Klassen: Feeder market continues consolidation

U.S. corn northbound into Prairies


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

via Canadian Cattlemen - October 5, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were relatively unchanged while calf markets were down $2-$3 on average. Feedlot inventories in Alberta and Saskatchewan are 30 per cent above the five-year average; therefore, demand is lacking moving into the main marketing period for calves. Finishing feedlots have sufficient ownership and being fairly finicky on replacement quality. There are fleshier cattle coming on stream at this time of year and punishing discounts were noted.


Alberta feedlots are harvesting corn silage so processing hands are limited. This has contributed to the softer tone in certain pockets. Backgrounders are starting to step forward now that grain harvest is in the final stages. Silage and forage are priced at historical highs but this group of feeders is also a tenacious bunch.


U.S. buying interest was rather quiet last week with softer feeder cattle futures. Calves in the Midwest are down US$5-$8 from 20 days earlier. Ontario feedlots are also processing corn silage but they still have significant open demand; we’ll see good movement east in November because of lower feed grain values. The scarcity principle is projected to come into play next February so major operations are placing featherlight bawlers in custom lot. These buyers don’t want to run the market up but there is firm demand at current levels for featherlight bawlers.


South of Edmonton, mixed steers...