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Cattle Markets Show Some Positive Signs

Saskatchewan feeder steer and heifer prices moved higher across all weight categories last week.
 
Provincial Cattle Specialist Natasha Wilkie says inventory probably has a lot to do with it.
 
"Deliveries were lower again in Saskatchewan compared to the year previous and also throughout the western provinces. And also you know when you look to the states which drives quite a bit of our market some of the auction markets down there closed last week due to the cold weather and the havoc it caused down there. The other thing that might be playing a little bit, the USDA released their cattle on feed report last Friday, and it turned out quite bearish with cattle on feed and placements higher than a year ago levels while marketings were down significantly."
 
According to Saskatchewan's Weekly Cattle Marketing Report...
 
Feeder steer prices were mainly higher across the weight categories when compared to prices reported the previous week. The largest price increase was seen in the 400-500lb weight category, increasing $8.53 per cwt to end the week at an average price of $253.38 per cwt. The only decrease week-over-week was seen in the 900+lb weight category which declined by $0.67 per cwt to end the week at an average price of $173.00 per cwt. The 800-900lb weight category ended the week at an average price of $181.80 per cwt. The weekly average steer price, across the reported weight categories, was $217.15 per cwt in Saskatchewan.
 
Saskatchewan feeder heifer prices were higher across all the reported weight categories when compared to prices the previous week. The largest price increase was seen in the 500-600lb weight category, increasing $9.00 per cwt to end the week at an average price of $199.00 per cwt. The smallest increase was seen in the 400-500lb weight category, with prices increasing by $1.60 per cwt to end the week at an average price of $209.10 per cwt. The 700-800lb weight category ended the week at an average price of $172.00 per cwt. The weekly average heifer price across the reported weight categories was $191.44 per cwt in Saskatchewan.
 
Feeder steer and heifer prices saw a positive increase last week as did slaughter cows.
 
Wilkie says if you have cull cows to sell, you're gonna be happy with this recent upswing in prices.
 
"With a price of D2 slaughter cows saw a rather large price increase of $5.80 per hundred weight to average $81.40 per hundred weight. While the price of D3 slaughter cows, they saw a similar increase as well with prices going up $4.62 per hundred weight from the previous week to average $69.75 per hundred weight."
 
She notes rail prices for Alberta fed steers remained steady to higher ranging from $252 per hundred weight to $255.50, while rail prices for Alberta D2-D3 cows ranged from $160 to $165 per hundred weight and those prices are up $10 per hundred weight on either end from last week.
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