Beef Market Update: Fewer lean hogs, strong demand, and a futures pull back

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

How many calves are left for the fall run?

The answer could be more than usual; however, with the dry conditions in 2021, it’s also possible the very early start to the run means there are fewer calves left to come to town.

The answer to where the fall run volume — and prices — end up will play out over the next few weeks, says Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, in this Beef Market Update.

Market conditions have been steady for the past two weeks, Wasko says, with U.S. cash prices trading in the same $120-$125 range both for the north and the south.

Choice cut out is following the typical trend as it continues to come off the highs set earlier in the season, and Western Canada is seeing steady prices, too.

Wasko says that so long as we can keep processing cattle both in the U.S. and in Canada, an improvement in cash prices is possible, as futures prices have continued to drift down to cash prices, waiting for cash prices to take the lead and improve into Q4.

There has been some positive news, for sure, as the most recent U.S. hogs and pigs report has been supportive to the protein complex overall, with a predicted smaller hog supply in the works. But retail prices are high and staying high — will consumers continue to choose to add beef to the grocery cart?

Listen on for the full Beef Market Update:

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