Klassen: Feeder cattle divorce from futuresí direction


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

via Canadian Cattlemen - April 26, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged. Higher-quality yearlings and calves were steady to $4 higher in Alberta and Saskatchewan; in Manitoba, yearlings traded $2-$4 lower while calves were $3-$5 higher.


Domestic cattle markets appeared to divorce from feeder and live cattle futures. June live cattle futures finished the week down US$3.50; however, Alberta fed cattle prices were up $1-$2 from last week, with active trade at $154.50. Finishing margins are nearing breakeven, which was supportive for the overall feeder complex. Feeder cattle futures were under pressure with stronger corn and wheat markets; however, calves were surprisingly strong. Supplies of backgrounded cattle and calves are starting to decline at this time of year and this may have contributed to the stronger market. Pasture conditions have improved with recent precipitation in Alberta. Feedlots that were waiting for lower values finally stepped forward and the pent-up demand attracted buying enthusiasm. The crowds were small but fierce.


In central Alberta, Simmental-based steers with lower flesh...