Beef Market Update: Are Fat Cattle Prices Translating to Profitability?


In this edition of the Beef Market Update, Anne Wasko and Shaun Haney catch up on a few weeks’ worth of news and market moves. Mid-November fat cattle supplies remain tight, leaving the feeder with a bit of leverage right now to, as Wasko says, “grind the market up into mid 120s, the highest we’ve ever seen for fat cattle.” This is good news, but Wasko cautions that the seasonal build of fat cattle into late December and early January will ease pressure on supplies and prices will slip.

Read more: Is the Tyson plant viable under new mCOOL rules?

Shaun and Anne also discuss the general mood of feedlot owners at this time versus a year ago. Feedlot owners are more upbeat and confident with placements, Wasko says compared to last year, when the XL Foods closure and high grain prices were weighing down profitability. That said, mCOOL is adding significant uncertainty to the market, and Wasko warns of widening basis to come.

Also in this Beef Market Update, Shaun and Anne discuss growth of the cow herd, exit strategies for those in their golden years and the need for big picture, long-term planning for ranches and feedlots looking to change hands in the next five to 10 years. All that and more in this edition of the Beef Market Update.

If you can’t see the embedded player, click here to hear this interview.

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