Beef Market Update: Prices tumble as market sits under a dark cloud

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

Cattle markets have not had a great week.

“It’s been a tough week, to be very blunt with you,” says Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange. “In the cattle markets, it doesn’t matter where you are, north or south.”

For this not-very-rosy Beef Market Update, Wasko starts off where we usually do, with U.S. cash prices looking softer since last week. In the more northern feeding region, live prices were down, too, following the big slide in futures prices discussed two weeks ago.

Since then, Wasko says, we’ve had a bearish cattle-on-feed report for the U.S., and this cattle market is now struggling to get out from under a dark cloud. Even the choice cut-out that should be improving given normal seasonality is bucking the trend and has shifted lower.

Here in Western Canada, fed cattle prices trended lower, as well, signaling that packers are pretty comfortable with supplies, Wasko says. Plus, retail prices are very high, especially up against dropping pork prices and flat prices for chicken. About the only positive news this week is on live cattle movement to the south and a bearish corn price WASDE report that might help ease the cost of gain this winter.

For price movement and numbers, plus more details on what’s pushing cattle markets, tap below for the full Beef Market Update: 


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