FCC: Cattle feeders and backgrounders to struggle

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)
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Not bad for some, not good for others sums up Farm Credit Canada’s outlook for the livestock sector this year.

“Farrow-to-finish operations will continue to witness pressures on margins, while isowean/ weanling operators will see a turnaround in profits,” states the FCC forecast. “Cow-calf margins should be strong while feedlot operators and backgrounders may struggle to break even, especially in the first half of the year.”

The lender also forecasts there will be “an east-west divide” with Ontario prices for fed steers and backgrounders above the five-year average but “well below” the five-year average in the West.

FCC also predicts feed barley will average $258 per tonne and cattle exports to the U.S. to increase by 5.3 per cent.

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