Latest articles


Feed grain supplies down, then up by fall

Market Update: Late 2019 may be a good time to think about backgrounding

The price of feeder cattle is influenced by two main factors — the expected fed cattle price when the feeder is finished; and the price of feed grains. Let’s have a look at the fundamentals for Canadian barley as well as a brief overview of the corn situation. As of early March, Lethbridge-area feedlots were […] Read more


Canadian prices divorce from U.S. fundamentals

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Alberta feeding margins are in the red by $200 per head for feedlots selling in the spot market

There was unusual price behaviour in western fed and feeder markets during the first weeks of February. Earlier in January, Alberta fed cattle prices reached a high of $166 on live basis for March delivery. By mid-February, Alberta packers were only bidding $150 on a live basis for March 1-15 delivery. At the same time, […] Read more



Understanding feeder cattle price structure

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Comparing prices for custom feeders and a finishing feedlot

The feeder cattle futures have traded in a narrow range since early November but we’ve seen severe swings in the western Canadian feeder cattle basis. This has made it difficult for the cow-calf operator and backgrounding operator to project a forward price for summer and fall. I’ve also received inquiries in regards to the price […] Read more


Most indicators point to favourable market

Market Update: Numbers for the first quarter show good demand, strong prices

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $268 on dressed basis in mid-January, which is up $10 from last month. Fed cattle values on a live basis were quoted at $163 in Alberta and US$124 in the U.S. Southern Plains. The market appears to be percolating higher due to tighter than expected market ready supplies. […] Read more



A look at what’s ahead for the Canadian dollar

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Expect a slower economy, more debt and likely more taxes

The Canadian dollar eroded by 7.8 per cent during 2018 with most of this deterioration coming in the fourth quarter. For cattle producers, this isn’t necessarily negative. Recent data shows that year-to-date feeder cattle exports for the week ending Dec. 8, 2018 were 191,863 head, up a whopping 66 per cent over the same period […] Read more


Beef demand in 2018 pushes more production

Market Update: Fed-cattle prices need to rally for feeders to be profitable

During the second week of December, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $150 to $152, up from $2 to $4 from a month earlier. Market-ready supplies in Alberta and Saskatchewan are running above year-ago levels which has limited the upside in the fed cattle market. South of the border, U.S. fed-cattle […] Read more



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