December 22, 2011


Canada's cattle futures prices hit record level



Since 2003, the current beef prices in Canada are at their highest point level, giving optimism in the growing cattle sector.


In 2011, market receipts rose by close to 1% to US$2.2 billion, led by higher receipts for hogs, dairy and poultry.


The high beef prices and positive outlook for producers indicate a recovering industry, states a government of Alberta press release.


"Through the first half of 2011, Alberta had the highest Farm Cash Receipts in Canada, totalling US$5.2 billion," said Evan Berger, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for the government of Alberta. "Cattle futures prices were at their highest level ever in October 2011."


The market began to improve in 2010 with prices rising throughout the year. In late October 2011 the prices of feeder cattle for the 500-600 pound weight classes were US$161 and US$134 per hundredweight, respectively.


Crop market receipts made an even larger jump increasing by almost 39% to US$2.7 billion in the first half of 2011.


The increase was largely due to higher prices for major crops and increased marketing, according to the government of Alberta.


Harvest wrapped up in the province earlier this month after a final few weeks of favorable conditions.


The provincial average yields are estimated to be above their 10-year averages with the quality reported as mostly good across Alberta. There were however some reports of ergot in wheat and high green seed count in canola.


Although the year seemed to be a good one producers are still faced with the increasing costs of fertiliser and fuel as well as a strong Canadian dollar.


The start of the growing season was also marked with unpredictable weather including flooding, and large storms that moved through the region.

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