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Cattle Prices Showing Signs of Optimism

There were slight increases in cattle prices, according to the Ministry of Agriculture’s weekly cattle market report. 

Feeder steers saw the largest increase in the 300-to-400-pound category with a gain of $7.66 per one hundred pounds (cwt), for an average of $260.33 cwt. The largest decrease was in the 400-to-500-pound category, dropping $2.81 cwt for an average of $247.79 cwt. 

For feeder heifers, the only increase came in the 300–400-pound category with an increase of $3.60 cwt for an average of $217 cwt. The 800-plus pound category saw the largest drop with a decrease of $2.12 cwt for an average of $162.63 cwt. 

Provincial cattle specialist Natasha Wilkie said feed grains played a factor in last week’s cattle prices. 

“They just kept rising and that, of course, affects your feeder cattle futures, which then affects your cash prices,” Wilkie said.  

“That being said, I'm a little bit optimistic, so I was really happy to see that there were even some increases for at least some of the feeder and steer weight categories. So that was a good news story believe it or not.” 

Prices for non-fed live cattle from Alberta continue to climb week over week. D2 slaughter cows were up $1.50 cwt to an average of $94.60 cwt. D3 slaughter cows saw a slight increase of $0.83 cwt for an average of $82.50 cwt. 

Rail prices for fed steers out of Alberta ranged from $257 to $260.60 cwt, up by $2.50 to $4.75 cwt from the previous week. 

Rail prices for D2 and D3 cattle went up again by $1.00 cwt, ranging from $181 to $186 cwt. 

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