Beef Market Update: Wrapping up the market year on a flat note

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Cattle are still bought, sold, and processed over the holiday season, but it’s typically a quieter time for bids and prices. Still, there’s plenty to talk about as we head towards the twilight zone of the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

In this earlier-than-usual edition of the Beef Market Update, Shaun Haney and Anne Wasko, of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, discuss the cash trade, cut-out price movement, and general supply trends.

Moving to retail, beef prices are coming back down to earth and more in line with other protein choices, which could mean more beef on the plate, if Shaun has any say.

There is a story to play out in 2024 regarding cow-herd numbers, as Wasko updates us on the latest cattle-on-feed reports and cow placements.

“The Canadian fed cattle slaughter in November was down 11 per cent, and we saw those smaller kills all through the month and they still are continuing here in December,” she says. “That was the smallest November fed cattle slaughter we’ve seen in Canada since 2019. On the flip side, the Canadian cow cull in November was up 6 per cent, and that was the biggest November cow cull we’ve seen since 2011. So you can see packers was still busy, but they were certainly working on a different class of cattle as we went through the month of November.”

Listen on for the full discussion on this Beef Market Update, or hit the download button and listen later.

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