indicatorThe Owl

Cattle and crop prices going in different directions

The average price of Alberta feeder cattle set a new record high in March

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 14 May 2024 1 min read

Monthly prices received by Alberta farmers in March show that crop prices continued to fall.

The price of wheat (excluding durum) fell for the 15th month in a row and was 38% below the record high set in June 2022. According to Statistics Canada, “wheat prices were down due to continued pressure from cheaper Russian wheat exports to global markets.”

Barley prices fell for the 5th consecutive month and were 34% below their June 2022 peak. Statistics Canada attributes the pullback to “weak Canadian barley exports and lower American corn export prices put downward pressure on barley prices.”

Canola prices also pulled back, falling for the 7th month in a row and coming in 44% lower than in June 2022 when they reached their all-time high. A record canola crop in Australia and a record soybean crop in Brazil last year are part of the reason for the drop.

It was a different story for cattle prices. Supported by a smaller North American cattle herd, the price of cattle for slaughter rose by 6% in March and was only 4% lower than the peak seen in June 2023.

After jumping 11% in February, feeder cattle prices rose ever so slightly in March to set a new record high with demand rising on the expectation of better profits due to lower feed prices.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest unemployment rate in the country in April at 9.1%.

Today’s trivia question: Why is durum wheat called durum wheat?

Crop prices in Alberta have come down from their peaks set in June 2022

Crop prices in Alberta have come down from their peaks set in June 2022

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