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Cattle prices edge six year highs

Cattle markets have turned the corner showing signs of improvement over the last few months as prices edge six year highs.

Cattle Market Analyst with Gateway Livestock, Anne Wasko, says supplies are tightening, cattle feeders are getting more current and cattle on feed numbers are down three per cent from last year.

"Cattle prices are coming up. The fed cattle markets are kind of leading the way, averaging up over $180 last week and that's the first time we've seen that kind of an average price in Western Canada for fat cattle since 2015. And, therefore then no feeder cattle and calf prices also following suit too."

She notes the slaughter cow market has been super strong this year, well above last year with the average almost $40 cwt higher than last year.

"Its still hovering in that $113 -  $115 area on the D2 average, and again the highest slaughter cow price we've seen for this time of year since 2015."

Wasko says a key factor with the increase in pricing now for the slaughter cow market is due to the drought and bigger cow marketings that we saw in 2021.

She says when focusing on that slaughter market we're still seeing very dry conditions down into the deep south plains, so we've got a U.S. cow kill that's up 14 per cent.

"That hasn't impacted prices (certainly north of the border) and their prices are still above a year ago, just showing the demand especially for that lean trim ( that hamburger beef ) that's been super strong here in 2022."

The cattle markets were quiet in June and July, but things started picking up in August, especially on the grass cattle market. 

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