GFM Network News


Klassen: Yearling prices stay sluggish, calves hold value

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to $4 lower; calves and grass cattle were relatively unchanged. Early in the week, the mood was quite depressing; yearlings were under pressure with feedlot buyers on the sidelines. By Friday, the market appeared to be well established. Backgrounding operators have been active sellers over […] Read more

Klassen: Uncertainty defines feeder market

'Hope' factor remains supportive

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were down $3-`$5 on average while calves were unchanged to down $2. Sales were characterized by low volumes and limited buying interest. Feedlot operators are hesitant to step forward in the current environment, with packing plants on both sides of the border reducing capacity. At the same […] Read more


Klassen: Weaker fed cattle prices weigh on feeder market

It appears finishing feedlots and cattle buyers are coming to terms with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may last longer than earlier anticipated. The “hope” factor that this environment will be short-lived has evaporated. Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $3 to as much as $10 lower, with yearlings absorbing […] Read more

A look back at past recessions can provide some long-term guidance for cow-calf operators.

Cattle market absorbs recessionary factors

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Experience shows it will take months for the market to recover

North America and the world economy in general will move into contraction phase during 2020. Negative economic data is starting to come out for the first couple of months of the year. Early estimates have Canadian and U.S. GDP contracting by two to four per cent in the first quarter and as much as eight […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder market lacks buying interest

Market gives in to pressure from Chicago futures

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $5-$8 lower on average, with yearlings dropping as much as $10-$12 in certain areas. It appears buyers are incorporating a risk discount due to uncertainty in beef demand longer-term. Rising unemployment levels, sluggish consumer confidence and a sharp drop in disposable income are all factors […] Read more

Coronavirus having an impact on cattle market

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Lower demand coupled with larger supplies weighs on prices

The coronavirus epidemic has contributed to the drop in fed cattle prices over the past couple of months. In the last week of January, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $275 on a dressed basis and $165 on a live basis but as of the first week of March, Alberta packer bids were in […] Read more






It takes a bit of time to understand the supply and demand influences 
on fed cattle.

Back to Economics 101 for feeder cattle

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Look for key market numbers that help determine prices

I receive many inquiries about the cattle market throughout the year, and in many cases, I realize the producer does not have a good handle on the fundamentals for beef or cattle. Supply-and-demand projections appear to be a foreign subject for many. For example, I’ve received many calls asking why the cattle price has to […] Read more