Latest articles


Calf production numbers increase forecast

Market Update: Producers need to be ready with risk management plans

Alberta fed cattle prices have come under pressure over the past month. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $147 to $149 during the second week of November, down $4 to $6 from a month earlier. Weakness in the fed cattle market has spilled over into the feeder complex. Western Canadian yearling […] Read more


Time to buy cattle price insurance

Market Update: Cow-calf producers should sell their feeders with the lofty futures and historically strong basis

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $151 to $153 on a live basis in mid-October, up approximately $10 from a month earlier. While Alberta prices have been percolating higher, fed cattle values in Kansas have hovered around US$111 on a live basis over the past four weeks. Market-ready supplies of fed […] Read more



cattle in a feedlot

Price opportunity for calves and yearlings

Market Update: Strong consumer demand is using up beef supplies

The market outlook for fed and feeder cattle is looking brighter compared to a month ago. Beef demand is coming in larger than anticipated due to the corporate and personal tax cuts south of the border. Recent U.S. data shows that restaurant spending was up nearly 10 per cent over year-ago levels during the summer […] Read more


Cattle producers eyeing feed grain prices

Market Update: Feeding expected to get more expensive — something has to give

Feedlot operators have had a very strenuous spring and summer. Margins have been hovering in negative territory while feed barley prices have been percolating higher. Feeder cattle prices are actually higher than year-ago levels despite the strong feed grain prices and a year-over-year increase in the U.S. calf crop. The Canadian dollar has been trading […] Read more



cow and calf on pasture

Cattle market looking strong in many respects

Market Update: Not a great fall to be thinking of backgrounding calves

In early August, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $244 to $247 on a dressed basis while live-basis prices were quoted in the range of $145 to $146. The market has traded in a sideways range throughout the summer and it appears that the seasonal lows may be in place. Beef demand is coming in higher than anticipated with the […] Read more


Yearlings gain on tighter supplies

Market Update: Feedlots counting on lower feed costs this fall

In late June, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $243 to $245/hundredweight on a dressed basis and $143 to $145 on a live basis. The fed cattle market has dropped about $12 over the past month and will likely continue to grind lower into July and August. The U.S. and Canadian […] Read more



Feeder red ink will affect fall calf market

Market Update: Consumer spending to slow while beef production increases

Alberta fed cattle prices were hovering in the range of $153 to $155 in mid-May as the market moved through a period of seasonal strong demand. U.S. cattle-on-feed inventories continue to run five to seven per cent above year-ago levels. Larger market-ready supplies have caused the U.S. weekly slaughter pace during May to average about […] Read more


Cattle market absorbing larger supplies

Market Update: Beef consumption increasing after early-spring snowstorms

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $263 to $265 per hundredweight on a dressed basis in late April while live sales were reported from $157 to $169. The market appears to have stabilized after a softer tone earlier in spring. Analysts are expecting second-quarter beef production to come in sharply higher […] Read more



Looking at the feed grain component

Risk Management Part 5: More feeder cattle equals more feedlot placements, equals larger beef production

With this final article for the series on risk management for cow-calf producers, I note the previous columns discussed a specific aspect of the cash and futures market relationships. Producers are aware of when basis and futures levels are favourable and can use this information for buying price insurance or placing hedges on the feeder […] Read more


calf

Calf market will feel the pinch come fall

Market Update: It will take time to work burdensome beef supplies through the U.S. system

Alberta fed cattle prices have traded in the range of $162 to $166 throughout February and March, but the market is poised to grind lower during the second quarter due to the large year-over-year increase in second-quarter beef production. Fed cattle are poised for a $15 to $20 drop over the next couple of months […] Read more