Beef Market Update: Volatility in U.S. cattle markets contrasts gains in Canadian fat cattle prices

After a decent start of better markets in terms of cash cattle, the futures market ended the week to the down side. This volatility is related to news around the ongoing outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), currently confirmed in eight U.S. states and in 33 herds of U.S. dairy cattle.

Earlier in the week, rumours of Colombia shutting down imports of U.S. beef turned to reality with an announcement on Thursday. Although a very small importer of U.S. beef, any restriction of imports of beef and beef products can have a negative impact on market prices. As Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange says, “The market deals better with confirmation of news rather than rumours,” and we could see prices stabilize in the coming week depending on what happens next.

It should be noted that no positive cases of HPAI have been confirmed in Canadian dairy cattle or beef cattle as of today, according to the CFIA in this latest update, and the disease does not pose a significant threat to human health.

Moving on to the Canadian market and better news, the Alberta fat cattle market is currently outstanding, Wasko says. “We are expecting another all-time fat cattle high for Alberta and cattle that can be pulled forward are being pulled forward. There were a lot of exports of fat cattle from January to March, so now that they’ve been cleared through the system we’ve gone from too many cattle to being ‘super current,'” she says.

Every second Friday, the Beef Market Update brings you the latest in cattle movement numbers, beef export stats, value changes and so much more. This week, Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, discusses all that and more with RealAgriculture’s Lyndsey Smith: 

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