Record cattle prices subside across Western Canada

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

CNS Canada — This year’s bull run for the cattle market in Western Canada appears to have come to an end.

While bids across the Prairies are still high, they are a cut below the record highs seen earlier in the fall.

“In less than two weeks the futures market for March, on the feeder cattle, went down 12 to 13 cents per pound. That was a fairly significant drop,” said Rick Wright of Heartland Buying Co. at Brandon, Man.

The March future contract in Chicago was trading at US$2.10 per pound on Thursday, down from highs above $2.30 earlier in the month.

Both live cattle and feeder animals have come off their highs over the past 1- days, according to Anne Wasko, cattle market analyst with Gateway Livestock Marketing in Taber, Alta.

The market is taking a lot of influence from the commodities side, she said, pointing to oil, the Canadian dollar and other financials as factors that have put pressure on values.

“You’ve got negative outside news going on globally, from a commodity perspective. Then of course we’ve been trading at a straight bull run higher so sooner or later we all knew it was going to run out of steam,” she said.

Higher grain prices have also put a damper on feeder cattle markets, Wasko added.

The state of the economy is something Wright said he’ll be monitoring closely, as cattle values ebb and sway. Even factors such as the price of the Russian ruble will have ramifications down the line.

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

 

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