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Ontario Cull Cattle Price Highest In Almost 4 Months

Some strength in the Ontario cull cow market last week.

The $97.37 average price for the week was the highest since the week ending October 1st of last year.

It was up over 7 dollars from the week before but still over 17 dollars lower than a year ago.

Cull cow marketings were up over 150 on the week but down over 580 from a year ago.

Fed cattle marketings were up 170 on the week, down 53 on the year.

The average fed steer price was up 82 cents on the week, over 14 dollars below a year ago.

Fed heifers were up 16 cents on the week, almost 12 dollars below a year ago.

The Ontario rail grade market had only a few sales this week, with the average price 1.75 lower on the week, 26 dollars lower on the year.

Beef Farmers of Ontario reports over 45 hundred replacements sold last week – more than 13 hundred more than the week before.

That volume was still almost 400 fewer than the same week in 2015.

Calves started the week up to 5 dollars higher, ending the week barely steady, while heavier cattle and yearlings sold steady to barely steady on the week.

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Weekly Cattle Comments – As Supplied by Beef Farmers of Ontario
Toll free: 1-866-370-2333 or Local: (519) 824-0334
Fax: (519) 824-9161 Email: markets@ontariobeef.com

Comments for the week ending January 21, 2016

There were 751 fed steers and heifers sold through auction markets this week down 170 head from last week but 53 more than this time last year. Fed steers traded from $163.73-$180.29 averaging $172.25 up $0.82 from last week and $14.34 below year ago prices. Fed heifers sold from $159.23-$179.38 averaging $172.07 up $0.16 from last week on average and $11.96 below last year at this time. Auction markets reported demand as good with prices steady until mid-week when the market was strong to $1.00-$2.00 higher. Premiums were noted on the fancy types with steers topping the market this week at $207.00 and heifers at $207.50.

The Ontario railgrade market was extremely limited this week in sales as one packer had no bid, followed by another packer half way through the week pulling their bid. Steers started out the previous Friday at $291.00 dressed, Monday and Tuesday there were no sales reported, and a handful on Wednesday were at $287.00-$288.00 dressed. Heifers were the same with the previous Friday at $290.00 dressed, quiet until Wednesday with a couple of deals at $286.00-$287.00. This week’s average was down $1.75 from last week and $26.00 below last year at this time. At time of reporting Friday am, sales are larger in volume as bidding has resumed with prices from $290.00-$292.00 dressed for steers.

There were 2,593 cull cows sold through auction markets this week up 156 head from last week and 585 less than the same time last year. Cull cows ranged from $83.15-$112.59 averaging $97.37 up $7.27 from last week and $17.36 below this time last year. This is the highest weekly average price since the week ending October 1, 2015. Auction markets reported a strong demand with active trading. Prices started out as steady, then up to $5.00-$15.00 higher and ended the week as stronger with prices $5.00-$10.00 cwt higher.

4,593 replacement cattle sold through auction markets this week up 1,361 head from last week but 396 less than the same time last year. Auction markets reported a strong active trade with calves starting this reporting period as selling fully steady to $2.00-$5.00 higher, but by week’s end the market was barely steady. Heavier cattle/yearlings sold steady to barely steady. One special vaccinated sale saw higher prices overall. Actual average prices this week for steers 400-500 lbs averaged $2.25 lower than last week, 500-600 lbs were down $7.49, 600-700 lbs down $9.98, 700-800 lbs down $7.72, 800-900 lb steers were down $4.12, 900-1000 lbs down $0.16 and steers over 1000 lbs down $6.02 from last week. Heifers 300-400 lbs were down $14.85 from last week on average, 400-500 lbs down $5.69, 500-600 lbs down $5.65, 600-700 lbs down $7.75, heifers 700-800 lbs averaged $1.49 higher, 800-900 lbs down $13.44 and heifers over 900 lbs averaged $5.52 lower than last week.

The Quebec Electronic Market this week was reported from $278.00-$283.25 dressed, down $4.84 from last week on average.

Alberta direct trade was light this week with sales reported to be $2.00-$3.00 lower on average. Canfax reported live steers from $177.50-$178.00 and live heifers at $176.05. On the rail steers sold from $293.50-$296.50 with heifers from $293.50-$295.00 dressed.
The US cash cattle trade the week ending January 14th, as reported by the USDA Mandatory Price Report, saw live sales range from $130.00-$134.00 with steers averaging $133.52 and heifers $133.41, up around $1.00 from the previous week on average. Dressed deals ranged from $206.00-$214.00 with steers averaging $209.57 and heifers $210.53 which is steady to $0.50 lower on average. This week the cattle futures have been all over the map with pressure coming from outside markets. The previous Friday cattle futures closed down the limit, CME was closed on Monday, Tuesday futures were slightly stronger and Wednesday sharply lower making pricing decisions very difficult for both packers and sellers. On Wednesday afternoon light scattered trade in Nebraska came in at $202.00 dressed which is down $7.00 from last week, but not enough sold to establish a market. Thursday saw futures sharply higher to up the limit which continued to make pricing difficult for both sides. At time of reporting today, bids are sitting at $128.00 live with no selling interest noted. Asking prices are sitting at $134.00-$135.00 live in the south and $212.00 dressed in the north. Business should surface today after the Cattle on Feed Report is released.

Jamie Gamble, Market Information Coordinator, Beef Farmers of Ontario.