Beef is facing stiff competition from other proteins as huge North American pork and poultry production is coinciding with big beef supplies.
“We have issues on all sides of the fence. We’re looking at record production on both pork and poultry right in front of us,” explains Anne Wasko of Gateway Livestock in this Beef Market Update heading into October.
There’s been some musing about the dramatic slide in cattle prices being an overreaction, but she suggests production levels going forward will probably mirror supplies seen in 2011-13, when fat cattle prices in the US traded under a dollar.
“To say it’s an overreaction because it’s been too fast, the market is smarter than that,” she says.
Statistics Canada’s report on retail meat prices in August included some positive news, showing that beef prices in Canadian grocery stores have started dropping — down 2 percent versus the previous month and also down 2 percent from a year ago, notes Wasko.
The problem for those wanting higher beef demand is pork prices were also down 2 percent, while poultry dropped 3 percent.
In the long run, the uncertainty surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be viewed as a grey cloud hanging over the Canadian beef market, perhaps leading the federal government to focus more on bilateral deals, such as the under-30-month, bone-in agreement announced with China last week.
Here’s the latest Beef Market Update with Anne Wasko: