Klassen: Feeder market digests USDA acreage report


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

via Canadian Cattlemen - April 5, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets were relatively unchanged. Lower flesh yearlings appeared to trade $2-$3 higher in certain pockets of Alberta but replacements carrying excessive butter experienced severe discounts of $6 to as much as $10 in some cases.


October and December live cattle futures made fresh contract highs, which underpinned nearby cash values. April 2022 futures finished the week just under $131, which rejuvenated buying interest on 5- and 6-weight cattle.


The buying crowd is rather small these days, with major operators setting the tone. Many cattle feeders are absent given the strong feed grain prices and prolonged period of negative margins. Weíve gone through 12 to 18 months of red ink in the finishing sector and itís starting to show on feeder cattle demand. Much of Saskatchewan received much-needed precipitation over the past week but Alberta remains on the drier side. Grazing season is right around the corner. Demand for grassers isnít surfacing this spring, unless cattle are placed in a backgrounding lot. Yearlings are going to be red hot this fall and finishing feedlots are securing numbers because there will be profitability next winter.


Early in the week, there was a larger group of mixed steers weighing just under 950 lbs. that dropped the gavel at $174...