Beef Market Update: Prices move higher with tighter cattle-on-feed numbers, year-over-year

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Many eyes are focusing on the latest CanFax report, and Anne Wasko, of the Gateway Livestock Exchange is one of those pairs of eyes.

Particularly the August cattle-on-feed numbers — which were down by three per cent.

What is so exciting about that? As Wasko explains, it’s the first time we’ve seen on feed numbers in Western Canada below a year ago, in over a year.

“You have to go back to July 1 of 2021 to find a number that was smaller than the previous year. It’s still above the five year average, so the warning is that we’ve still got work to do,” she says. “That’s exactly what’s been going on this year as packers have continued to process more cattle to get through these numbers. We’re starting to see the light of day.”

The other number that caught Wasko’s eye in the report was the July placement number, which was half of last year’s number. Keep in mind, last year was a drought year, so numbers were high. However, it shows how much has really changed in a year.

“It’s still a big number historically, but it’s still down 20 per cent on the five year average,” she explains.

Heifer placements were still up 22 per cent, which shows that part of the placement side has already been established.

“We’re simply placing more heifers on feed until we get truly into some better feed supplies and feed costs.”

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

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