Klassen: Cold weather slows feeder cattle market activity


By Jerry Klassen, GFM Network News, Columnist

via Canadian Cattlemen - February 15, 2021


Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged. Extreme temperatures blanketed Western Canada last week. Many auction barns cancelled sales or had limited numbers on offer. Buyers attended sales either in person or via the internet, which was supportive to the overall price structure. Many backgrounders and cow-calf producers delayed sales by one or two weeks, hoping favourable weather may enhance buying enthusiasm.


Steers weighing 800-850 lbs. were actively moving in the range of $180-$185 across the Prairies. Feeder cattle under 700 lbs. were quite variable depending on the health program and weaning timeframe. For example, there were reports of steers ranging from 650 to 675 lbs. trading as low as $195 to as high as $215 in central Alberta. If feedlots knew where the cattle came from, they bid up fairly aggressively. Some of the yearlings and lighter calves are fleshier at this time of year and the thicker coats don抰 help the discerning eye. Lethbridge barley prices are reaching $325 per tonne for May and June; therefore, risk discounts were severe on cattle that will not gain efficiently.


In central Alberta, a small group of Charolais-based steers...