Latest articles

Second-quarter beef production to affect market

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Tighter U.S. supplies will continue until April, then the tide will turn

Alberta fed cattle prices were trading in the range of $136 to $139 during the war half of September, while in mid- to late October Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $143 to $145. Although fed cattle prices have ratcheted higher, yearling and calf markets are relatively unchanged. In central Alberta, […] Read more

Calf prices below year-ago levels

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Seek price protection if you're backgrounding calves this winter

Western Canadian feedlot margins have hovered in negative territory throughout the summer and early fall. In late September, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle on a dressed basis in the range of $231 to $232; live bids were quoted from $136 to $139. Recent prices are about $15 to $20 below break-even pen closeout values. […] Read more

Beef demand heads into the slow months

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Be prepared, as the high yearling market only has one way to go

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $140 to $143 during the first half of September. The market has come under pressure due to the year over year increase in market-ready feed supplies. In addition to the higher beef production, beef demand is moving through a seasonal low. During September and October […] Read more

Cattle market fundamentals in a transition stage

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: The market is telling producers to sell yearlings now

Alberta fed cattle prices hovered in the range of $145 to $148 throughout July. Steady domestic and export demand sustained the market at the current levels despite the burdensome supply. In the previous issue, our market outlook for fed cattle was for stable prices during the summer. We also mentioned that the market would make a seasonal […] Read more

Volatile ride ahead for cattle complex

Market Update: Late October may be the best window to sell calves

The Alberta fed cattle market has been trending lower over the past two months as the market functions to encourage demand. In the previous issue, we explained that the beef market is characterized by an inelastic demand curve. Therefore, a small change in supplies can have a large influence on the price. Monthly beef production increased from March through June. […] Read more

Higher beef production weighs on cattle complex

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Consumers will have to eat more beef to compensate

In my previous article, we mentioned that the cattle market was in a transition phase. Market-ready supplies of fed cattle during April were relatively tight while beef demand was moving through a seasonal high. The fed and feeder cattle markets softened during May as beef production grew. North American beef demand is considered inelastic so […] Read more

Beef complex moving toward higher supplies

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Already-tight feeder margins expected to be negative by early fall

During the last week of April, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $160 to $163 on a live basis. The market has been contending with tighter supplies of market-ready cattle south of the border. At the same time, wholesale beef prices have been percolating higher as retail and restaurant demand moves […] Read more

Always consider the Traders Report

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Take some of the emotion out of market conditions

Fed and feeder cattle prices have been quite volatile over the past month. Lower supplies of market-ready cattle along with seasonally strong demand have contributed to the recent rally in the nearby live cattle futures. This strength has spilled over into the deferred live cattle futures contracts and allowed feedlots to bid up the price […] Read more

Cow Eating Hay At Feedlot

Volatile summer cattle market forecast

Market Update: U.S. feeder cattle supplies remain burdensome

Western Canadian fed and feeder cattle markets are poised for volatile behaviour over the next four to six months. U.S. first- and second-quarter beef production are expected to come in below a year ago. During the third and fourth quarters, there will be a sharp year over year increase in beef production. As of late […] Read more

U.S. cattle herd still growing, but at a slower pace

Market Update: Numbers indicate we're still a couple of years away from contraction

The USDA cattle inventory report in late February showed cattle inventory and calf numbers were above a year ago, but the expansionary phase appears to be slowing. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for 2018 had a year-over-year increase of 65 per cent. The larger U.S. calf crop may temper demand for Canadian feeder […] Read more