Compared to last week, Western Canadians steadily traded $2 higher on average while calves were trading $2 higher to $4 lower. The calf market was difficult to determine due to the limited numbers, while an even larger supply of young calves was shown in Manitoba last week. Livestock packers in Alberta were purchasing apparel-based feeder cattle in the $300-$302 range for near delivery, and in April 2023, clothing values were in the $345-$350 range. The strength in the deferred price structure for foraged livestock is the basis of the nearby feed complex. The major broiler operators continue to work aggressively on high quality broiler packs. Ontario operators are reaching out to the far west. Barley is trading at $8.60/bu. In the Lethbridge area while corn is valued at $8.25/bu. in southern Ontario. The weather was perfect to bring in new alternatives. The drier pasture conditions in the late season eroded any excess meat on the siblings, especially on the 900lb. cattle. The observed strength was evident on these heavier groups which caused abnormal price behavior in some cases.
South of Edmonton, the larger-framed Angus steers straight off the lawn with a full health data of 940 pounds. Drop the hammer at $232. Northwest of Winnipeg, Charolais based calves weigh 915 pounds. It was valued at $224. Freight differences to Alberta are evident in the market but some feedlot operators are willing to pay premiums on local cattle. In eastern central Saskatchewan there is a smaller group of larger frame mixed calves weighing 823 pounds. The board scores at $250 and the Angus reels average 813 pounds. The course fee is $222. In Manitoba, a small group of black calf calves weigh 835 pounds. It sold for $240.
In the Lethbridge area there is a small batch of tan tires with a larger tire that average 705 pounds. It was valued at $262 and the wheels based on Simmental weigh 720 pounds. Bought for $218. In central Alberta is a smaller group of black calves weighing 710 pounds. Quoted at $253. Northwest of Winnipeg, Tan Stears stopped the scales at 713 pounds. It sold for $269.
Calf sizes were limited last week; However, larger packages are traded for a premium for smaller packages. South Saskatoon, blended calves weaned “mill” weigh 610 pounds. It’s priced at $273 and a similar quality black mixed calf averaging 620 pounds. It reportedly sold for $232. In southern Alberta, black-bred limousine calves weigh 512 pounds. It was valued at $298 and the calves in Hereford weigh 490 pounds. Planned course at $247.
The Canadian dollar for September closed at 75.26 US cents on Friday, close to a two-year low. Western Canada is facing a year-over-year decline in calf numbers, and exports of nutritious cows are up 109 percent from last year’s levels. Furthermore, imports of livestock feed from the US (Holstein feeders) are down more than 50 percent from last year. A weak Canadian dollar significantly boosts demand for western Canadian cattle.
– Jerry Klassen He is the president and founder of Resilient Capital, specializing in commodity futures trading and market analysis. Jerry consults with feedlots on risk management and writes a weekly commentary on the livestock market. It can be accessed at 204-504-8339 or via their website at ResilCapital.com.