Klassen: Fed cattle weakness pressures yearlings


By Jerry Klassen, Alberta Farmer Express

February 5, 2019


Compared to last week, western Canadian yearlings and calves over 700 lbs. traded steady to $3 lower on average. Weakness in the fed cattle market weighed on the heavier replacements. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $155 on a live basis, down $7 from the highs seven days earlier. Barley prices were up $3-$5 per tonne compared to week-ago levels. Keep in mind the Canadian dollar has strengthened about four per cent from its Jan. 3 lows, which also resulted in a defensive tone. All these factors have contributed to the weaker market for heavier replacements.


Medium- to larger-frame, fleshier Simmental mixed steers weighing 925 lbs. traded for $183; medium-frame, medium-flesh mixed heifers averaging 845 lbs. were quoted at $169. In southern Manitoba, Charolais-blended fleshier steers averaging 800 lbs. were valued at $182 while larger-frame mixed heifers weighing 825 lbs. were quoted at $162.


The calf market traded $5 on either side of unchanged, compared to seven days earlier. The polar vortex...