Klassen: Optimistic fed cattle outlook supports feeder market


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

via Canadian Cattlemen - September 7, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $2-$4 higher. Strong demand was noted on yearlings, which spilt over into the lighter weight categories. Major feedlot operators in Alberta set the price structure, with aggressive orders flowing across the Prairies.


Some operators have been holding back on purchases due to higher prices; however, this week they decided to step forward and secure ownership. Lethbridge operations paid a premium on local cattle. For example, a larger group of tan steers weighing 875 lbs. dropped the gavel at $206. The quality of yearlings coming straight off grass in the western half of Alberta is better than for replacement cattle from drought-stricken Saskatchewan and Manitoba.


Calf markets were firm, with premiums noted on larger groups of one-cut cattle. Demand from backgrounding operations was noted this week with the grain harvest moving into its final stages in southern Alberta. Over the past 30 days, southern Saskatchewan and most of Manitoba have received 200 per cent of normal precipitation. Some ranches have a second chance at forage and pastures have improved considerably. Bred heifers are a strong buy at current levels.


In the Lethbridge area, Charolais-based steers weighing 920 lbs. were quoted at $199 and Angus-blended heifers averaging 850 lbs. were valued at $188. These genetic premium cattle were straight off grass and...