Klassen: Feeder cattle market grinds lower


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News

via Canadian Cattlemen - June 23, 2020


Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were steady to $4 lower on average. Small packages were available and buyers were picking away with subdued interest.


There were some “green” strings of yearlings in Alberta and Saskatchewan which were well bid; however, most cattle were characterized by medium to smaller frames. Some of these yearlings appeared to be rather “hard.” These cattle were fed too much grain relative to the frame size. The cost per pound gain will be higher on these cattle in the finishing lot so buyers discounted accordingly.


Calves on offer were mostly mixed varieties with no outstanding genetics or features to enhance buying interest. Therefore, uniform groups of calves carried a premium.


Major feedlot operations are carrying larger volumes of market-ready supplies. Lower margins are on the horizon so buyers were the defensive. Demand from south of the border has been non-existent. U.S. feeder cattle prices were $3-$5 lower last week despite the steady futures board. Most auction barns in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in summer holiday mode.


In central Alberta, mixed steers with medium to lower flesh levels averaging 975 lbs. were valued at $168. Medium- to larger-frame black Angus-based heifers with medium to lower flesh weighing 880 lbs. were valued at $163. North of Calgary, Simmental-blended steers weighing 830 lbs. were valued at $187. In southern Alberta, medium-frame red heifers with medium to lower flesh averaging just over 800 lbs. were quoted at $174. A small group of Charolais-based greener steers weighing 745 lbs. were valued at $2020 in the Lethbridge area...