Beef Market Update: Lofty Prices, Tight Basis Levels & COOL News

It’s been a big week for the beef industry, with news that the World Trade Organization has ruled against Country of Origin Labeling for a fourth and final time and the subsequent — almost immediate — introduction and approval of a bill to repeal it by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. But, what does all of this mean for beef prices?

“The market itself is going to continue to react to what it sees and knows today,” says Anne Wasko of Gateway Livestock in this latest installment of the Beef Market Update. “COOL means wider spreads — wider discounts between U.S. and Canadian cattle. Today, that’s a hard argument to fathom because the supplies have been so short that it’s kept basis levels considerably tighter than we’ve seen historically.”

Wasko says it’s good news for Canadian cattle values in the long term, but for now, markets are already showing very narrow basis because of tight cattle supplies.

Shaun Haney is back for this episode, where Anne fills us in on where prices could be heading in summer, whether or not consumer demand has remained strong with high retail prices and the impact of the latest COOL news.