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Fed cattle prices holding strong

“According to Canfax, the Alberta fed cattle market for the week ending June 10, 2022 represents an increase of 6.4% since the start of 2022, and over a 12% increase over the 5-year average for this week,” says Ann Boyda, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development.

“The Alberta fed steer price remain lower than Nebraska price with a spread that is significantly higher than the 5-year average price spread. Strong demand from packers in the U.S. for a limited supply of cattle supported the stronger U.S. prices,” explains Boyda. “The U.S. industry is entering the contraction portion of the cattle cycle. Increased U.S. cow and heifer slaughter will result in a smaller calf crop and lower inventory in the upcoming months.”

This trend, in combination with the difficult start to the pasture in many parts of the Western and Southern U.S. regions, saw the movement of grazing animals into feedlots.

“Although fed cattle prices have been strong, cost increases and record high cost-of-gain outweigh the revenue increases. The feedlot sector has experienced a prolonged period of negative margins. Margins have, however, shown an improvement since February 2022 estimates,” says Boyda.

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