Beef Market Update: Cash markets hold steady on both sides of the border

There’s a lot happening in the cattle markets as we hit mid-October (?!) already.

Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange says the markets south of the border have held mostly steady, at around $124 for live cattle in the south, and $124-$125 in the north, while noting the cutout drop-off we are still seeing.

“$280 was the close last night on the choice, so that’s off a nickel from last week. But when you think about ‘is this now good value, does it have to drop more?’ in the last two months we’ve seen this cutout drop over 60 bucks a hundred [weight]. I think we’re finding a spot here as we head into the last quarter and the holiday season ahead, I do think this is what we will call a better value piece for buyers to step into the market,” Wasko says.

She adds that from the end of November through to Christmas and New Years is one of the best demand periods for the United States.

On the Canadian side of things, the cash market is also looking pretty steady — sitting at $264 dressed in Alberta, and $270 dressed in Ontario.

“It’s pretty quiet on the cash trade, so live market last week, we averaged around $157 so I suspect our numbers will be close to that. The basis levels are about two to three over the five year average for this time of year and the Alberta basis is one to two under, so it’s still a positive basis story here in 2021, just not as extreme,” Wasko explains.

In the feeder market, yearling prices are close to the same levels as a year ago, but seasonally — due to a very early start to fall run — we saw the market run up higher in June/July/August, reaching it’s peak in September. The cash market, says Wasko, is a bit of a different story, as there has been an $8 to $10 loss over the past couple of weeks in Alberta.

However, there is some optimism in the feeder market, says Wasko, as the futures market is “telling us that prices will be better for North American cattle prices in 2022.”

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