Klassen: Feeder market continues downward slide

Prairies' snowstorm leads to risk discount


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

Canadian Cattlemen - November 16, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to $2 lower; calves traded $2-$4 below week-ago levels.


Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced their first major snowstorm of the season last week. The market tends to incorporate a risk discount for adverse weather as buyers factor in higher death loss. Also, major feedlot operators believe barley will be difficult to find over the winter. Imported corn prices continue to trend higher. Margins in deferred months look like buyers will barely cover feed grain costs.


The quality of yearlings was quite variable and overall supplies of 850-plus-lb. cattle are limited at this time of year; therefore, larger-frame lower-flesh 900-pounders held value. Fleshier yearlings were discounted as much as $6 off average prices. Calves were the feature last week with many pre-sort sales held across the Prairies. Major Alberta operations focused on local cattle and scale-down orders were evident. U.S. buying interest surfaced on favourable genetics in the eastern Prairie regions. Ontario buyers were picking away at Limo-based calves and quality Charolais yearlings. Some of these packages held value from last week if the right crowd was present in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The Alberta markets were soft, even in Lethbridge. There is little demand because feedlots are carrying sufficient numbers for the time being.


In central Alberta, medium- to larger-frame Angus-blended steers with medium butter levels coming off light grain ration weighing...