GFM Network News


Cattle prices hold mostly steady

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the September 28, 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle Good demand, strong cut-out value, steady kill rates and good retail featuring have contributed to mostly steady prices throughout the summer months. However, the start of September brought a seasonally lower move in the cash fed cattle market. Typically, larger front-end supplies lead to longer packer lift times and larger carcass weights. This […] Read more

The feeder cattle market softened earlier this spring; however, in yearling prices made fresh 52-week highs by early August.

The similarities between 2009 and 2020

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

The U.S. and Canadian economies suffered the worst year-over-year contraction in GDP in history during the second quarter of 2020. U.S. GDP contracted at 32.9 per cent on an annual basis during the second quarter; the official Canadian data at the time of writing this article was not yet released but analysts expect the drop […] Read more


Fed-cattle prices moving higher

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the September 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle Impressive summer slaughter rates coupled with strong wholesale demand have moved fed prices higher after weeks of a steady trading range. The fed steer price in Alberta in mid-August was $136.92/ cwt, which was a jump of $2.81/cwt from the previous week. Cash-to-cash basis is narrow at -$1.47/cwt, which compares to -$3.39/cwt a […] Read more

Klassen: Yearling market remains red hot

Barley harvest well underway in southern Alberta

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were $2-$4 higher on average; however, in southern Alberta, yearlings traded $6-$8 above week-ago levels. A few auction barns in Alberta held their first feature sales of the fall run and buyers showed up with both hands. The quality of yearlings coming off grass is excellent and […] Read more



Fed cattle market rebounds after hitting near-decade lows

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the August 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle After hitting lows not seen since 2012 in May, the fed cattle market has rebounded over the last several weeks. Two weeks after sinking to a low of $107/cwt in early May, the market recovered, climbing $41/cwt to a weekly average of $148/cwt. Since May the market trended lower through June but has […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder market in summer mode

Set-aside program not having much effect yet on prices

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged. Volumes are quite thin at this time of year, which makes the market hard to define. Steady demand surfaced on quality groups of yearlings and calves, while late stragglers and heavier-flesh feeders were severely discounted. Pasture conditions are favourable across the Prairies and […] Read more



Decreased prices, market uncertainty and reduced available pen space led to fewer placements in April.

Weekly slaughter levels lowest in decades

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the June 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle This spring, weekly slaughter levels were nearly 60 per cent lower than a year ago and the lowest recorded since 1973. From mid-March to the first week of May, the cash market dropped $50.56/cwt to reach a low of $107.00/cwt. Although volumes are light, losses on cattle sold into this lower-cash market are […] Read more

Being on the cusp of grilling season, the timing could not be worse.

COVID-19’s continuing chaos

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

As I write this on April 6, the April live cattle futures contract here in the U.S. has closed down its 450-point extended daily limit for the fourth day in a row. The contract closed at US$83.82 per cwt, thus losing 1,800 points in those four days. In contrast, the contract settled on February 21 […] Read more