Beef Market Update: Putting things in perspective across the U.S. and Canadian cattle markets

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Late last month,  the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), released their mid-year inventory report.

In a couple of weeks, the Canadian numbers will come out as well, which will give us the opportunity to reflect and compare.

Ahead of the CanFax report, Anne Wasko, of the Gateway Livestock Exchange shares in this Beef Market Update some of the U.S. numbers, so we can gain some perspective.

“U.S. beef cows were down pretty close to three per cent — 29.4 million head — and beef replacement heifers were down two per cent — at four million. That was a little bit bigger than pre-report expectations,” she explains.

The bottom line from the report is there are very tight supplies, especially on the feeder cattle side of things.

“There was no signs — as we all kind of expected — of any kind of expansion commencing yet. So when we move forward another six months to the January report, there’s where I think a lot in the U.S. expect that some of the 2023 heifer calf crop will have been retained and will start to show up in the 2024 numbers.”

As far as what’s expected for the Canadian report, Wasko says numbers across the board will be down, with the main question sitting at the forefront: Is there going to be any retention of heifer calves this fall? Wasko’s answer is very likely not, due to feed supplies, feed prices, and record calf prices.

Check out the full conversation between Wasko and Beef Market Update Host Shaun Haney, below:


Cattle on feed down two per cent and inventory down three per cent, says USDA

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