Beef Market Update: Record prices, but profitability still to be determined in back half of ’23

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Even though many are looking at the futures market for ’23 new crop prices, and there’s a little more positivity across drought areas in terms of upcoming precipitation, “what’s going in the mouths of cattle today is still old crop.”

So, as a result, we’re going to have to wait until the back half of 2023 to have a better idea of what profitability will look like, even with the record prices the cattle market is seeing currently.

This is all according to Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, who joined host Shaun Haney in the latest episode of the Beef Market Update.

Profitability, feed costs, choice price, beef exports, and more, are all up for discussion this week. Tune in below, or read a quick summary following the interview:


  • We knew we were going to be short on supplies this year, but it’s all happening very quickly
  • Strong demand for all these pieces coming together
  • U.S. fed cattle this week was another five bucks higher
  • This market hasn’t just grinned higher, it’s exploded higher. Why? The supply piece is strong
  • The other side of this is the demand side
  • CanFax comes out with the live equivalent later today
  • Dressed prices were five-to-seven bucks higher than last week in Western Canada
  • Carcass weights are still 44 pounds lighter than last year
  • When we look out our windows, there’s a few things pointing to better conditions for the 2023 crop
  • For January and February, Canadian beef exports are up 15 per cent in volume and up 10 per cent tin value
  • As we work through 2023 we will see these exports likely lage
  • We’re up 10 per cent in the U.S., we’re up 27 per cent in Japan, 41 per cent into Mexico, and up 82 per cent into South Korea
  • Those are the key main markets where most of the beef has gone so far this year
  • Exports and beef imports are coming into Canada for Q1 down 14 per cent
  • When you put the three pieces together our domestic beef tonnage production is down one per cent
  • So far this year exports are up 15 per cent, imports are down 14 per cent. All of that is leading to a net smaller beef supply
  • Producers really need to see more than a one year wonder
  • We’re going to need to see some length in the tooth for this one


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