Beef Market Update: The cash market goes boom

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

The story for the last couple of weeks in the cattle markets has been the cash market, and how it is responding on both sides of the border.

In both the U.S. and Canada, the cash market has been extremely positive, says Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange.

In this week’s episode of the Beef Market Update, Wasko and host Shaun Haney dive into the cash market, as well as what’s driving the beef market, the beef-to-pork price spread, the livestock price insurance prices, and more.

Check out the full conversation below, followed by a quick summary:


  • In the south yesterday most of the cash trade was at $167, which is two-to-three bucks higher than last week’s trade
  • In the north $168-172 live and $260-$270 dressed, so that’s about five bucks better than last week’s average
  • Not explosive on the wholesale price, however. It’s been holding together right around that $280 mark
  • In Alberta we saw the dress market anywhere from $3-$10
  • Great news all the way around in terms of fat cattle prices. This adds to the conclusion that demand is quite strong
  • Once we get past Easter, than the feature often turns towards grilling items
  • The other thing that’s really supporting and driving this market is carcass weights 
  • Cattle feeders are getting more current all of the time
  • Double edged sword to the positive whether you look at cattle feeders or the production piece
  • StatsCan released for the January retail beef price here in Canada were high
  • One of the things we’ll be watching for and talking about more as 2023 goes along is the beef to pork price spread
  • That could possibly be the limiting factor in terms of where prices go with these tighter supplies, when they’re certainly some pressure on the pork complex
  • Consumer dollars at the counter always speak the loudest
  • Do consumers change some of those buying habits in terms of looking for cheaper protein sources? It’s something we’ll be watching going forward
  • If they buy down in beef, do they go from middle cuts to end cuts, or to hamburger? Or do they just switch to a cheaper protein right now?
  • If someone is out there looking to be proactive, some of the livestock price insurance rates this week have climbed higher again, so if you haven’t looked in awhile, it’s time to do so

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