Beef Market Update: Basis tightens as dressed market drops in Alberta

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

It seems to be par for the course that the cattle markets are doing a little bit of everything these days.

Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange says from a price perspective, the U.S. market is up and the Alberta market is down.

“In the U.S., most of the trade is in the north, $1-2 higher is how I think it’ll finish, at that $125/$126 mark. There’s not much traded in the south yet — a few at that $122, but basically that would be steady to $1 higher as well,” she explains.

In Alberta the story isn’t looking great, as the price in the dressed market has dropped down $4, to $273 delivered, says Wasko, bringing that average down to $162.

“So with that move, when you’ve got U.S. up, and local down, our basis narrows. It’s still a +8, but two weeks ago it was +19,” she explains. “Still a strong basis, but a big change in a short period of time.”

As Wasko notes, Canadian packers are going to want to do doing everything in their power to make sure supply stays here. One of the best ways to send that message to cattle feeder suppliers? A strong basis environment.

The other thing we’ve seen come down as well is the cutout price — down to $307 on choice cutout. In the U.S., that’s down $19 from a week ago, coming off its highs from a few weeks ago.

“That’s normal, that’s seasonal, but it’s coming down from some pretty inflated levels,” says Wasko. “This is what’s to be expected.”

Check out the full conversation between RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney and Wasko, below:

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture