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Cattle prices climb to level not seen in about a decade

Posted on May 18, 2023 by Taber Times

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Cattle prices are rising to levels last seen in the mid-2010s while crop prices are falling back from record pricing last year, according to new data from Statistics Canada and analysis from ATB Financial.

Feeder cattle hit $225.01 per hundredweight in March in the province, but that is the result of low inventory, while slaughter cattle at $193.01 in the month, also topped the all-time record last set in May 2015.

The feeder price is 48 per cent higher than in March 2022, while cattle for slaughter were 27 per cent more than one year ago, according to the federal agency.

In January it reported that national cattle inventory had fallen 2.2 per cent year-over-year to a total of 11.3 million head, about 43 per cent of which were located in Alberta.

Barley, at $393.11 per tonne in Alberta, remained high compared to the five-year average but fell off a high of $411.08 last June. Canola, at $821.90, is about one-fifth lower than the $1,077.97 recorded last June.

Barley in Saskatchewan traded at a $15 discount compared to Alberta in the month, and canola, a $28 premium.

No price was provided for wheat by StatCan, but ATB described “average price of wheat in Alberta in March 2023 was 18 per cent lower than in June 2022.”

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