined over 25%.  Over the past twenty years there have only been four other years where fed prices experienced a 25% or larger decline, that being in 2016, 2009, 2007 and 2004.  Looking at those four years, the average decline from first half highs to second half lows on 550 lb calf prices stands at 27%.  So far this year 550 lb calves have dropped 17%, and based on these analog years, this would suggest there still is potentially more downside risk to the calf market. 

It is very seasonal to see light non-fed volume this time of year, but it could also be price related as slaughter cows are trading at the lowest levels since the beginning of March. From their highs in late May, D1, D2 cow prices have eased 12%.  Over the past ten years (excluding 2014) the average decline from spring high to second half lows stands at 26%.  Based on the $111.75 high and using an historical decline of 26% this would suggest D1, D2 cow have potential risk of moving back to the low $80’s. 


  • Feedlot supplies are generally current and packer harvests have been large
  • August formula cattle are being pulled forward
  • Basis levels remain historically strong


  • Cattle futures long position has been aggressively liquidating
  • North American market ready supplies moving forward will be ample
  • The 5 year historic price trend is lower from now until the end of September

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

  • © 2005 CANFAX a Division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any means whatsoever, without permission from CANFAX, the author of the publication and the owner of the copyright. For further information contact CANFAX at (403) 275-5110.
  • For over 40 years, Canfax has provided expert analysis of markets and trends in the ever changing North American beef industry. In this new millennium, cattlemen, feedlot managers, and agri-business professionals will continue to rely on up-to-the-minute information as an essential tool for maximizing profit in today’s beef sector. Whether your operation needs to plan for three hours or three years into the future, Canfax delivers timely, accurate information for 21st Century cattle industry professionals.
  • Those interested in becoming Canfax members can sign up on the website at www.canfax.ca