GFM Network News

COVID funds fuel consumer spending

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: The only recession with an increase in disposable income

During mid-February, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle on a live basis in the range of $150 to $150.50 FOB the feedlot; delivered prices on a dressed basis were quoted in the range of $254 to $255. The fed cattle market has been percolating higher over the past month. Beef production has exceeded earlier expectations […] Read more

The number of cattle processed at Canadian and U.S. packing plants exceeded expectations from July through December 2020.

COVID impact may be easing by early summer

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Life may not be quite back to normal, but beef markets might be

The beef and cattle markets continue to recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic. During the first quarter of 2020, beef demand was adjusting to higher unemployment levels as coronavirus spread throughout the U.S. and Canada. The problem was exacerbated when outbreaks of the virus among workers forced processing plants in Canada and the […] Read more

Cow-calfers and backgrounders should hold off

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Keep lighter calves from the 2020 crop for as long as you can

Feed grain prices have been the largest factor influencing yearling and calf prices over the past couple of months. As of mid-January, feed barley was trading in the range of $275/mt to $285/mt delivered in the Lethbridge area while feedlots in the Red Deer region were making purchases from $265/mt to $272/mt delivered. Barley prices […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder market bounces on optimistic outlook

Feed barley remains near historical highs

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices traded $2-$4 higher; prices for mid-weight calves were quoted $4-$8 above week-ago levels. Calves under 550 lbs. traded $6 to as much as $10 higher compared to seven days earlier. Improving feedlot margins were the main factor driving the feeder market. June and August live cattle futures […] Read more

Cattle outlook brightens for 2021

Feeder market influenced by lower overall supplies

During mid-December, Lethbridge-area feedlots were selling fed cattle in the range of $138 to $140, up $2 to $4 from 30 days earlier. While Canadian feedlot operators are contending with a backlog of market-ready supplies, cattle on feed 150 days and longer are actually below year-ago levels south of the border. The USDA lowered its […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder cattle prices digesting uncertainty

Defensive tone likely through January

The feeder cattle market was very quiet during the last week of December with auction barns in holiday mode. There were discussions regarding direct sales but no actual business was confirmed. The stakes are too high given the market uncertainty; a defensive tone will likely continue throughout January. Feed grains continue to percolate higher; the […] Read more

Expect volatility in the cattle market

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: High feed barley prices mean a drastic increase in cost per pound of gain

Alberta feedlots were selling fed cattle at $136 f.o.b. the feedlot in mid-November, which was relatively unchanged from average prices in October. The market has held due to steady demand from south of the border. Alberta packer bids have come in at a $3 to $5 discount to U.S. packers over the past month. Western […] Read more

Cattle market in a transition stage

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: It may take a coronavirus vaccine before beef demand improves

During the last half of October, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle on a live basis in the range of $134 to $136 f.o.b. the feedlot, which is relatively unchanged from the average price levels in September. At the same time, fed cattle in the U.S. Southern Plains were selling at US$108, up about US$6 […] Read more