Higher corn prices are hurting Manitoba cattle producers. Cattle prices in general have dropped in the past two weeks after peaking in the third week of September.
"It's largely due to the higher corn values. Higher corn prices are pressuring feeder cattle prices in the U.S. and as a result, we're seeing lower exports of Canadian feeder cattle to the U.S. Therefore, our prices are starting to grind lower after making some highs earlier in September," says cattle market analyst Jerry Klassen.
He notes it doesn't look like corn prices will come down anytime soon. "The corn market looks like it's fairly stable at these higher levels, largely due to the uncertainty in production and we're seeing a wide range of yield estimates. So I think that's probably a risk that producers have to be aware of over the next year."
Meanwhile, cow/calf producers in western Canada are hanging on to their spring calves a bit longer than normal this year. Klassen says the fall calf run is just getting started, a week or two later than normal. "The fall run is just getting started, largely due to favourable grass conditions across western Canada. The extensive rain has resulted in abundant forage sales so it seems cow/calf producers are holding back on sales, similar to what we had last year as well."
He expects exports will continue to be below average in the coming months, meaning cattle numbers in western Canada will increase, and along with that, producers can expect more downward pressure on prices through October and November.
Listen to Kelvin Heppner's conversation with Jerry Klassen: