Beef Market Update: Market indicators point to higher prices in 2022 and into 2023

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

This episode of the Beef Market Update comes to you from Houston, Texas, as Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange reviews the events of the past week, down at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) convention.

To start off, Wasko says it was a good week for the U.S. cattlemen to be together, as the cash market jumped this week in the U.S., putting most in better spirits.

“The live markets got about $3 higher. They got up to about that $140 mark again. For northern trade, Nebraska was about $2-$4 higher, as well at that $139-$140 mark. Dressed, that would be about $222-$224. The futures markets were waiting for this to happen,” she explains.

Based off of Wasko’s conversations around Houston this week, most don’t think this will be the end of the run either.

At the convention this week, Wasko took part in the CattleFax presentation, which is known to bring in a few sets of ears. This year, the presentation had a bullish feel to it in terms of forecast, she says, and not just into 2022, but headed into the years following, too.

“That really came back to the whole cattle supply scenario. If you recall last week, USDA just released the January 1 cattle inventory report for the U.S. and the beef cow herd down here dropped another two per cent. Some of that is drought-related as well, but also some of that going right back to lack of profitability at the cow calf level,” Wasko says, adding that with a smaller cow herd, you’re going to have a smaller calf herd as well.

As Wasko explains, this points towards some higher prices as we go into this year and next year.

“The CattleFax analysts were talking for the 2022 annual average in fed cattle could be about 15 per cent higher than last year, and on feeder cattle and calves, as much as 20 per cent,” she says.

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


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