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Buyers tasting feeder cattle prices for fall run

Buyers tasting feeder cattle prices for fall run

For the week ending July 2, Western Canadian yearling prices were steady to $5 higher compared to seven days earlier for larger packages. Small groups of 800-pound-plus cattle were $10 to $15 discounted to pen-sized lots. Calf markets were relatively unchanged from the prior week, although volume was limited. There is significant open demand for yearlings and finishing feedlot operators are watching how prices develop.

It appears that 1,000 pound steers off grass have reached the psychological $320 level, but buyers don’t want to push the market higher at this stage. These cattle don’t pencil out and there’s a fear to start behind the eight ball with prices at historical highs.

Calf prices were quite variable. Lighter weights under 600 pounds were well bid, but 600-800 pounders felt somewhat sluggish last week. Individual operators are at sales with the trailer buying pieces to fill smaller requirements. Grass conditions are excellent and many farmers need a few calves to clean up the yard.

North of Saskatoon, a larger group of 1,000 pound mixed steers off grass sold for $319 fob farm. In the same region, backgrounded 985 pound steers on light grain and silage ration traded for $313. In central Alberta, a smaller group of mixed heifers off grass weighing 875 pounds were last quoted at $318.

In Central Saskatchewan, a smaller group of black mixed, thin steers, averaging 815 pounds were quoted at $353. In the same region, a double hand of medium frame, thin, mixed heifers, apparently off grass, were valued at $333.

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