Klassen: Feeder cattle market drawing attention

 

By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News

via Canadian Cattlemen - July 28, 2020

 

Compared to last week, Western Canadian yearling prices were $2 to $4 higher while calf markets traded $2 to $4 on either side of unchanged. U.S. prices were also up $2 to $4 which lent support to Canadian domestic values. Volumes remain thin across the prairies; many producers are busy with silage operations and pasture conditions are in excellent condition so selling interest is non-existent. However, the lack of selling gives prices breathing room to move higher.  The yearling market tends to experience a seasonal bounce in late July or early August and this year is no exception. The firmer tone appeared to garner attention. Order buyers were fielding many calls last week with feedlot operators strategizing on their purchase program. The October feeder cattle futures are trading at the highest levels since late-February. Ideas that feeder cattle will trade below year-ago levels have evaporated, especially with the year-over-year decline in the U.S. calf crop.  The negative margins in the feedlot sector on unhedged cattle do not appear to be influencing feeder values.

 

In Central Alberta, medium to larger frame black mixed steers with lower flesh levels weighing just over 950 pounds were quoted at $177 while similar quality 840-pound steers were valued at $192. Medium frame red heifers averaging 825 pounds were reported at $170 in East Central Alberta.  Saskatchewan yearlings traded $3 to $5 below average prices in Alberta while there were no quotes in Manitoba.  In Southern Alberta, a small group of mixed steers weighing 830 pounds were reported at $193.

 

Demand for calves has been strong all spring and aggressive buying interest continues characterize the market...

 

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