Ontario Fed Cattle Volumes And Prices Down

Fed cattle volumes were down last week in Ontario while replacement cattle volumes were up.

Fed steer and heifer average prices were down about a dollar and a half from the previous week, about 45 dollars lower than a year ago.

Good quality short keeps and yearlings sold steady by the end of the week with medium quality calves down 5 to 10 dollars.

Beef Farmers of Ontario reports last week’s cull cow marketings were steady to both the week before and a year ago.

The average cull cow price was down over 3 dollars on the week, almost 34 dollars below a year ago.

And the Ontario railgrade market posted average prices almost 10 dollars below the week before and more than 83 dollars lower than a year ago.

Kevin Grier’s Canadian Boxed Beef Report says orders are picking up in frequency and volume, but only three of the major grocers featured beef on their front page last 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 Thursday, July 28, 2016

There were 367 fed steers and heifers sold through Ontario auction markets this week down 128 head from last week, and 16 less than last year at this time. Fed steers sold from $138.99-$154.27 with a weekly weighted average price of $146.24, down $1.49 from last week and $44.02 below last year at this time. Fed heifers ranged from $129.80-$148.66 averaging $141.44 down $1.58 from last week and $45.56 lower than this time last year. Auction market reports started out with demand as selective at easier prices, to about steady by mid-week and steady by week’s end. The fancy types were bringing premium prices.

The Ontario railgrade market started out the previous Friday with no orders or bids reported. On Monday all were back at the table but prices had declined to $238.00-$250.00 dressed for steers and $237.00-$249.00 for heifers. These sales were being delivered anywhere from this week to mid-August, which is why the spread is so wide. Sales reported were very limited this week also. Prices have held steady from Monday through to Thursday of this week. The average prices are $9.75 below last week and $83.50 lower than last year at this time. On a positive note, today (Friday) prices are coming in at $243.00-$250.00 dressed for steers.

The Canadian Boxed Beef Report by Kevin Grier noted this week: “Distributors are shopping around more and showing more interest in getting product around them. Orders are picking up in frequency and volume. Customer traffic remains slow but overall purchases are less hit and miss. Beef features by retailers this week were poor in Ontario with only three of the major grocers featuring beef on their front page.”

1,956 cull cows sold through auction markets this week which is fully steady to last week and last year at this time. Cull cows sold from $70.01-$96.25 averaging $82.23 down $3.26 from last week and $33.77 below year ago prices. Trade this week declined as the week progressed with auction market reports starting out steady to fully steady, to under pressure at easier prices and ended the week under pressure at softer prices, down at least $1.00-$4.00 cwt.

There were 2,755 stocker and feeder cattle sold through auction markets this week, up 141 head from last week and 121 more than last year at this time. Auction markets reported business early in this trading period, as active with prices steady to brisk and heavier cattle up $1.00-$2.00 cwt. As the week progressed the market was under pressure with prices $2.00-$5.00 lower. By week’s end, good quality short keeps/yearlings were steady but medium quality calves were down $5.00-$10.00. Actual average prices for this week saw steers 400-500 lbs averaging $2.73 higher than last week, steers 500-600 lbs down $6.95, 600-700 lbs down $18.56, 700-800 lbs down $10.80, 800-900 lbs up $4.72, 900-1000 lbs down $3.42 and steers over 1000 lbs averaged $6.59 below last week. Heifers 300-400 lbs averaged $1.39 higher than last week, heifers 400-500 lbs were down $14.22, 500-600 lbs down $10.25, 600-700 lbs down $8.54, 700-800 lbs down $10.61, 800-900 lbs down $8.23 and heifers over 900 lbs averaged $5.11 below last week’s weighted average.

The Quebec Electronic Market for this week ranged from $242.00-$244.75 dressed, down $4.54 from last week on average.

Alberta direct trade, the week ending July 22nd, continued under pressure. Canfax reported live steers at $145.00, down $1.53 from the previous week, while dressed steers sold from $238.50-$243.50, down $5.29. Heifers sold from $238.50-$243.50 dressed, down $5.08 on average, with delivery in two to three weeks on all sales. This week Canfax reported the largest show list volume so far this year. Trade was light with stronger prices with Canfax reporting dressed sales for steers from $243.00-$250.50, averaging $246.07 up $4.54 from last week on average. Canfax noted that all sales this week went to local packers with delivery scheduled for the middle of August.

The US cash trade for the week ending July 22nd, declined as the week progressed with sellers finally digging in their heels and refusing lower bids on Friday. Sales last week reported by the USDA Mandatory Price report saw live sales ranging from $113.00-$116.00 with steers averaging $114.64 down $2.37 from the previous week, while heifers averaged $114.78 down $2.21. On the rail steers and heifers sold from $180.00-$188.00 for the week, with steers averaging $184.75 down $2.42 from the week before, while heifers averaged $184.45 down $2.65. At time of reporting, the market for this week has been at a standstill. Cattle futures rallied the beginning of the week resulting in both packers and sellers sitting back and waiting. Some bids surfaced on Thursday at $113.00-$114.00 live in the south and $117.00 live and $183.00-$186.00 dressed in the north, but no sales developed. At time of reporting Friday noon, asking prices are reported to be firm at $118.00-$120.00 live in the south and $190.00 plus dressed in the north. A few bids have surfaced again today at $114.00 live in the south and $183.00-$185.00 dressed in the north, which is about steady to last week’s trade. Active trading should develop at any time.

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