GFM Network News


Larger beef production weighs on cattle prices

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: More head and heavier cattle heading to packing plant

During the first week of February Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $157 to $159 delivered, which was down from early-January highs of $165 to $168. U.S. first-quarter beef production is coming in larger than expected. The U.S. weekly slaughter has been six to seven per cent above year-ago levels. In […] Read more

In southern Alberta, Simmental based steers weighing 510 pounds were quoted at $230 in mid-November while black heifers were valued at $195. It’s looking like feast-or-famine beef production in early 2020.

Calf prices will be sideways into 2020

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Both the U.S. and Canada produced smaller calf crops in 2019

Alberta packers were paying $142 to $144 on a live basis in mid-November, relatively unchanged from last month’s average price. While Alberta prices have traded in a sideways range, fed cattle values south of the border have been percolating higher. In Nebraska, fed cattle were trading in the range of $114 to $116, up from […] Read more


Three main factors will weigh on calf prices this fall.

Beef demand heads into the slow months

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Be prepared, as the high yearling market only has one way to go

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $140 to $143 during the first half of September. The market has come under pressure due to the year over year increase in market-ready feed supplies. In addition to the higher beef production, beef demand is moving through a seasonal low. During September and October […] Read more

U.S quarterly beef production. (**2019 Q3 and Q4 ar USDA estimates;  ***2020 is USDA quarterly estimates)

Cattle market fundamentals in a transition stage

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: The market is telling producers to sell yearlings now

Alberta fed cattle prices hovered in the range of $145 to $148 throughout July. Steady domestic and export demand sustained the market at the current levels despite the burdensome supply. In the previous issue, our market outlook for fed cattle was for stable prices during the summer. We also mentioned that the market would make a seasonal […] Read more


Low demand and large supplies are expected to make the early fall period a dreary time for feedlot operators.

Volatile ride ahead for cattle complex

Market Update: Late October may be the best window to sell calves

The Alberta fed cattle market has been trending lower over the past two months as the market functions to encourage demand. In the previous issue, we explained that the beef market is characterized by an inelastic demand curve. Therefore, a small change in supplies can have a large influence on the price. Monthly beef production increased from March through June. […] Read more

Canada is currently contending with a burdensome beef supply.

Higher beef production weighs on cattle complex

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Consumers will have to eat more beef to compensate

In my previous article, we mentioned that the cattle market was in a transition phase. Market-ready supplies of fed cattle during April were relatively tight while beef demand was moving through a seasonal high. The fed and feeder cattle markets softened during May as beef production grew. North American beef demand is considered inelastic so […] Read more


Despite lower numbers on finishing operations, slaughter numbers in Canada are about 80,000 head higher than a year ago.

Beef complex moving toward higher supplies

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Already-tight feeder margins expected to be negative by early fall

During the last week of April, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $160 to $163 on a live basis. The market has been contending with tighter supplies of market-ready cattle south of the border. At the same time, wholesale beef prices have been percolating higher as retail and restaurant demand moves […] Read more

Always consider the Traders Report

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Take some of the emotion out of market conditions


Fed and feeder cattle prices have been quite volatile over the past month. Lower supplies of market-ready cattle along with seasonally strong demand have contributed to the recent rally in the nearby live cattle futures. This strength has spilled over into the deferred live cattle futures contracts and allowed feedlots to bid up the price […] Read more


Statistics Canada’s cattle inventory report had the 2018 calf crop at 4.297 million head, down from 4.358 million head in 2017.

Volatile summer cattle market forecast

Market Update: U.S. feeder cattle supplies remain burdensome

Western Canadian fed and feeder cattle markets are poised for volatile behaviour over the next four to six months. U.S. first- and second-quarter beef production are expected to come in below a year ago. During the third and fourth quarters, there will be a sharp year over year increase in beef production. As of late […] Read more

U.S. cattle herd still growing, but at a slower pace

Market Update: Numbers indicate we're still a couple of years away from contraction

The USDA cattle inventory report in late February showed cattle inventory and calf numbers were above a year ago, but the expansionary phase appears to be slowing. Canadian feeder cattle exports to the U.S. for 2018 had a year-over-year increase of 65 per cent. The larger U.S. calf crop may temper demand for Canadian feeder […] Read more