Cattle prices show positive signs

Please find attached this week’s Cattle Market Update. Highlights include:

  • Saskatchewan feeder steer prices were mostly improved this week with the exception of the 600-700 lb. steer category which was lower by $1.47 per cwt. The 500-600 pound steers remained even with last week. All other weight categories realized increases, ranging from $3.63 per cwt in the 700-800 pound to $9.44 per cwt in the over 900 pound steers. On average, Saskatchewan feeder steer prices increased by $4.20 per cwt over the week. The price of live steers in Alberta was averaged $121.81 per cwt up from $107.00 per cwt to last week. Rail prices demonstrated an unprecedented spread over the week from $183.50-$238.50 per cwt up from last week.
  • Saskatchewan feeder heifer prices experienced an average increase of $5.35 per cwt for the week. The largest weekly price increase was for 300-400 pound heifers at $12.17 per cwt, while prices increased $1.50 per cwt for 800+ pound heifers compared to the previous week. 
  • Feeder cattle futures trended down this week on the realization of how long it will take to work through the available supplies of finished cattle as procedures are altered at packing plants due to COVID-19. On Friday, the May feeder cattle contract closed at $124.725 per cwt. down $3.175 per cwt from last Friday’s US$127.90 per cwt settlement. The August contract decreased by $5.90 per cwt for the week to settle at US$131.075 per cwt. 
  • Live cattle futures prices were mixed this week, with the nearby contract increasing while the August contract trended down. The June contract increased US$2.35 per cwt relative to last week to close at US$97.00 per cwt on Friday. The August contract decreased $2.37 per cwt compared to the previous week to settle at US$97.83 per cwt.
  • Choice beef cutout prices (600-900 lb.) for the week averaged US$459.04 per cwt, up US$17.51 per cwt from US$441.53 per cwt the previous week, an increase of 3.8 per cent, and $238.81 per cwt higher than the same week a year ago when it was valued at $220.23 per cwt.

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