Beef Market Update: Numbers improve for producers, fed markets take a bit of a breather

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

If you’ve been following along with the cattle markets, you’ll know the choice cut out has faced some extreme gains over the past five weeks.

Naturally, it makes sense that the markets are going to take a bit of a breather, says Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, but that doesn’t mean we are headed back to the red.

Wasko joins host Shaun Haney to discuss live cattle prices, smaller cow herds leading to higher beef prices, the Statistics Canada Beef Inventory report and more, in this weeks’ episode of the Beef Market Update.

Don’t have time to listen? Check out the summary below the player:


  • Fed cattle in the U.S. is pretty quiet in the southern part
  • In the north, our live trade was a dollar higher so far, from $164 to $165
  • Dressed trade is two dollars higher at $262 to $265
  • Choice cut out is heading in the right direction, not as big of a move this week — about 60 cents higher than last week’s close
  • We’ve had such a gain over the last five weeks on the cut out that it’s time for a bit of a breather
  • $288.50 was what choice closed out at last night
  • February 1st on-feed numbers in the U.S. were down 4 per cent versus last year. January placements were down 4 per cent. January’s marketing’s were up four per cent
  • The futures are just moving higher to keep up with the cash
  • It’s both on fed cattle and on feeder cattle, the same trends
  • We’re going to be up $2 for the first time this week when CanFax comes out with the report
  • Smaller cow herd for lots of reasons, drought specifically = lack of profitability
  • That’s going to give us fewer cattle available to put through feedlots
  • Smaller supplies, smaller beef production, leading to higher prices
  • We’ve certainly got the lower trend in corn prices
  • Any key data they are watching on that replacement side is beef replacement heifers are down four per cent
  • You can’t hang everything on one hanger, but there’s a few in the closet finally
  • Manitoba was up 1 per cent from a year ago, and Ontario was up 3 per cent for beef cow numbers. 90 per cent of the beef cow herd in Canada is in the four western provinces

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