Beef Market Update: U.S cattle markets quiet while Canadian producers ride a price high

(Canada Beef Inc.)

Cattle markets have been quiet throughout the American Midwest, with the choice market up from last week, but under where it was at the same time last year. The choice to select market is still under the five year average, according to Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange. This is a good indication that there is a strong demand for the round and chuck to move towards the hamburger market, she says.

As for Western Canada, there have been no big gains in the fat cattle market, but the record prices are holding. Along with strong prices, carcass weights have dropped drastically and are 30 to 40 pounds lighter than what was seen two weeks ago.

The Alberta fat cattle market is currently in a premium position for trading into the U.S. for the third week in a row. Historically, that basis is strongest in June, which has the market sitting in a good position. The big question right now is whether to pull cattle forward in these record high prices, or take advantage of the lower cost of gain that we’re seeing and put on a few more pounds.

Even the weather seems to be cooperating. Previous strong market cycles have taken both profitability and moisture, and as Wasko says, the ducks are lined up in a row this year. People are feeling 10-feet tall and bulletproof about their margins!

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 Shaun Haney, host of RealAg Radio.

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